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Essay Paper on Ben-Hur

Behind the control of William Wyler Ben-Hur was a gigantic task to be tackled in terms of creating a blockbuster film that was much more than spectacle and special effects. The dialogue of the film contributes heavily to actual quality in addition to the famous scenes involving complex stunts such as the chariot race.

The film starts out set in Judea where Ben-Hur and Messala, his childhood friend, are reunited and still possess a strong friendship. This fact is historically incorrect. So the film starts from the made-up events.

This deteriorates quickly as Ben-Hur disdains the Romans and how they treat his people. Thus, the main plot begins and Ben-Hur is soon imprisoned by Messala and becomes a galley slave. While on the ship Quintus Arrius makes this comment to Ben-Hur, “Your eyes are full of hate, Forty-One. That’s good. Hate keeps a man alive. It gives him strength.” This quote shows how Ben-Hur’s imprisonment has affected him and serves as an example of his character and his determination to avenge the injustice done to himself and to his family by Rome. This part of the film has little common things with history events.

His relationship with Esther is also established as an important part of the film and creates the relationship aspect of this film, which makes much more than the famous action scenes. The movie eventually moves along to the spectacular climax of the chariot scene. Ben-Hur is chosen to race against Messala by an Arab Sheik and thus given the chance to finally exact revenge upon his friend turned enemy.

The scene’s special effects were spectacular for the day and still are a marvel as the stuntwork was complicated and the direction magnificent to create a realistic recreation of what a chariot race might have been like. This part of the film is one of the very few based on real historical data.

Ben-Hur triumphs as Messala’s chariot falls apart and he is dragged to a bloody mess by his own horses. The religious aspect of the film also serves an important role with the end of the film involves the ideas cleansing and purity through the scene where Jesus is crucified and they recognize his sacrifice.

Genre Ben-Hur can be grouped in several categories of films from the 1950s. The first is the blockbuster. Although Ben-Hur was not the first of the blockbuster films of the 1950s it is certainly one of the most recognized.

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