||In English with optional English, French, or Spanish subtitles.
||Based on the novel by General Lew Wallace.
||Cinematography by Robert Surtees ; editing by John D. Dunning, Ralph E. Winters ; music by Miklos Rozsa.
||Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott, Cathy O'Donnell, Sam Jaffe.
||Academy Award, 1959: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Cinematography.
||Tale of the Christ
William Wyler's presentation of Ben-Hur
In the seventh year of the reign of Augustus Caesar, Prince Judah Ben-Hur is born into a wealthy Jewish family about the same time as Jesus Christ. He is reunited with his boyhood friend, Messala, who is commander of the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. When Ben-Hur refuses to inform against other Jewish patriots, Messala imprisons his mother, Miriam, and sister, Tirzah, in a dungeon. Sentenced as a galley slave and driven into the desert, Ben-Hur meets the Christ, who gives him water and refreshes his spirit; when he saves the life of Arrius, the Roman ship commander, he is adopted by Arrius and becomes popular and wealthy as a charioteer. During a chariot race against Messala, in Rome, Ben-Hur gets revenge against Messala by defeating him. In Jerusalem, where Jesus is crucified, Ben-Hur is recognized by his leprous mother and sister and learns of Jesus' mission to save mankind. With the help of Esther, Ben-Hur's mother and sister are cured and the entire family is reunited.