Ben-Hur

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

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

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

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

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

Continuity mistake: Count the number of chariots that start the race. Then count the chariots that get thrown out and the number that finish - there's one too many. There are 9 at the start, 6 get thrown out, and 4 finish.

Continuity mistake: During Ben Hur and Messala's duel on the chariots, Messala's wheel-scythes tear away most of the right hand side of Ben Hur's chariot. When Messala has been thrown and Ben Hur crosses the finish line a few moments later, however, the camera has zoomed out far enough to reveal that his chariot is perfectly intact.

Continuity mistake: At the end of the chariot race, a heavily bloodsoaked Messala is taken to receive medical treatment. While something is done to his legs out of shot (amputation, presumably) an orderly in a clean white tunic leans his whole body weight on Messala to hold him down on the bed as he writhes in agony. When the orderly stands up, we see that his tunic is still spotlessly white.

Continuity mistake: Right before the chariot race, Sheik Ilderim is on Judah's left side, pointing out the spikes on Messala's wheels. There's a shot of the wheels and then back to Judah, where the Sheik is now on Judah's right side. Judah holds the Sheik's forearm as the fanfare starts. Then a long shot, showing the Sheik, now on Judah's left side again, and Judah removing his hand from the Sheik's forearm.

ChiChi

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The sheik actually moves around the chariot to the right side. No continuity error.

You can't assume that the sheik moves. It's not shown and the shots are so quick in succession the sheik didn't have time to move.

ChiChi

Continuity mistake: When the baskets are being loaded to be lowered into the Valley of the Lepers, someone loads two heads of lettuce onto a basket. Just as the basket is being lowered, someone else throws in three more heads. When the basket hits the bottom, there are only three heads of lettuce.

wizard_of_gore

Continuity mistake: At the very end, the scaffold that was used to erect the crosses vanishes between shots.

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)

More mistakes in Ben-Hur

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

More quotes from Ben-Hur

Trivia: Although Martha Scott plays Charlton Heston's mother in this film, she was only ten years his senior.

More trivia for Ben-Hur

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