Barabbas (1961)

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  10 October 1962 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,612 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 19 critic

Barabbas, the criminal that Pontius Pilate induced the populace to vote to set free, so that Christ could be crucified, is haunted by the image of Jesus for the rest of his life.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Norman Wooland ...
Joseph of Arimathea (as Arnoldo Foa')
Michael Gwynn ...
Laurence Payne ...
Guido Celano ...


Epic account of the thief Barabbas, who was spared crucifixion when Pilate manipulated the crowd into to pardoning him, rather than Jesus. Struggling with his spirituality, Barabbas goes through many ordeals leading him to the gladiatorial arena, where he tries to win his freedom and confront his inner demons, ultimately becoming a follower of the man who was crucified in his place. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Now! Step Into a World of Passion and Upheaval See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

10 October 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barabbas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(TCM print) (DVD release)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (Westrex Electric Recording) (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 36131 delivered on 19-12-1961. See more »


The knives on the wheels of Torvald's chariot appear and disappear. See more »


Peter: [Arrested for arson, Barabbas has been brought to the dungeons housing the Christians falsely accused of the act] This burning city is no work of ours. This isn't how the new kingdom is going to be made. You were wrong.
Barabbas: Who are you to tell me I'm wrong?
Peter: Many years ago, we spoke together. Do you remember?
Barabbas: No.
Peter: You asked me why I was making a net so far from the sea.
Barabbas: Jerusalem. The street of the potters.
Peter: You were as mistaken then as you are again now.
Female Christian: We didn't set fire to the city.
Male Christian: You've done the...
See more »


Version of Barabbas (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

An Intelligent, Sane, Thoughtful, Moving Film: Mel Gibson Had Nothing To Do With It
31 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is a first-class, reverent film that doesn't fall into Hallmark-card empty kitsch on one hand, or Mel Gibson's sado-masochistic porn on the other. This movie does not insult the subject-matter or the audience, and that's rarer than we might like.

Special credit goes to Aldo Tonti's Rembrandt lighting, consistently a joy. Mario Nascimbene's musical score rises above his usual brutality to real eloquence. The acting is without weakness, Quinn, Borgnine, Jurado and Andrews putting aside their sometimes numbing predictability for this special occasion. Richard Fleischer's direction is punchy without being vulgar, serious but not ponderous.

There are some awful religious films out there. This is thankfully not one of them. It's definitely worth the viewing for Christians and non-Christians alike.

31 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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