Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1926) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1926)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ Photos

Movie Info

This renowned silent epic was one of the most expensive features of its day, and easily stands up to the later, technically superior version. Juda Ben-Hur, a Judean Prince forced to become a galley slave, saves the life of a Roman nobleman. He is adopted by the Roman and becomes a respected citizen and a famed chariot racer. Upon his return to Judea, Ben-Hur witnesses the crucifixion of Jesus and is inspired to convert to Christianity. Hold on tight during the sea battle and chariot race.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama , Faith & Spirituality
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
Runtime:
Studio:
WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

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Cast

Ramon Novarro
as Judah Ben-Hur
May McAvoy
as Esther
Claire McDowell
as Princess of Hur
Kathleen Key
as Tirzah
Nigel De Brulier
as Simonides
Mitchell Lewis
as Sheik Ilderim
Leo White
as Sanballat
Frank Currier
as Arrius
Charles Belcher
as Balthazar
Dale Fuller
as Amrah
Winter Hall
as Joseph
Harry Greenberg
as Centurion
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Critic Reviews for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

All Critics (7)

Best enjoyed as a sample of the state of the art circa 1925, not as a timeless masterpiece.

Full Review… | September 15, 2008
Antagony & Ecstasy

At nearly 2½ hours long, the 1925 version is still an hour shorter than the 1959 version, yet the story is essentially the same, and the scale similarly impressive.

Full Review… | October 17, 2005
Decent Films Guide

Yes, you'll also find the chariot race in here, and you may even find it as exciting or more exciting than the one Heston enacted.

Full Review… | August 30, 2005
Movie Metropolis

Hokey by today's standards, but one of the greatest silent film spectacles.

April 8, 2005
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Novelist Lew Wallace's 'Tale of Christ' got the silent Hollywood treatment, and how, in M-G-M's elephantine costume epic.

Full Review… | August 6, 2004
Boulder Weekly

Has merits not found in William Wyler's Oscar-laden 1959 remake.

Full Review… | December 1, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

½

I think I ought to re-watch this movie. I did just watch it last week, but it was so long I got bored and wasn't paying attention. I do remember a few good scenes, and the epic landscapes and enormous cast are really cool looking, but it's just so long. It really looks like an expensive picture, and the main cast does a good job, so I think it deserves a re-watch.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Well made movie, especially by 1926 standards. Memorable chariot race (although I can't help wonder how many horses and people must have been killed to shoot that scene!)

Mara Barker
Mara Barker

Amazing at times what they could do on such a large scale in the '20s. I almost like this better than the '59 version. The color scenes are quite astounding, too, for being hand-drawn over the photography. The chariot race isn't as good as the '59 version, but it's still quite good. Plus, the galley fight is awesome. A sea of people, literally, fighting on two life-size ships!

Jeff Bachman
Jeff Bachman

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