★★★★★ ★★★★★ by 3 Users
Entire new frontiers in boredom were opened up by this MGM whopper from 1959, produced at the then staggering cost of $15 million (hardly enough to pay for a mid-80s Dudley Moore vehicle). It swept both the Academy Awards and the nation's box offices, though if you can keep both eyes open through its whole three-hour length you're a better man than I am. Charlton Heston is the Jewish prince sold into slavery by a traitorous boyhood friend (Stephen Boyd). William Wyler directed, though the famous chariot race—worth rousing yourself for—is the work of second-unit director Andrew Marton. With Jack Hawkins, Martha Scott, Cathy O'Donnell, and Hugh Griffith.

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Reviews / Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

★★★★★ ★★★★★

"Kehr is known for disliking many movies which are generally regarded as masterpieces"

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Posted by FGFM on 06/07/2011 at 4:45 PM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

What planet is this Dave Kehr on.He dismisses a movie that won 11 oscars as boring.
It was directed by one of hollywoods greats who was famous for bringing out the best in the
actors.It was watched and enjoyed by millions.yet Mr Kehr finds it boring.A real sad man.I wonder what he finds interesting

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Posted by lopez on 06/07/2011 at 4:19 PM

Ben-Hur is a masterpiece. It's a pity that in this age or pre-digested crap where a movie's entire plot has to be told to the audience in ten words or less within the first fifteen minutes of exposition that Kehr and others like him have forgotten that art - true art - is not about hitting the audience over the head and then bombarding them with a litany of SFX that could anesthetize a whale. What Kehr fails to appreciate is that Ben-Hur is an odyssey of epic proportions. Today's movies are merely an intrusion on our collective consciousness that have all but turned movies to rot fit only for the compost heap of time.

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Posted by NZ on 04/25/2013 at 2:03 PM

I get a kick out of Dave Kehr. I usually admire his work but he does enjoy rocking the Hollywood boat from time to time. What I love about this film is its boldness. Its grandeur and high drama (I can't call it melodrama because the story is so lofty) gets me every time. From the first frame to the last this film is letting you know that it is a work of art. Sure it's long and Wyler takes his time and lets his actors act, often times without words at all. Whether you believe in this story of the Christ or not, you can't call on eo f our greatest entertainments of all time "boring." Get the newest DVD and enjoy yourself. We may never see a movie this spectacular again.

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Posted by Randall Postiglione on 08/16/2013 at 11:40 PM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

I've got to agree with Dave Kehr on this one. I saw it about 15-20 years ago in an original 70mm print at the Cinerama Dome, and I also had a hard time staying awake. And if Oscar accumulation was the gold standard of quality, then we'd all have to agree that "The Greatest Show on Earth" was one of the masterpieces of 1952 ... and that Alfred Hitchcock and Howard Hawks were also-ran directors. (I might give Ben-Hur one more shot. The NY Film Festival is screening a digitally restored print next month, complete with 6-track stereo.)

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Posted by Joseph Angier on 08/30/2011 at 12:24 PM
Showing 1-5 of 5

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