Ben-Hur is a 1959 film with a great chariot race, and another memorable scene when the horses come into the tent the night before the race. The rest of this 212 minute long film is a complicated story about Christ, faith, forgiveness, power, and friendship in Rome and the Holy Land, based on the 1880 best-selling novel written by Lew Wallace.
The chariot race is astonishing as it was created without any of today’s computer generated imagery (CGI). Those are real horses (white for good, black for evil), pulling real quadriga, driven by real actors and stunt men, in a wholly created coliseum and track covering almost 20 acres. This segment of the film lasts only 20 minutes, but took three months to film after one year of preparation. The five-story stands were packed with thousands of extras. More than 40,000 tons of sand were taken from Mediterranean beaches to make the footing of the race track. 78 horses, including the Lipizzans (who were from Lipica), were imported from what was then Yugoslavia and trained for five months before filming. More than 1000 workers labored for a year to carve the oval out of a rock quarry. Rome's Cinecitta Studios loaned more than a million props, and sculptors made more than 200 giant statues for the chariot coliseum.
The race begins with horn fanfares and march music, but once the race begins there is no music, just the sound of hooves, wheels, whips and the crowd. Make some popcorn and enjoy the spectacle of magnificent and real horses in Ben-Hur.
We offer this film in a variety of formats, from regular DVD and Blu-ray versions without any frills or extras, to a Blu-ray version with many special features, including the 1925 silent film version.
$59.99 - 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition [Blu-ray]
2 disc version, includes 1925 silent version of this film and numerous commentaries and documentaries about Ben-Hur and the making of this epic
$34.99 - 50th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]
$42.99 - 50th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack
$19.99 - 2 disc, not Blu-ray