the story of Judah Ben-Hur, a wealthy Jewish prince living in Rome-occupied Jerusalem, as well as his strong competitive bond with his adopted Roman brother, Messala Severus, who will come to be his main adversary in that climactic race. However, that bond is put to the test when Messala becomes a centurion in the Roman military, eventually returning to Jerusalem as a captain entrusted to command the troops as Roman prefect to Judaea, Pontius Pilate, enters the city, which has been a trouble spot for Rome due to a faction of murderous zealots. When Judah refuses to name names to Messala prior to another eruption in Pilate’s presence, he’s convicted of sedition for the incident, effectively beginning his enslavement in the galley of a Roman warship, where he will presumably be shackled until he expires. The rest of the film concerns how Judah goes from that predicament to ultimately compete against his brother for guts and glory in the chariot race. Oh, and Jesus is in there somewhere too.