Ben-Hur (1959) - Rotten Tomatoes " /> ">


Ben-Hur (1959)



Critic Consensus: Uneven, but in terms of epic scope and grand spectacle, Ben-Hur still ranks among Hollywood's finest examples of pure entertainment.

Ben-Hur Photos

Movie Info

Record-breaking winner of 11 Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, and Score, this epic masterpiece stars Charlton Heston ("The Ten Commandments," "Touch of Evil") in the title role of a rebellious Israelite Jew who takes on the Roman Empire during the time of Christ. Featuring one of the most famous action sequences of all time -- the breathtaking chariot race. Directed by Oscar-winner William Wyler ("Mrs. Miniver," "The Best Years of Our Lives"). Recently selected as one of the top 100 American films of all time by the prestigious American Film Institute.

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Jack Hawkins
as Quintus Arrius
Stephen Boyd
as Messala
Sam Jaffe
as Simonedes
Finlay Currie
as Balthazar
Frank Thring
as Pontius Pilate
George Relph
as Tiberius
Hugh Griffith
as Sheik Ilderim
Adi Berber
as Malluch
Dino Fazio
as Marcello
John Horsley
as Spintho
Ralph Truman
as Aide to Tiberius
David Davies
as Quaestor
Mino Doro
as Gratus
Robert Brown
as Chief of Rowers
John Glenn
as Rower No. 42
Maxwell Shaw
as Rower No. 43
Emilio Carrer
as Rower No. 28
Howard Lang
as Hortator
Stevenson Lang
as Blind Man
Thomas James O'Leary
as Starter at Race
Noel Sheldon
as Centurion
Hector Ross
as Officer
Al Silvani
as Man in Nazareth
Bill Kuehl
as Soldier
Aldo Silvani
as Man in Nazareth
Michael Cosmo
as Raimondo
Aldo Pial
as Cavalry Officer
Victor De La Fosse
as Galley Officer
Enzo Fiermonte
as Galley Officer
Tiberio Mitri
as Roman at Bath
Pietro Tordi
as Pilate's Servant
Jerry Brown
as The Corinthian
Otello Capanna
as The Byzantine
Joe Yrigoyen
as Egyptian
Joe Canutt
as Sportsman
Ferdinand "Ferdy" Mayne
as Captain of Rescue Ship
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Critic Reviews for Ben-Hur

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (14)

William Wyler never lets spectacle and size interfere with the elemental passions and conflicts of his human story. The spectacular aspects emerge naturally from the story -- the time and place and the customs of the society in which the characters live.

November 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Clocking in at three hours forty-two minutes, Ben-Hur overstays its welcome. Still, despite scenes that occasionally run too long, the movie doesn't start to drag until after the chariot race and many of the early scenes are engaging.

October 7, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Although it is a spectacle film, the story of how a man takes on the tyranny of the Romans, with all sorts of horrible consequences to himself and his family, is powerful and gripping.

January 1, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

The biggest and the best of Hollywood's super-spectacles.

August 22, 2008 | Full Review…

Entire new frontiers in boredom were opened up by this MGM whopper from 1959.

December 13, 2006 | Full Review…

The movie could be trying to say that for some people religion is an escape from their sexuality, but it seems unlikely.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ben-Hur


A sword and sandal epic intended to begger your measly little life...which it almost manages to do, dadgumit! Heston represents Israel groaning under the Roman yoke, needlessly persecuted, until we get to the famous climax: the chariot race. The notoriously long film should've ended there but instead tacks on a snooze-worthy bit about Christian redemption, perhaps as justification for the previous hours of hedonistic excess. Still, old school sumptuous-ness played for the epic factor, missing by only that much.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Powerful and masterfully crafted, Ben Hur is a timeless epic that will continue to thrill and move audience members throughout the generations.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer


William Wyler's epic and unforgettable masterpiece. One of the best remakes ever! Touching. Fresh.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

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