The majority of significant holidays offer movie lovers the chance to revisit a few seasonal favorites by opening their vaults. Everyone has a favorite holiday movie to watch during the Christmas season, a favorite scary movie to watch during the Halloween season, and the ideal romantic movie to watch on Valentine’s Day. You might even add When Harry Met Sally or The Godfather: Part II to your New Year’s Eve viewing list. However, because there aren’t as many “Easter movies,” the Easter season can be a little more difficult. There is only one Easter movie worth a damn, unless you want to waste your time on a family-friendly Easter rabbit flick like Hop or the overlooked Best Picture contender Chocolat.
Although a 1925 movie of the same name told a condensed version of the same epic story, director William Wyler assembled a production that was so ambitious that it endangered the industry’s survival. Ben-Hur required to make an investment in getting its historical elements authentic in order to portray its magnificent story, which included extensive action sequences, a variety of settings, hundreds of original costumes, and painstakingly created architecture. Ben-Hur, loosely based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 book Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, examines the friendship between Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) and Messala, who grew up to support the Roman Empire (Stephen Boyd). Wyler uses the ascension of Jesus Christ (Claude Heater) as a backdrop as the two ex-brothers clash.
The praise and admiration for Ben-Hur are comparable to those for any other historical epic. The movie received eleven Academy Award nominations, breaking the previous record established by Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. In addition, the American Film Institute named it one of the top ten movies of all time in 2007. There is a distinction between Ben-Hur and the more overtly religious historical epics like The Ten Commandments, The Greatest Story Ever Told, or Jesus of Nazareth, even though many of these praises are undoubtedly attributable to the movie’s ground-breaking technological innovations. Ben-Hur is an incredible piece of blockbuster entertainment that is still emulated today, regardless of your level of religious commitment.