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Ben Hur [Import]

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Product Details

  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • Release Date: April 30 2013
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Product Description

In this Biblical epic, Jewish nobleman Ben-Hur struggles against Roman tyranny in first-century Palestine.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa6b0d588) out of 5 stars 65 reviews
41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa68f018c) out of 5 stars Sex and violence without style May 27 2013
By J. M. Cornwell - Published on
Verified Purchase
I have seen both versions of Ben Hur, its earlier black and white version and the 1959 version starring Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd, so the comparison between the 1955 version and this one is still fresh in my mind. I had recently watched the DeMille version before watching this miniseries and the differences are monumental.

I doubt that director, Stephen Shill, set out to make an epic adventure and in that he succeeded. Shill's Ben Hur is a little movie with the emphasis on sex and as much nudity as he could get on the screen to spice up what needs no spice, rather like adding a cup full of jalapenos to an already spicy chili.

Shill's Ben Hur is earthy with a very young cast, most of whom give credible performances, but in whom there is little of gravitas or depth. Joseph Morgan broods well and purses his full lips as often as possible but fails to give more than brooding life to the character of Judah ben Hur. Kristin Kreuk is wasted as Tirzah and Alex Kingston's full blown charms fail to enliven Ruth, Judah's mother, or give her actions any heft or reality. Stephen Campbell Moore as Messala is feckless and rash without the depth of villainy that characterized Stephen Boyd's portrayal of Messala. Morgan and Moore are at best pretty boys playing at being men writ large and end up scribbled small in the sand, 2-dimensional at best, but not 3-dimensional or noteworthy. Jimenez as Athene was by far more interesting, although lacking in definable motives.

Shills' Ben Hur is a low budget bit of fluff with plenty of skin, sex, and nudity that pales in comparison to the 1955 epic saga. An actor with a little more mileage and a better understanding of the times and characters would have lifted this average film from mediocrity.

The scenery is, however, earthy and realistic and small, matching the smallness of the endeavor. In short, there is very little style or complexity in this version of Ben Hur with few standout performances.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa68f03b4) out of 5 stars Modern Story of Early 1st Century C.E. Jerusalem June 9 2013
By Monty Martinez - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Unlike the Heston epic, Christ makes just three cameo appearances. However, this is not a story of religious faith. When present, religion is subordinated in the plot by the movie director to create an intriguing modern tale. This is not a for children-recommended epic, but it is a mature, detailed-filled, contemporary interpretation of the Lew Wallace classic.

At times taking great historical license, this is the story of the Hur family: Their suffering, survival, and triumph over Roman political oppression in 1st Century C.E. Jerusalem. Deeper, this is also a tale of two individuals: one Jewish (Judah) and one Roman (Messala) and their interpersonal bonding as children and their adult psycho-political conflicts. Ultimately, this is an story of power: The Conquerors (Rome personified in the Agrippas, Arias, Pilate, and Tiberias) and The Conquered (namely, the Hur Family, Greeks, Jews, slaves, and other residents of 1 Century C.E. Jerusalem). .

As adult-level drama, the principal actors (the Agrippas, Arias, and Hur) present a tale of an aristocratic member of the Jewish upper class, Judah ben Hur, who painstakingly overcomes great obstacles (unjust imprisonment and slavery at the hands of Roman Military Tribune Messala Agrippa) and who in the end emerges victorious over his Roman oppressors (namely, the Agrippas, Pilate, Tiberias, and, by extension, Rome)..

In the end, "truth" seemingly does win out over "evil": The good does triumph over the bad. The oppressed win, at least for the moment, against the Tiberian imposed Pax Romana. As a bonus, the details of the Wallace book are more finely etched in our consciousness than those presented in the former movie version.

While not recommended for children because of several scenes of the sexual intercourse and of the graphic cruelty and violence, Ben Hur (2010) is, nonetheless, well worth watching.

Thank you.

M. Monty Martinez
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa68f0684) out of 5 stars Couldn't believe how much I liked this! Dec 30 2013
By Ron Hardcastle - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I belong to FSM (Film Score Monthly), a soundtrack discussion group, and we had been discussing this 2-part remake of "Ben-Hur," and I just posted the following there:


Today I watched the 3 1/4 hour "Ben-Hur," the 2010 remake with Joseph Morgan and Stephen Campbell Moore and Emily VanCamp, which I wrote about a month or so ago on another thread, probably about script adaptations, and this was the first time I had ever watched it WITHOUT commercials, and while I liked it back when I first saw it on cable, it has gained considerably in my estimation. I hadn't intended to watch it all, but couldn't turn it off. And it brought me to tears at least 3 times. I believe it was re-edited to lengthen some scenes over what was originally shown on American TV (it's, I believe, a Canadian/German/Moroccan co-production) and there's some slight male nudity as well as some above the waist female nudity that I don't remember seeing when it was broadcast in the U.S. I had picked it up (here) at Amazon for $1 plus shipping and it's one of the best deals I've found in quite some time. HIGHLY recommended.


I agree with some reviewers who bemoan the absence of a Blu-ray version of this, but the DVD is excellent, although I want to advise any who buy this to skip the lengthy flashbacks at the beginning of part 2, which is about as close to a quibble as I can get.

Ben-Hur is portrayed as a sort of Everyman and NOT as the burly superhero as played by Charlton Heston in the remake. And I'm a big fan of that version, having bought it on low fi VHS, then hi fi stereo VHS, then the first edition on DVD, then the special edition DVD, and finally the big and elaborate Blu-ray set. But, as I wrote above, I was quite taken with this version and feel that it stands on its own. And judging by the low prices one can get it here, a real bargain! As I wrote in my title, I couldn't believe how much I like this!
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa68f06fc) out of 5 stars In no way comparable with the 1959 classic April 30 2013
By tbrochny - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a totally 'modernized' telling of the Ben-Hur story.

a. It is not, in any appreciable way, "A Tale of the Christ".
b. It is not spectacular in any sense, as was the 1959 version in so many ways.
c. Its production values are consistent with those of other contemporary television entertainment - technically excellent, but lacking in many of the artistic elements that make for anything more than mediocre storytelling.

Those who love the story of Ben-Hur as told in the William Wyler / Charlton Heston version of 1959, as I do, will probably be left cold, as I was. Viewers not having that standard of comparison will likely find it ok.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa68f0714) out of 5 stars With apologies to General Lew Wallace. Aug. 12 2015
By Grrrr - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Why adapt a book that is Christ-centered ( the title of the book is BEN-HUR : A TALE OF THE CHRIST) and secularize it? If you ever read the book, which starts with the 3 Wise Men and ends with Judah Ben-Hur heading off to Rome to give aid to the persecuted Christians, you know that the whole epic tale (nearly 700 pages long) tells how the numerous characters are affected and motivated by the birth, ministry and crucifixion of JESUS CHRIST. With this lackluster miniseries, the direction the story is taking comes off as unclear.
Major characters are replaced or omitted altogether. The 2 major set pieces of the 1920's and 1959 film versions - the Sea Battle and, of course, the Chariot Race , are underwhelming (and in the case of the chariot race - really tiresome and hard to follow ) in this lame production. The actor playing Massala is all wrong for the part. Ben-Hur, who is supposed to be a good Jewish boy and respectful of his people, faith and traditions is sleeping around with the whore that belongs to Massala's father, a Roman senator. Ben-Hur's mother and sister are supposed to be stricken with leprosy, but they don't look so bad that a little Clearasil couldn't make as good as new. And as for the actor playing Jesus - he comes off like a college student protestor. Even his walk along the via Delarosa is nothing special. I can't understand why they even bothered to make this-putting aside the original story, this miniseries doesn't even succeed as a good historical saga of Rome.

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