Ben Hur


by Bernie Lutchman

Ben-Hur is recommended as the movie

 "for such a time as this"

BEN-HUR (1959) Winner of 11 Academy Awards
"Ben-Hur" is a 1959 American-epic historical drama film set in ancient Rome, directed by William Wyler, and starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith and Haya Harareet. 

MGM is in the process of raising capital for a massive remake of the Lew Wallace book, which spurred the classic epic into widescreen movie existence!  A Union Civil-War General, Lew Wallace wrote "Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ" in 1880, and it is still called the most influential book of the 19th century.

Wallace's story revolves around Judah Ben-Hur, a wealthy Jewish nobleman (Charlton Heston) in Jerusalem, AD 26. Judah was childhood friends with the Roman, Messala (Stephen Boyd) who has now become Roman military elite! 

Rome has conquered Judea at this time and ruled Jerusalem with an iron fist, causing conflict between these two long-time friends. When evil shenanigans by Messala against his now ex-friend, Ben-Hur causes him to be taken as prisoner by Rome, and sentenced to time-on-board Roman ships as a galley slave. 

Along the way Ben-Hur and a group of slaves stop in the town of Nazareth, dying of thirst. The locals gave water to the slave gang, but the brutal Roman guards were under orders not to give any to the parched Ben-Hur, until a local Carpenter shows up! 

This is in AD 26, and the Carpenter (whose face is never seen) stands His ground and gives water to Ben-Hur, even while Roman prison guards threatened Him! The audience knows by now the Carpenter is Jesus, with a great lesson of evil shrinking away under the powerful stance of our Creator!

The long narrative sees our hero consumed with hatred for Rome, and experiences many personal trials and victories.  Ben-Hur is adopted by Arias the Roman consul (Jack Hawkins) after preventing him from committing suicide.

Life takes an amazing turn for Ben-Hur as he returns to Jerusalem, a champion chariot racer with a new station in life.  Some of the greatest chariot racing in Hollywood movie-making history takes place under Wyler's direction in this spectacular 1959 version of "Ben-Hur"! 

For the rest of this amazing review please visit Bernie Lutchman's Family Ministry site!  Be sure to check out Bernie's outreach ministry, Businessmen in Christ and pick up a copy of his new book "Danger Zone"!  Follow Bernie on Twitter @BernieLutchman

Also see Bernie's review of "The Mark"