Betrayed by his boyhood friend, Massala, Ben Hur is imprisoned as a galley slave on a Roman ship and left to die. Saved by a sympathetic general, he sets out to find his lost family. And one day, many years later, Ben Hur and Massala meet once more for a final, violent reckoning as competing Roman charioteers in the Circus Maximus...
The most epic silent film of them all, Ben Hur is a gripping tale of love and revenge. At its premiere in 1925 nothing like it had ever been seen before. The dazzling special effects, thrilling action, glorious technicolour sequences and a cast of thousands helped Ben Hur make MGM’s reputation as the blockbuster studio. The famous chariot race is jaw-dropping even today - captured by forty two cameras, with hundreds of horses and thousands of extras, the sequence was recreated almost shot-by-shot for the 1959 remake with Charlton Heston.
Performing live: Jonathan Best (piano) and Trevor Bartlett (percussion)