in about 100 words or less
USA 212m, Colour
Director: William Wyler; Cast: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith
William Wyler’s Ben Hur is a film of epic proportions with a cast of thousands and screen width and running time to match. Despite a plot that is based upon a biblical fairytale with a one dimensional lead character who suffers from an incurable case of overacting, Ben Hur remains a spectacle even by today’s standards owing to its dramatic cinematography and the sheer scale of its famous no-holds-barred chariot race. Relieved of a few of its more melodramatic Christian elements, including the “virgin” birth and the miracle rainfall which somehow washes away leprosy, Ben Hur would be a decidedly superior film-going experience (Klaus Ming February 2010).