Ben-Hur | Chicago Reader


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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