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Ben-Hur (Widescreen)

Charlton Heston , Jack Hawkins , William Wyler    G (General Audience)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
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Ben-Hur (Widescreen) + Ten Commandments + The Robe (Bilingual)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

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

After his boyhood friend Messala's fanatic loyalty to Rome makes him a powerful enemy, Judah Ben-Hur is found guilty of an attempted murder he did not commit. His family is banished and he is enslaved on a warship. Through his ferocity in a raging sea battle, he is able to escape and become a horse trainer. To exact his revenge, Ben-Hur decides to compete against Messala in the Roman chariot races. They race, locked in a battle to the death. Barely surviving, Ben-Hur forsakes the sword for Christ and finally finds redemption. Winner of a record 11 Academy Award, including Best Picture and Actor (Charlton Heston).

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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
Format:DVD
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
Format:DVD
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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By Andrew C. Miller TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
BEN-HUR [1959] [3-Disc Edition 50th Anniversary Edition] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] METICULOUSLY RESTORED FRAME BY FRAME AND DIGITALLY REMASTERED!

Meticulously restored frame by frame and digitally re-mastered. This High-definition Blu-ray 3 disc masterpiece, hits greater heights with the arrival of this stunning visual splendour, thundering action and towering drama of this record-setting winner of 11 Academy Awards ® including Best Picture. Charlton Heston brings physical and moral presence to his Best Actor Oscar® winning his role of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish nobleman in Palestine, whose heroic odyssey includes enslavement by the Romans, vengeance against his tormentors during a furious arena spectacular chariot race and the fateful encounters with Jesus Christ, Best Director Oscar ® winner William Wyler masterfully grips the reign of an enduring and spellbinding spectacular. Narrated by Finlay Currie.

FILM FACT: Ben-Hur was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won an unprecedented 11. Ben-Hur also won three Golden Globe Awards – Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for Stephen Boyd – and received a Special Achievement Award (which went to Andrew Marton for directing the chariot race sequence). Charlton Heston was nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama category, but did not win. The picture also won the BAFTA Award for Best Film, the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film, and the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Motion Picture for William Wyler's masterful direction.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very intense
A "must watch" collection... dramatic, intense, uplifting, interesting, and scary at times, showing courage and bravery, agony and victory. Read more
Published 8 months ago by DocTrudy
5.0 out of 5 stars Permanently excellent movie.
The overall story, the acting by the main actors and the music of this movie were simply excellent and elegant.
Published 14 months ago by Albert Dean
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
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.
Published 15 months ago by Maria
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben-Her
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.
Published 15 months ago by B L Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Life in those days
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... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Clarence Huibers
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Hur (1959 movie)
This movie is done perfectly - no wonder received 11 Oscars.
Good action, very nice decorations and costiumes. Charlton Heston plays Ben Hur great.
Very touchy! Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mitch Lewicki
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Classic Blu-rays
When I first saw Ben-Hur on VHS, I remember being wowed by the spectacle. When it was released on DVD, I was still wowed, but also disappointed with the faded colour palate which... Read more
Published on May 2 2012 by ianthecool
5.0 out of 5 stars Major Classic
MGM at its peak, with a very capable acting group. Carries a fantasy story about a man who eventually becomes a Christian. Read more
Published on March 29 2011 by TDN
4.0 out of 5 stars Ben Hur
This movie is as good as when it came out and hasn't lost any of its qualities.
It can be watched again and again. Read more
Published on March 19 2010 by J. Bellemare
5.0 out of 5 stars An ageless movie
I had seen this movie decades ago and had almost completely forgotten the plot. So, it was a pleasure to rediscover an intricate story with many surprising twists in it. Read more
Published on July 10 2009 by R. Paquette
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