Ben Hur returns to DVD in September in style

Warner Home Video is preparing a new DVD version of the William Wyler epic, Ben Hur starring Charlton Heston.

The numbers speak volumes: 100,000 costumes, 8,000 extras, 300 sets and a staggering budget in its day the largest in movie history. Ben-Hur’s creators made it the best, the greatest Biblical-era epic ever. Charlton Heston brings a muscular physical and moral presence to the role of 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. Heston’s charismatic performance brought him the Best Actor Oscar; the winner as 1959’s Best Picture with the legendary William Wyler earning his third Best Director trophy, the film won a total 11 Academy Awards — a tally unequaled until 1997’s Titanic set sail.

Coming as a 4-disc DVD set this fall, “Ben Hur” the release will feature a brand new restored and remastered transfer of the movie as well as 5 hours of extras. These extras include the Complete 1925 Version of “Ben Hur”, directed by Ted Niblo. Three Documentaries will shed new light on the movie and its participants, such as the brand new “Ben-Hur: The Epic That Changed Cinema” in which current filmmakers such as Ridley Scott and George Lucas reflect on the importance and influence of the film.

Also included is the 1994 Documentary ”Ben-Hur: The Making of an Epic” hosted by Christopher Plummer, as well as ”Directed by William Wyler” the 1986 Emmy Award-nominated Documentary featuring the last interview with Wyler before his death.

Further included is ”Ben-Hur: A Journey Through Pictures”, a new audiovisual recreation of the film via stills, storyboards, sketches, music and dialogue. Then there will be newly uncovered Screen Tests featuring Leslie Nielsen and Cesare Danova, Leslie Nielsen and Yale Wexler, George Baker and William Russel, and Haya Harareet Hair and Make-up Tests.

A Commentary Track by Film Historian T. Gene Hatcher with Scene Specific Comments from Charlton Heston is also included, as well as a Reproduction of the 1959 Theatrical Booklet. The DVD will be rounded out by a Vintage Newsreels Gallery, highlights from the 1960 Academy Awards Ceremony and the movie’s Theatrical Trailer Gallery.

The “Ben Hur” Four-Disc Collector’s Edition will be in stores on September 13 and carry a $39.92 price tag. Time to relive the epic like you’ve never done before!

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