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Ben-Hur (Collector's Edition) (Disc 1 of 2) back to product details

Deluxe melodrama
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written by Texan99 September 4, 2010 - 11:35 AM PDT
In 1959 it was still possible to make un-ironic movies about the life of Christ. Ben Hur is the Epic of Epics from the Golden Age of Blockbuster Spectacles. A wealthy, happy young Jewish man, Judah Ben Hur, suffers a reversal of fortune at the hands of a faithless Roman childhood friend that propels him into a bitter quest for revenge, rather like the Count of Monte Christo. Judah toils as a galley slave, becomes a Roman citizen and heir to the Roman naval officer whose life he saves, achieves notoriety as a charioteer, and returns to Jerusalem to rescue his mother and sister from prison and settle scores. His furious determination to ruin his old rival and tormentor culminates in the famous chariot race. In the meantime, tidings of the contemporary ministry of Jesus of Nazareth (never shown directly on screen) drop into the plot at regular intervals, providing a counter-message of forgiveness, reconciliation, and a climactic miraculous healing. There's nothing subtle about any of this; it's all gloriously over the top.

Charlton Heston...for three hours.
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written by MLouv July 18, 2002 - 10:33 PM PDT
5 out of 12 members found this review helpful
I came into this movie after hearing my father glorify it with words of splendor and amazement, and I guess some of it rubbed off on me initially, and rubbed out some of it's failing points. First off, it is surprisingly violent in parts and I don't think the G rating's quite fitting. The storyline unfolds well enough, but in the end it turns out to be a Jesus metaphor? I felt beaten down by the belligerent religious innuendo. Maybe I'm missing the whole point of the movie, but I hate it when films try to seduce me into another mindframe.

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(Average 6.83)
129 Votes
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