Dir. William Wyler. 1959, 212 mins, plus intermission. New restoration on DCP. With Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith. This stunning restoration was one of the highlights of last year’s New York Film Festival. Heston is magnetic as Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur, betrayed by his childhood friend Messala, now a commanding officer of a Roman legion. Judah’s extensive journey—from a slave galley to the film’s legendary chariot race scene—is paralleled by the rise of Christ. Winner of a record eleven Oscars, Ben-Hur is a breathtaking biblical epic that outdid even De Mille.
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