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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate PG
Cast
Charlton Heston
Stephen Boyd
Jack Hawkins
Haya Harareet
Hugh Griffith
Directors
William Wyler
Screenwriters
Karl Tunberg
Running Time
212 minutes

Ben Hur
Oft-screened epic, but rarely bettered


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Ben Hur

Plot
Judah Ben-Hur lives as a rich Jewish prince and merchant in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 1st century. Together with the new governor his old friend Messala arrives as commanding officer of the Roman legions. At first they are happy to meet after a long time but their different politic views separate them. During the welcome parade a brick falls down from Judah's house and barely misses the governor. Although Messala knows that they are not guilty he sends Judah to the galleys and throws his


Verdict
The late 50s/early 60s double-hit of Ben Hur and Spartacus echoes across half a century of cinema, finally making peace with Gladiator on the eve of the millenium. Between them, these three have done more than any to scratch the sword'n'sandals epic into popular culture.


Reviewed by David Parkinson

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