A magnificant film, having seen it for the first time tonight. Except I thought Ben Hur (1959) would work better if it hadn't included the Jesus overtones, particularly the arrival of Jesus (nativity prologue) and the cruxifixion/cleansing rain scenes. I have nothing against Jesus; it's just that I think the film would play tighter and emphasize the story better without the religious overtones. In other words, it could have been edited like Spartacus (which has no religious overtones at all) and still make a magnificant (or even better) film. In watching the film, I was reminded by the quote by New York Post in the original trailer for Spartacus: "In same giant class as Ben Hur.... and superior in wit, characterization and romance." Given what I perceive as the unnecessary Jesus overtones in Ben Hur, I'd have a difficult time determining which would be the better film of the two. What's your opinion?