BEN HUR ranks among the most honored of films, taking 11 of 12 Academy awards. The picture starts out with the birth of Christ and the visit by the Magi. Judah Ben-Hur of Judea (Charlton Heston) reunites with his friend, Massala (Stephen Boyd) who becomes the Roman commander of Jerusalem. However, Massala asks Judah to betray his own people by informing on the dissenters. When Judah refuses, Massala looks for an opportunity to frame his estranged friend. Massala does and sends Judah to the galleys of the Roman war ships and sends Judah’s mother and sister to a dark, cold cell. IN battle, Judah escapes, rescues the governor and becomes a Roman “favorite son.” In time, Judah becomes a skilled charioteer and defeats Massala in a daring, action-packed chariot race. Judah then rescues his mother and sister who have become lepers and takes them to Christ. Though it is too late for them to meet Christ, his shed blood makes renews them and regenerates Judah.
There are not enough superlatives to acclaim this picture. Its honors are rightly deserved and its legacy should continue throughout the generations. BEN-HUR contains brilliant ironies and counter-points that tell an undisputable tale of compassion and forgiveness found through Jesus Christ.
(B, VV, A, M) Biblical worldview depicting conversion to Christ and forgiveness; moderately depicted violence which includes strangulation, whippings, impalings, men run over by chariots, and men left to die in the desert; alcohol use; and, revenge themes