The cinematic tradition of the underdog who has to fight his way to the top against seemingly insurmountable opposition has always held a certain allure—we love these stories because remind us of ourselves, of what each of us is capable of. We’ve all been the underdog at some point in our lives. We’ve all fallen, been cast out, or have lost something or someone we loved, and had to claw our way back up, despite hardship, difficulty, or ridicule. There’s simply something very human about fighting the impossible.
This is the essence of the upcoming film, “Ben-Hur,” the story of a man whose life is taken from him, and of the epic journey he undertakes to regain it. In celebration of its release, let’s take a look at the titular character, and a few of our other favorite film protagonists over the years who have overcome insurmountable odds to achieve their goals.