#72 Ben-Hur

I started watching Ben-Hur at 3:30 this afternoon. I did stop for brief family conversation and a trip out to Office Max, and watched Dancing with the Stars as well, but it’s 9:42 as I write this and IT’S STILL GOING!!!!

So if you can get over the length of the film, it is actually quite good. The epic movie was contrived by movie studios in the 1950s to get people away from their televisions. They had to make films worth the consumer’s time and money. Shot in Technicolor, featuring lavish sets, a moving score, and a timeless story, Ben-Hur is worth however long it takes to get through it.

I always thought it was the story of a chariot racer, but that is not at all true. What is most interesting is the juxtaposition of Judah Ben-Hur against Jesus Christ. They are roughly the same age and their paths cross several times. While Christ’s life and mission involved mercy and compassion, Ben-Hur spent much of his life motivated by avenging the injustice shown to his family by the Romans. However, in the end, it is mercy and compassion that emerge as the primary message. A good lesson for all, since I know few people in this world who haven’t felt betrayed at some point in life.

So to sum up, a good movie for a snow day, or a hot and humid day…

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