In this silent epic adventure-drama adapted from Lew Wallace's 1880 novel, Jewish nobleman Judah Ben-Hur (Ramon Novarro) discovers that he has been betrayed by his childhood friend Messala (Francis X. Bushman), leading to separation from his family. Punished for an accident, Ben-Hur is unjustly forced to serve on a Roman ship, where he becomes a friend to the vessel's admiral, Quintus Arrius (Frank Currier). Eventually, Ben-Hur has the chance to compete against Messala in a chariot race, providing him with a shot at vengeance.
Although this 1925 version of the film was later eclipsed by William Wyler's 1959 adaptation showcasing Charlton Heston, it remains a tremendous example of filmmaking skill. It was MGM's highest grossing film internationally for 25 years. The 1925 Ben-Hur was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2017 as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."