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
The solar eclipse that takes place during the crucifixion scene was the real thing, an event for which director Richard Fleischer delayed shooting in order to capture the ethereal nature of the phenomenon on 15 February 1961. See more »
The gladiator that Tovald kills from the two-horse chariot remains on his back. The next shot, however, shows him on his chest. See more »
Darkness... I give myself up... into your keeping. It is... Barabbas.
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Having been an Anthony Quinn fan for many years, I came across this video recently and rented it. I wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised to see quite a different performance from Quinn. While he had moments of gruffness, for the most part he tackled this role as the confused, tormented Barrabas with a great deal of inner work. The most impressive moments where when his face reflected the conflicts of belief, choice, and commitment. As one of the most famous individuals in history it was an imaginative characterization of Barrabas, much like the other enigmatic individual in Christianity -Judas- as characterized by Ian McShane in Jesus of Nazareth (1977).
Wonderful music score, and cinematography. Notice especially the care given to the staging of the scourging of Jesus in the beginning of the film -silence except for Heaven's angels screaming in anguish. Breathtaking.
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