Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur (1959)

49 mistakes - chronological order

(17 votes)

Continuity mistake: In the first scene of part 2 the Romans are relaxing in the bath. Then the arrival of Sheik Ilderim is announced, and when the camera switches to him the positions of many extras in the scene change, like one masseur in red (first kneeling, then squatting). (00:04:30)

NancyFelix

Continuity mistake: One of the first shots in the picture is a wide angle establishing shot showing a street scene in Jerusalem, with milling people, animals, etc. A tall figure in the background is slowly walking toward the camera. The figure is Charlton Heston, and the shot is an earlier segment of a shot used later in the movie when Ben-Hur is returning home from a trade expedition. Heston's costume is the same, but he's only clearly recognizable in the second sequence. Since the two scenes are set 33 years apart, perhaps the earlier figure is Ben-Hur's father. (00:07:40)

Continuity mistake: When the Sheik is taking down the bets, his man, who handed him the book, is standing behind him with his hands down. When the camera angle changes, his hands are folded. (00:07:45)

NancyFelix

Revealing mistake: There is a hex bolt holding the spikes to the chariot wheel hub. (00:14:10)

Revealing mistake: During the chariot race, where the contestants are riding towards the screen, tyre tracks from the camera vehicle are clearly visible imprinted in the sand. (00:20:50)

Continuity mistake: At one time during the chariot race Judah and Messala are going side by side. Then Judah steers his horses against the inner wall and almost comes to a complete halt. However, an instant later he is abreast with Messala again. (00:26:00)

NancyFelix

Revealing mistake: During the race Judah runs into the remains of another chariot and almost falls off the cart. You can see that the guy who is doing the handstand on the railing is a stuntman. (00:26:15)

NancyFelix

Continuity mistake: During the race, when Ben Hur is about to defeat Messala, his opponent's wheel disintegrates. However, as the chariot flips over, we see a complete wheel on both sides. (00:28:20)

Continuity mistake: After Tirzah causes the tiles to fall from the roof, there is a wide shot from above, showing Judah and Tirzah now standing at a different part of the wall than where the tiles fell. (00:46:25)

NancyFelix

Continuity mistake: When Messala goes to the roof terrace after the tile incident, he checks the loose tiles. He drops one on the floor, and there are broken pieces on it that were not there before. (00:49:35)

NancyFelix

Continuity mistake: After Judah knocks out the prison guards he grabs a spear and busts into Messala's room. Two other guards standing far down the hall start running after him. Seen from inside the room, the guards enter directly after Judah. (00:52:15)

NancyFelix

Continuity mistake: During his brief escape Judah threatens Messala who is standing behind his desk. The arrangement of things on the desk changes many times throughout the scene, most noticeably the three books on the right. (00:53:20)

NancyFelix

Factual error: When Judah is being led to the galleys after Jesus give him some water you see hills in the background, and a highway is going through them. (01:05:10)

Continuity mistake: When Arrius makes the galley do a practice race and finally allows them to rest the oars are going up and down from the waves. However, when the camera is close on Judah the oars are perfectly still. (01:10:55)

NancyFelix

Revealing mistake: When one of the ships collides with the other, you can clearly see that the rowers being hit are dummies. (01:19:00)

Factual error: Emperor Tiberius of Rome was a reclusive and vicious tyrant by 26AD when "Ben Hur" is set. Furthermore, by that time, he had retired to Capri and was rarely in Rome. In the movie, he's the picture of Regal benevolence, basking in the love of the crowds and showering glory on Arrias in victory. In real-life that never would have happened. Tiberius' Governor Sejanus would have presided over Arrias' triumph, not Tiberius. (01:23:00 - 01:26:00)

Continuity mistake: When Judah takes rest on his way to Jerusalem funny things happen with his headgear. First, when he lies down it suddenly disappears under his head. Then he falls asleep, and when Balthasar from Alexandria approaches him a little later and he quickly gets up there is nothing under his head and back. (01:38:00)

NancyFelix

Continuity mistake: When Judah goes to the place where the leper lives, a man tells him it's a cursed place and puts a lettuce or a cabbage on a plate. It has disappeared the shot later.

Dr Wilson

Messala: Sextus, you ask how to fight an idea. Well I'll tell you how... With another idea!

More quotes from Ben-Hur

Trivia: The spectator crowd in the chariot race scene was partially made up of small wood models.

Dr Wilson

More trivia for Ben-Hur

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