This #1 Epic Hollywood Film Is Making A Comeback And Malaysian Parents Can't Handle It

"I got into a coma after watching it, but it was worth it!"

  • 57 years ago, there was a movie so huge it changed our parents' lives forever

  • To be fair, the obsession was legit: The 1959 classic 'Ben-Hur' is right up there on the list of greatest Hollywood films ever made.

    • Resources used to make the film was unheard of at that time: a colossal cost of USD 15 million using 42 cameras, 365 actors, and 50,000 feet of film (that's almost 34 times the height of the Petronas Twin Towers!)

      The production was so massive that big-time stars at the time like Douglas Fairbanks and Lillian Gish signed up as extras just to get a good view of the shooting. That’s kinda like Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie volunteering as EXTRAS. Yeah, that’s crazy.

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    • Anyone who's watched 'Ben-Hur' will remember the iconic Chariot Race scene. With its own set of directors, 3 months of shooting, and some hushed rumours about a dead stuntman, the scene has long been regarded as one of the most legendary sequences in the history of film-making.

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  • Fun fact: The film was so successful it won a total of 11 Academy Awards, a record that's only been matched by 'Titanic' and 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King' so far

      • Fc50 Image via Agamemnon Films
        (L-R) Actor Charlton Heston, award presenter Susan Hayward, director William Wyler and actor John Wayne
  • Okay, so what was the movie about? Besides the award-winning action scenes, what made 'Ben-Hur' a huge success was its gripping story line.

    • The plot revolves around Judah Ben-Hur, a prince who is forced into slavery when he is accused of treason by his brother Messala, a Roman army officer. Can a humble slave go up against the Roman empire in the name of justice?

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  • The movie was such a big deal for everyone back then, that when we told these Malaysian parents it was making a comeback, they could share vivid details of the movie that they still remember until today...

  • "It was one of the FIRST movies we watched, there were even special sessions for school children to watch it!"

    • "The movie 'Ben-Hur' came out when I was 12 years old and I remember they had special sessions for school children to watch the film. That was one of the first movies we ever went to, and you can imagine how excited we all were!

      The whole class marched two by two to the cinema, which was quite some miles away from Francis Light School. I was paired with my best friend Mydeen Puting (no, it wasn't his real name. We called him that because we found out he was still drinking milk from the bottle). We paid 50 cents for the ticket and even though this was 57 years ago, I can still remember the awe I felt watching the movie. It was action-packed and I can remember the chariot race clearly until today," 69-year-old Uncle Mokhtar fondly recalls.

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  • "I almost died because of 'Ben-Hur' but I wouldn't have it any other way."

    • "I remember there were rumours that the stuntman died doing the chariot scene but then some people said the fella fell out of the chariot and managed to get back on with only a bit of luka on his chin. I don't know which story is true but all I know is that I admired his passion and dedication.

      I was so inspired by the stuntmant's story that I started having dreams of becoming a stuntman myself. I tried some tricks on my motorbike one day, got hit by a lorry and was in a coma for a week.

      No, I didn't become a stuntman in the end but the movie taught me to be brave and have a life full of adventures. Excellent movie, I'll remember it forever," recalls 76-year-old Uncle Ismail.

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  • "I asked my husband if he wants to watch the new 'Ben-Hur'. I thought can manja a bit with him and reminisce about our "date" 57 years ago but he asked my son to take me. Haih, men!"

    • "In 1959, my friend's parents took me along with them to watch the movie, and I remember wearing my favourite yellow sundress that my mother had sewn for me. It was a special occasion for me because it was the first time I got to watch a movie in a cinema!

      The movie was very, very good and I really liked the actor Charlton Heston. Very handsome hehe. I remember the movie was almost 4 hours long and we had intermission in between so we could buy snacks. My friend belanja me ais kepal that time.

      Now that friend is my husband. But he's not so romantic anymore lah!" 73-year-old Auntie Mei sighs.

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  • Despite our parents' rousing reviews about this epic film, we're guessing you probably know close to nothing about the movie...

  • 57 years after its release, 'Ben-Hur' is finally returning to the box office on 15 September with Jack Huston as Judah Ben-Hur. It’s about time we caught up with our parents...

    Watch the trailer here:

  • What stories have you heard from your parents about 'Ben-Hur'? Share with us in the comment section below!

  • How about a little reminiscing of your own?

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