For Your Lenten Friday Night at the Movies I: Ben Hur

Ben Hur has an encounter with the Christ

You’d think I’d be embarrassed to admit that I’ve never watched all of the movies that were awarded the most (11) Academy Awards. There’s a three way tie, you know. Titanic (1997)? Watched it. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)? Watched it. Ben Hur (1959)?

Well, I watched the chariot race. Does that count? And I remember flipping through the channels once while Ben Hur was doing the galley slave thing, to the command “Ramming Speed!”.

But sit down and watch the whole movie? Never. It goes without saying that I never read the book. Oops, I said it.

This all changes tonight though. Cue up the trailer for a taste,

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The scenes! The score! The drama! The encounter with Christ! The cast!

Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur
Jack Hawkins as Quintus Arrius
Haya Harareet as Esther
Stephen Boyd as Messala
Hugh Griffith as Sheik Ilderim
Martha Scott as Miriam
Cathy O’Donnell as Tirzah
Sam Jaffe as Simonides
Finlay Currie as Balthasar and the narrator
Frank Thring as Pontius Pilate
Terence Longdon as Drusus
George Relph as Tiberius Caesar
André Morell as Sextus

So we sup tonight on spinach lasagne, garlic bread, a small salad with vinaigrette dressing, washed down with an ice cold, hearty, ale. Then, we fire up the popcorn maker, and settle in for the grand daddy of Oscar Blockbusters.

I suspect I’ll think to myself, “Why did I wait so long to watch this movie?” That’s what happened with The Sound of Music.

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