At the end of a capsule review of William Wyler‘s Ben-Hur, Pauline Kael asked, “Has anyone ever been able to detect the contributions to the script of Gore Vidal, Christopher Fry, and S.N. Behrman? Could they?” They could here, I think, in a discussion of messiahs and gods. Five words — “Quite profound, some of it” — sound like they belong to Vidal.

And I’ve always loved the way Stephen Boyd gestures and glances twice at the sky as he derisively refers to God, whom he refers to as “that.”