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
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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