Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 3hr 37m (including 15mins intermission)
Part 1 – 2hr 7mins
Intermission – 15 mins
Part 2 – 1hr 15mins
For this year’s St Albans Roman Festival and in celebration of the film’s 60th anniversary we bring you William Wyler’s multi-Oscar-winning epic.
Before CGI made it possible to digitally render any vision imagined, Wyler had to do it for real, with gigantic sets of incredible scale populated by tens of thousands of extras. The film was, at the time, the most expensive movie ever made, costing $15 million (going twice over budget!), but the money is all on screen: the military parades, the sea battles and, most memorably of all, the chariot race – the arena is the largest set ever built.
But for all the scale this is a human story of one betrayed man’s search for vengeance. Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston), the eldest son of a wealthy Jewish family, is falsely accused of insurrection and thrown into slavery by Roman nobleman and boyhood friend Messala (Stephen Boyd). His fight to reclaim his status and good name takes him on a years-long journey across the ancient world.
The film has gone on to become a classic of cinema, succeeding both at the box office and with critics – winning an unsurpassed 11 Oscars.