Tuesday, March 29, 2016


 While watching the half day long because of all the commericals Ten Commandments (I thought we had the movie on DVD, but we have the movie on VHS and no longer have a VHS player), I saw a trailer for a remake of Ben-Hur.

I love the 1959 version of Ben-Hur starring Charlton Heston. He will always be Judah Ben-Hur to me. It's the version I grew up seeing and the version I can watch over and over.

For my dad, Judah Ben-Hur was Ramon Novarro who played the title role in the 1925 silent classic. I haven't seen this version.

The latest remake is slated to hit the movie screens sometime in August. Jack Huston plays Judah and Morgan Freeman has the role of Ilderim, the Sheik who owned the chariot and team of white horses Judah drives in the famous race (at least the 1959 version).

I'm not sure what another remake will add. Certainly, it will be hard to top the Heston Hur which garnered 11 Academy Awards: Best Motion Picture, Best Director (Wm. Wyler), Best Actor (Charlton Heston), Best Supporting Actor (Hugh Griffith), Best Dramatic/Comedy Score, Best Sound Recording, Best Art Direction (Color), Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design (Color), Best Film Editing, and Best Special Effects.

The movies are based on the novel, Ben-Hur, The Story of the Christ written by Lew Wallace in 1880.  Both the 1925 and 1959 versions included the sub-title The Story of the Christ. The sub-title doesn't seem to be included in the latest incarnation.

Perhaps, the producers want to leave out the  Christianity elements. I wonder what character arc Hur will go through if the Christian elements are left out? Judah experiences love, betrayal, revenge, redemption, and ultimatley forgiveness and these are mirrored, with the exception of revenge, in the historical Christ thread of the story. Not much of a story if the focus is solely on the revenge element and the chariot race (only 11 minutes of the 1959 film)

I've never read the book. Perhaps, it's time to see how faithfully my favorite version followed the novel.

Have you read the book?


  1. Wow. Looks great.
    I used to be a Heston fan...until I listened to what he had to say.

    1. One might not agree with Chas' politics, but you can't take away the guy could act.

  2. I will bite my tongue rather than disagree.....