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Ben-Hur (Four-Disc Collector's Edition)

Ramon Novarro , Charlton Heston , Charles Brabin , Christy Cabanne    G (General Audience)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 49.90
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Product Description


Ben-Hur scooped an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards® in 1959 and, unlike some later rivals, richly deserved every single one. This is epic filmmaking on a scale that had not been seen before and is unlikely ever to be seen again. But it's not just running time or a cast of thousands that makes an epic, it's the subject matter, and here the subject--Prince Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) and his estrangement from old Roman pal Messala (Stephen Boyd)--is rich, detailed, and sensitively handled. Director William Wyler, who had been a junior assistant on MGM's original silent version back in 1925, never sacrifices the human focus of the story in favor of spectacle, and is aided immeasurably by Miklos Rozsa's majestic musical score, arguably the greatest ever written for a Hollywood picture. At four hours it's a long haul (especially given some of the portentous dialogue), but all in all, Ben-Hur is a great movie, best seen on the biggest screen possible. --Mark Walker

Product Description

Ben-Hur (Four-Disc Collector's

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deep, exploratory and emotional June 3 2004
I have lost count of the times I've seen this movie, and have lately sat through yet another viewing. As it is deep, exploratory and powerfully moving, I make no apologies for still finding something in it. I may even be preaching to the nostalgically converted when, as a boy, I grew up with it, seeing it on its territory, the 'big screen.' Having felt the same satisfaction then, I now find the space to appreciate it at a deeper emotive level. Those timeless emotions of thought and feeling in it, are layers I continue to find and appreciate. Why does this film continue to stand the test of time? Because of its eloquent handling of feelings and conditions everyone feels, from the brutality of tyranny to subsequent reconciliation. I have read some overtly
critical opinion about Heston's acting being 'wooden,' 'overblown,' 'pretentious.' If his is bad acting, what do you consider good? Isn't it just a case of appropriate or straight acting?
I think Heston's performance is sedate, solemn, deep with meaning, as is the case with most of the other stars who compliment his. William Wyler judges walking towards doorways and entrances, standing in them, turning up unexpectedly, with
classic precision which is almost theatrical.
The scene where Hur meets and crippled dying Messala learning his mother and sister have become lepers, is one of my favourites, dealing with the theme of human intimacy and tragedy in a moving way. Heston's shadowy figure standing in the doorway at Boyd's assertion, 'there Drusus, I knew he'd come,' is beautifully harmonised by Miklos Roza's music. I therefore agree with a comment that Boyd is Heston's foil dominating every scene he's in, making Hur see the incompletness or hollowness of his chariot victory.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every time I see this I get charged April 24 2008
By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
It's definitely one of my favorites of all time because it's got stuff that most movies don't have: Everything. MGM and company unintentionally created a work of popular art that could only be fully appreciated in its original, pristine print, 70mm, super widescreen glory. It is no longer possible to make a film like Ben-Hur. Oh, George Lucas tries with all his computerized graphics, but this is a REAL spectacle, not some virtual one. 8,000 extras, tens of thousands of costumes, a $15 million budget (in the 1950's!), massive sets depict the power of Rome on the grandest possible scale. It took six years to complete production. Yet, its focus remains sharply on the detail, the private human experience of it all. The story doesn't get lost in the enormous vision of the work.

Ben-Hur is a drama at its best. It's the story of a family that had it all, was destroyed and then given their lives back. Ben Hur depicts both the best and worst of the Roman Empire, its glory and progress and the oppression of the less fortunate who lived under its rule.

There are two action scenes that really get my heart pounding each time this. First, the scene on the galley where the slaves are put through a grueling, forced rowing of their ship under the eye of General Quintus Arrius. The way that scene builds with the alternating of the camera from the slaves to the drums to the general, all the while picking up the pace, is quite riveting. Second, the chariot race. Some of the best action ever produced by Hollywood. The race itself keeps people on the edge of their seats. It appears to have been put together close to real time, which makes it all the greater.

Although the movie slows down after the race I am still moved by what happens later.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Major Classic March 29 2011
MGM at its peak, with a very capable acting group. Carries a fantasy story about a man who eventually becomes a Christian. Without many of the distortions about Jesus and gives a fairly accurate view of life under Roman domination and corruption, however clearly missing the true nature of Jewish rebellion and the religous hypocrisy that existed at that time. Much of the picture does not deal with the religous opposition Jesus faced and their role in turning Jesus over to the Romans. However it does accurately protray how many Jews were attracted to Jesus message and flocked to him and adopted his teaching.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very intense Dec 20 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A "must watch" collection... dramatic, intense, uplifting, interesting, and scary at times, showing courage and bravery, agony and victory. I would say; "All you need to know what could happen during a life time."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Permanently excellent movie. June 25 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The overall story, the acting by the main actors and the music of this movie were simply excellent and elegant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! May 18 2013
By Maria
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The movie was brand new and came quickly in the mail. This movie is a classic and and was wonderful being able to see it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ben-Her May 12 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of our favorates. We watch this movie every holiday. Love the no commurial interuptions. The scenes are breath taking. You can almost feel thier pain.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life in those days May 10 2013
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When I first saw this movie it indicated to degree what the times in those days may very weel have been like and tunjust manner in which poeple were treated in those days and what might heave occurred when sometimes it was corrected durong the time that occrrured during the time of the Roman Empire's conquest of the verious parts of what we know as the middle east.
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