"Over the years it has become the norm for most British critics to attack 'Ben-Hur', with the usual stinging comments of "wooden dialogue", "over-inflated" and "overlong" thrown at it. It clearly looks expensive but it is meant to be an expensive spectacular. It simply looks great and the story is enhanced by effective performances including Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd (who had won a Golden Globe for his performance as Messala in 1960). The sea battle works and the now legnedary chariot race is worth the admission fee alone. To call a religious epic pompous and preachy (as many critics do) is to call the Queen dutiful. This is a religious epic and one of the finest epics ever to grace the screen."