I loved Jack Hawkins in this movie. As Quintus Arrius, the Roman Consul and naval commander, his bitter resignation that life has no meaning one would suspect arose after the death of his son. Now bitter, and determined to due his duty, life holds no meaning for him. His surprise at the resolute Judah Ben-Hur, and the affection and admiration he gains for him are one of the pleasant aspects of a very tragic narrative, and it underscores the greater discussion: "Is there a God, and does he care for you and I?" I loved the comment Arius expressed to Judah after he learns that, instead of being a failure, he has been a part of a great Roman victory: "In His eagerness to save you, your God has saved the whole Roman fleet."It is a humorous reminder, and yet very true, that we as men do not have God's perspective, and often will discover He is doing things that we would never have imagined were to His purpose.This is the underpinning of the whole story. The world is never better represented than it is here by Rome, with all of its striving to conquer and rule both the people of the world and the hearts of men. In hating Rome Judah was chained to this world, very much as much as Messala was. The story, than, is about Judah, a man, and God's love for him, God's presence in his life, even when it seemed he was forsaken, His saving hand and His higher purpose.
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