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Ben-Hur Review - The Guardian

The Guardian: In every previous adaptation of General Lew Wallace’s wildly successful 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the instigating event stems from Judah Ben-Hur, the Jewish nobleman, accidentally knocking some stray tiles on to the heads of Roman bigshots as they enter Jerusalem. In 1907 (the 15-minute version), 1926 (Fred Niblo’s luxe and still very watchable silent), 1959 (the enormous Charlton Heston classic), 2003 (an animated version featuring Heston’s voice) and 2010 (a TV miniseries) tiles rained from above, shattering the friendship between Judah and his boyhood chum, the striving Roman tribune Messala. It’s not a stretch to call the poorly manufactured shingles at the Casa de Hur a key prop in cinema history – if not quite Charles Foster Kane’s sled then at least on a par with Wilson the volleyball.

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