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Customer Review

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue movie classic gets the full treatment, 16 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Ben Hur (4 Disc Special Edition) [1959] [DVD] (DVD)
At long last, one of the greatest movies ever made, finally gets released as a collectors edition DVD. And what a collection it is!! The movie, the original 1925 version, and special features including commentaries, 3 documentaries, trailers and speeches from the oscars all crammed onto 4 discs.
What can be said, that hasn't already been said about this epic?? Faultless performances from the likes of Hugh Griffiths, Glengormley born actor Stephen Boyd (Messala), and the excellent Charlton Heston in the lead role. Brilliant music score and breath-taking action (to name but a few!) It's the sort of film that shouldn't just be viewed on a Good Friday afternoon!
The real gem in this collection has to be the restored 1925 original silent version. It's amazing to watch this and to compare it to its more famous remake. The 1925 version seems to focus more on the "tale of the Christ." Scenes such as the nativity and the last supper are particularly memorable with it's beautiful use of colour. It's also quite a shocking film (for it's time) with images of semi nudity and quite grotesque scenes of violence (bodies and heads impaled on spikes and swords). But don't let that put you off. Despite its flaws, even the chariot race is as spectacular to watch. Carl Davis' musical score is superb, and also quite Wagnerian in style. (Any of you musical buffs might recognise the clever use of the 'Dresden Amen' used to symbolise Jesus).
This is a must buy! It deserved it's 11 oscars, and it deserves to be viewed over and over again. Even if, like me, you already have it on video, and the first DVD that was released. I'm still delighted that it has finally come out in a special edition.
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