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Kenneth Turan's DVD picks: 'Ben-Hur,' 'Far From the Madding Crowd'
Kenneth Turan's DVD picks: 'Ben-Hur,' 'Far From the Madding Crowd'

There’s nothing like an old-fashioned epic to remind us why we fell in love with the movies in the first place, and two new DVDs fit that description to a T. John Schlesinger’s “Far From the Madding Crowd,” taken from the novel by Thomas Hardy, is an epic of the romantic sort, with Julie Christie considering advances from Alan Bates, Peter Finch and Terence Stamp. Consider the possibilities. Also taken from a novel, this one by Lew Wallace, is the classic “Ben-Hur,” with Charlton Heston as the man you want to have in your chariot if a big race is coming up. Five hundred sets, 8,000 extras, 11 Oscars: This is one for the ages.

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