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Ben-Hur Blu-ray

United States
Ultimate Collector's Edition Warner Bros. | 1959 | 2 Movies | 223 min | Rated G | Sep 27, 2011

Ben-Hur (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (27.84 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.76:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.75:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
German: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
(more)
Note: Isolated music track DD 2...

Subtitles
English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German SDH, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch… (more)

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Three-disc set (3 BDs)

Packaging
Custom
Figure/replica/props/memorabilia included

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $64.99, Price history

Best Buy: $49.99 (Save 23%)  

New from: $64.99
Available from Amazon sellers

Buy Ben-Hur on Blu-ray Movie

Price
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8.8
484
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 5.0 of 55.0
Audio 4.9 of 54.9
Extras 4.7 of 54.7
Based on 16 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Drama100%
Epic64%
History57%
Period52%
Adventure38%
Biography27%
Action-
85%
popularity
1915
collections
180
fans




Ben-Hur

 (1959)

Ben-Hur Blu-ray comes close to perfection with top scores all around making it one of the best Blu-ray's ever

Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish nobleman in Palestine whose heroic odyssey includes enslavement by the Romans, a bold escape from an embattled slave galley, vengeance against his tormentors during a furious arena chariot race and fateful encounters with Jesus Christ.

For more about Ben-Hur and the Ben-Hur Blu-ray release, see Ben-Hur Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.

Starring: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins (I), Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott
Director: William Wyler

» See full cast & crew


Ben-Hur Blu-ray, Video Quality

  5.0 of 5

Wow. Just stop there and you basically have the gist of everything that can be said about Ben-Hur's astonishing—really breathtaking, and I mean that literally—debut on Blu-ray courtesy of an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.76:1. Is there any other studio that has so lovingly gone back to its iconic catalog (albeit one that officially "belongs" to M-G-M) as Warner has? Once again the studio has returned to the original negative to source new high-res scans, along with a frame by frame restoration, to present this film in high definition, and to say the results are spectacular is something of an understatement. This well over three hour film has been wisely spread across two BD-50's, so kiss any latent fears of compression artifacts goodbye, especially since the bulk of the supplements are included on a third Blu-ray disc. Everything from the copious Roman foliage to the ornate grillwork in the Hur compound resolves perfectly, with precision and absolute accuracy. Colors are incredibly well saturated and those gorgeous Technicolor reds and purples are all that they should be. I came under some passing criticism for my review of Quo Vadis? on Blu-ray some years ago (for another site), but simply pull out that disc if you have it and compare the reds in that transfer to the reds in Ben-Hur and it instantly becomes apparent what a difference a careful transfer, including absolutely accurate telecine color timing, can make for a release. The film is also stunningly damage free, with nary a scratch, speck or other distraction in view.

True aficionados of Ben-Hur on various home theater media know that the film has routinely, if sometimes slightly, been misframed. We finally are offered the full glory of the M-G-M Camera 65 process (Camera 65 was a 70mm format that afforded 65mm for the image and 5mm for the magnetic audio tracks). Wyler worked hand in hand with cinematographer Robert L. Surtees to craft compositions which exploited the widescreen process and those artful displays of vast vistas are impeccably represented on this Blu-ray. Pay special attention to Surtees' expert use of focus, often in different parts of the frame, which also look spectacular in this high definition outing.

Previous trouble spots like aliasing and significant crush have all but disappeared in this new transfer. Shadow detail is often astounding. All sorts of information which was previously murky in such dank sequences as the nighttime scenes at the Hur compound or the bowels of the prison where Judah's mother and sister are held captive are now visible, from shiny rock surfaces to background matte paintings. In fact the increased resolution has one detriment, and that's that some of the admittedly gorgeous matte work as well as some of the miniatures (particularly in the sea attack scenes) are noticeably fake looking. Some of the process photography also shows its seams (literally), with fairly apparent haloing (not in the artifacting sense) around the foreground characters in front of the process backgrounds.

Ben-Hur instantly becomes the gold standard for what can be achieved in high definition restoration and transfers of catalog titles. While it perhaps may not be financially feasible to devote this much care and effort (not to mention copious moolah) to upgrade every catalog release to these standards, other studios (are you listening, Universal?) should take this new release of Ben-Hur as a sterling example of what can be accomplished if there is the necessary support and willpower.


Ben-Hur Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  5.0 of 5

At the risk of sounding repetitive: wow. Ben-Hur has an absolutely glorious sonic component on this new Blu-ray courtesy of a flawless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. M-G-M has obviously kept the original stems and mag tracks of this film in more or less pristine condition, and it shows throughout this stunning lossless presentation. From the first boisterous moments of Rózsa's incredible Overture, the difference, especially with regard to the low end frequencies, is instantly audible and incredibly fulsome. The 5.1 track is gorgeously spacious, with excellent use of side and rear channels, especially in some of the film's most famous set pieces, including the galley scenes and of course the iconic chariot race, which is awash in LFE and incredible panning effects. Dialogue is perfectly placed around the soundfield and is always easy to hear, but on reflection, it's the unbelievably gorgeous Rózsa score which perhaps benefits most from this new lossless audio offering. Brass blasts from the speakers in alarming clarity, while strings sound brilliantly bright but never strident. Rózsa's evocative use of harps and other percussion is also incredibly well reproduced on this new track, adding a whole new luster to one of the most celebrated scores in the history of film.


Ben-Hur: Other Editions




2-disc set
$13.88

3-disc set
$18.49

4-disc set
$26.49

3-disc set
$73.99

1-disc
Wal-Mart

Blu-ray bundles with Ben-Hur (1 bundle)





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Ben-Hur Blu-ray, News and Updates



Gold Box Deal of the Day: Ben-Hur - February 27, 2012

Amazon's Blu-ray Gold Box Deal of the Day affects Warner Home Entertainment's Ben-Hur: Ultimate Collector's Edition. Director William Wyler's Biblical epic stars Charlton Heston (Planet of the Apes) as the title character, a Jewish nobleman who becomes enslaved ...

Ben-Hur: 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Reissue - January 27, 2012

Next month, Warner Home Entertainment will reissue Ben-Hur on a 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. One of the most acclaimed films of all time, this Biblical epic stars Charlton Heston (Planet of the Apes) as the title character, a Jewish nobleman ...

This Week on Blu-ray: September 27-October 3 - September 27, 2011

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was a complete mess. A shallow plot that seemed to be stretched way too thin; comic relief that was way too dumb; and an overall effort that felt phoned-in. In response, director Michael Bay regrouped and delivered Transformers: ...

» Show more related news posts for Ben-Hur Blu-ray


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