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Still shot from the movie: Ben-Hur.

Ben-Hur

Boasting the most impressive chariot race ever put to film, Ben-Hur tells the fictional story of a Jewish man (Charlton Heston) who is unjustly accused and sentenced to the galleys of a Roman battleship. While his desire for revenge keeps him alive, he is unable to really live until he hears about forgiveness from a condemned Rabbi named Jesus. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: A-
Violence: C+
Sexual Content: B+
Language: A-
Drugs/Alcohol: A-
Run Time: 222
Theater Release: 11 Dec 1959
Video Release: 07 Feb 2012
MPAA Rating: G
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Another epic film featuring Charlton Heston (this time as John the Baptist) is The Greatest Story Ever Told. If you are looking for movies set during the life of Christ, check out The Robe.

Home Video Extra Features

Blu-ray Notes: Ben-Hur: 50th Anniversary Edition

Release Date: 7 February 2012

Ben-Hur releases in a 50th Anniversary Edition in a 4-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack. Bonus extras include:

- Commentary by film historian T. Gene Hatcher and Charlton Heston

- Music-only track showcasing Miklós Rózsa’s score

- Theatrical trailers

Home Video Release: Ben-Hur: 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition

Release Date: 27 September 2011

The classic movie Ben-Hur releases to Blu-ray in a 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition 2, which includes:

- Charlton Heston & Ben-Hur: A Personal Journey (HD Documentary)

- Ben-Hur: The Making of an Epic

- Screen Tests

- Vintage Newsreels

- Highlights from the 1960 Academy Awards Ceremony

- Trailers

- Audio Commentary

- Ben-Hur: The 1925 Silent Version

- Ben-Hur: A Journey Through Pictures

- Ben-Hur: The Epic That Changed Cinema

A Limited and Numbered Edition of Ben-Hur is also available and features a reproduction of Charlton Heston’s Personal Diary.

Release Date: 13 September 2005

If Ben-Hur wasn’t of epic proportions before, it sure is now! This four-disc set answers everything you could ever even think of to ask about this 1959 classic. Bonus materials include: a commentary by film historian T. Gene Hatcher (with scene-specific comments from Charlton Heston), a vintage newsreels gallery, highlights from the 1960 Academy Awards ceremony, a theatrical trailer gallery, screen tests (of Leslie Nielsen and Cesare Danova, Leslie Nielsen and Yale Wexler, as well as George Baker and William Russel) and details about actress Haya Harareet’s hair and make-up.

There is also a wealth of documentaries. Ben-Hur: The Epic That Changed Cinema provides interviews with current filmmakers, such as Ridley Scott and George Lucas, and their reflections on the importance and influence of this movie. The 1994 Ben-Hur: The Making of an Epic, hosted by Christopher Plummer, and the1986 Emmy Award-nominated film directed by William Wyler are part of the package too. Fans of pre-production paraphernalia will appreciate, Ben-Hur: A Journey Through Pictures - an audiovisual recreation of the film via stills, storyboards, sketches, music and dialogue, while film historians will be happy to take a look at the 1925 feature-length silent version of Ben-Hur, presented with a stereophonic orchestral score by composer Carl Davis.

The Ben-Hur: Four Disc Collector’s Edition is available in English and French (both audio tracks are recorded in Dolby Digital 5.1), with subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.

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About the Reviewer: Kerry Bennett

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