Ben Hur (4 Disc Special Edition)  -
Customer reviews (av rating: 5.0):
Garish Colours : Great to have the silent version and the restored version of one of the best films of all time. However, an A/B comparison with the original flipper DVD shows the restoration has been effective in cleaning the print from dirt and visual noise but the colour intensity of the restored version seems to have been turned up to such an extent that it effect definition and skin tones appear orange
One of the greatest films ever made. : Warner Bros.have gone and done it again.You know the story by now so let's just focus on this gorgeous 4 disc presentation.
The print has got to be seen to be believed,crisp sharp,colourful everything this classic deserves.
And what of the extras? WOW!!! First of all you get two documentaries-one from 1994 which was on the 2001 edition but the one made in 2005 is so impressive.
The best extra ever in this reviewers opinion has go to be disc 3 which features the entire 1925 silent version with a new score by Sir Carl Davis.
What more could you ask for? Superb,worth every penny.
Long overdue movie classic gets the full treatment : At long last, one of the greatest movies ever made, finally gets released as a collectors edition DVD. And what a collection it is!! The movie, the original 1925 version, and special features including commentaries, 3 documentaries, trailers and speeches from the oscars all crammed onto 4 discs.
What can be said, that hasn't already been said about this epic?? Faultless performances from the likes of Hugh Griffiths, Glengormley born actor Stephen Boyd (Messala), and the excellent Charlton Heston in the lead role. Brilliant music score and breath-taking action (to name but a few!) It's the sort of film that shouldn't just be viewed on a Good Friday afternoon!
The real gem in this collection has to be the restored 1925 original silent version. It's amazing to watch this and to compare it to its more famous remake. The 1925 version seems to focus more on the "tale of the Christ." Scenes such as the nativity and the last supper are particularly memorable with it's beautiful use of colour. It's also quite a shocking film (for it's time) with images of semi nudity and quite grotesque scenes of violence (bodies and heads impaled on spikes and swords). But don't let that put you off. Despite its flaws, even the chariot race is as spectacular to watch. Carl Davis' musical score is superb, and also quite Wagnerian in style. (Any of you musical buffs might recognise the clever use of the 'Dresden Amen' used to symbolise Jesus).
This is a must buy! It deserved it's 11 oscars, and it deserves to be viewed over and over again. Even if, like me, you already have it on video, and the first DVD that was released. I'm still delighted that it has finally come out in a special edition.
DVD Box Set of The Year? : Movie buffs like myself are being blessed at the moment with new Box Sets of Classic Movies being released in abundance. This new Box set of Ben-Hur, one of the all time great movies which to this day, still holds the record for the most Oscars ever awarded to a single movie. First things first, the set is enhanced with the full version of the 1925 Ben-Hur which is worth seeing for a number of reasons. It is a testament to movie making of the silent era. Profoundly moving at times, and enhanced by 2 tone technicolor images which are a marvel to see considering when the movie was made, it is accompanied by a remarkable music score by Carl Davis whose influence by the music of Gustav Mahler and Richard Wagner is apparant throughout. The chariot race has to be seen to be believed. According to some sources, a few horses were killed during the filming, and if one looks closely at some scenes, collisions between horses are all too apparant. A must see for any movie buff. As for the 1959 version, it is quite simply a masterpiece of digital technology. For this version, the print has been remastered and is far superior to the version released as a flipper a few years back. Looks glorious on LCD and Plasma Televisions. The sound track has been remastered as well and is available in a 5:1 Surround Sound Audio Presentation which sounds superb. There are also more than enough extras to keep movie buffs glued to the set for hours. I cannot praise this Box Set highly enough and it deserves to be the Box Set Presentation of the year. Do not miss it.
A Real Gem : This 4-disc special edition of 1959 version of Ben Hur has already been released in Scandinavia. Nothing more to add to the abundance of previous reviews of the film. Also many of the extras have been released with the previous single disc, double sided DVD-version, including the highly informative and entertaining documantary "Ben Hur - The Making of an Epic", covering the history of not only the 1959 version, but that of the original novel, stage productions, and both previous silent versions (1905 and 1925) as well. However, the real gem in this new 4-disc release is the feature-length, beautifully restored 1925 silent version of Ben-Hur with a stereophonic orchestral score by composer Carl Davis, which, as far as I know, has never been released in DVD format before. Its presence is not very clearly stated in Amazon.co.uk's list of special features, but there it is, at least in the Scandinavian version of this box set. A real bargain, two great films in the same package, and worth every cent of it.
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