Apr 04, 2011 01:11 PM EST
The Ultimate Ben Hur Blu-ray is Coming This Fall From Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
There are many of us who hold certain movies close to our heart. Some remind us of a happy time in our lives, evokes powerful emotions within us, celebrates a special holiday or we just love it for no special reason at all. There are some movies though that go beyond that though, they are lauded as masterpieces, receiving numerous awards and praise. Only a few have been able to reach this level of prestige; Ben-Hur is just such a movie.
The film starred Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur, a rich Jewish merchant living in Jerusalem during the 1st Century A.D. When his friend returns from Rome, with the governor, as the new commanding officer of the Roman Legions Judah is ecstatic. They are happy to be reunited but as they settle into their friendship again they both realize that their political views have changed. His friend now sympathizes more with the Romans and their traditions having lived with them for so long. Things take a turn for the worse during a welcome parade.
A simple accident, a roof tile falls from Judah's house and injures the governor, becomes an overblown situation. Judah's friend, Messala, could easily smooth out any misunderstanding but instead has Judah sent to the galley's and imprisons his mother and sister. Messala offers Judah a chance to reclaim his honor and freedom if he will simply give the names of Jews who oppose Roman rule. Of course Judah refuses to do so and Messala makes him a slave. Through fate and good fortune Judah is able to survive through this awful time in his life, finally making his way back to Jerusalem.
Once there he hopes to free his mother and sister of their imprisonment while taking revenge on his former friend. Shot in 1959, Ben-Hur was the biggest movie of its time. No one can forget seeing it in the theater for the first time. It was projected in Technicolor which was a fairly new process at the time and shown on the widest screen anyone had ever seen. Only 3 films in the history of film have ever won 11 academy awards and Ben-Hur is amongst those three. At that time it grossed $74 million dollars which in today's standards would be the equivalent of $785 million.
Containing 100,000 costumes, 8,000 extras, and 300 sets it is the most expensive movie in the history of MGM. It has been hailed by many filmmakers as one of the grandest and most accomplished Biblical-era films ever made. It is not surprising that after all this time the film is now making its Blue-ray debut as part of an Ultimate Collector's Edition, due out fall 2011. Of course it has been completely re-mastered so that every tiny detail, all the panoramic shots and epic action sequences will explode in front of your eyes.
Along with the film will come many bonus features and a few of those include a reproduction of a personal diary kept by Charlton Heston during that time along with photos and sketches. Another is a video shot by Heston's wife Lydia within the Roman Colosseum . To date there hasn't been a documentary feature like that ever before.
Given the level of work that went into the film itself and that is obviously going into the Blu-ray copy it is clear that Ben-Hur will once again be a smash success for old and new fans alike.
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