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Barabbas (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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Barabbas -- Anthony Quinn stars as the thief/murderer freed by Pontius Pilate instead of Jesus of Nazareth. Thefilm deals with his faith and his conscience.


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Up 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Christopher Fry (screenplay)
Pär Lagerkvist (novel)
View company contact information for Barabbas on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 October 1962 (USA) See more »
"The motion picture that begins where the other big ones leave off" See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 3 nominations See more »
(11 articles)
"Barabbas": The Greatest Story Never Told
 (From SneakPeek. 18 March 2013, 6:39 AM, PDT)

Reelz Original Series Barabbas Releases Teaser Trailer
 (From ReelzChannel. 16 October 2012, 2:52 PM, PDT)

Ernest Borgnine dies aged 95
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 9 July 2012, 6:50 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The Mighty Quinn eludes the cross...for a while. See more (51 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Anthony Quinn ... Barabbas

Silvana Mangano ... Rachel

Arthur Kennedy ... Pontius Pilate

Katy Jurado ... Sara

Harry Andrews ... Peter

Vittorio Gassman ... Sahak
Norman Wooland ... Rufio

Valentina Cortese ... Julia

Jack Palance ... Torvald

Ernest Borgnine ... Lucius

Arnoldo Foà ... Joseph of Arimathea (as Arnoldo Foa')
Michael Gwynn ... Lazarus
Laurence Payne ... Disciple

Douglas Fowley ... Vasasio
Guido Celano ... Scorpio
Enrico Glori
Carlo Giustini ... Officer (as Carlo Giutini)
Giovanni Di Benedetto ... Officer (as Gianni Di Benedetto)
Robert Hall ... Commander of Gladiators
Rina Braido ... Tavern Reveler
Nando Angelini
Tullio Tomadoni ... Blind Man
Joe Robinson ... Gladiator
Friedrich von Ledebur ... Officer (as Frederich Ledebur)
Marcello Di Martire (as Marcello di Martire)
Spartaco Nale ... Overseer
Maria Zanoli ... Beggar Woman
Gustavo De Nardo
Vladimiro Picciafuochi
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vanoye Aikens ... (uncredited)
Anna Alexandrief ... (uncredited)
Emma Baron ... Maria (uncredited)
Roland Bartrop ... (uncredited)
George Birt ... (uncredited)
Salvatore Borghese ... Dragged Gladiator (uncredited)
William Lyon Brown ... (uncredited)
Colm Caffrey ... (uncredited)
Alfio Caltabiano ... (uncredited)
Miranda Campa ... Maria's Sister (uncredited)
E. Cardone ... (uncredited)
James Frank Clark ... (uncredited)
Livia Cordaro ... (uncredited)
Dave Crowley ... (uncredited)
Dale Cummings ... (uncredited)
Ralph Dammers ... (uncredited)
Carolyn De Fonseca ... Woman at Tavern (uncredited)
Jim Dolen ... (uncredited)
Vera Drudi ... Salome (uncredited)
Georges Ehling ... (uncredited)
Jody Excell ... (uncredited)
Karin Faber ... (uncredited)
Audrey Fairfax ... (uncredited)
John Farksen ... (uncredited)
Charles Fawcett ... (uncredited)
Rina Franchetti ... Mary Clopas (uncredited)
Bente Friedrichsen ... (uncredited)
Robert Gardett ... Priest (uncredited)
Maureen Gavin ... (uncredited)
Hela Gerber ... (uncredited)
Eugene Gervasi ... (uncredited)
Larry Hall ... (uncredited)
Fernando Hilbeck ... (uncredited)
John Horne ... (uncredited)
Rick Howes ... (uncredited)
William Kiehl ... Soldier (uncredited)
Giancarlo Lolli ... (uncredited)
Marilyn Lombardo ... (uncredited)
Curt Lowens ... Disciple (uncredited)
Natasha Lytess ... (uncredited)
Rocco Roy Mangano ... Jesus Christ (uncredited)
Maria Marchi ... (uncredited)
Joan Maslow ... (uncredited)
Walter Maslow ... (uncredited)
David Maunsell ... (uncredited)
Ed McReedy ... (uncredited)
Maria Mizar ... (uncredited)
Lucia Modugno ... (uncredited)
David Montresor ... (uncredited)
Paul Muller ... Il primo sacedote (uncredited)
Burt Nelson ... (uncredited)
Remington Olmsted ... (uncredited)
John Palance ... (uncredited)
Luciano Palumbo ... (uncredited)
Piero Pastore ... Nicodemus (uncredited)
Joseph Pilcher ... (uncredited)

Paola Pitagora ... Mary Magdalene (uncredited)
Sacha Podgorsky ... (uncredited)
Massimo Righi ... (uncredited)
Margherita Sala ... (uncredited)
Gaetano Scala ... Gladiator (uncredited)
Nino Segurini ... Apostle John (uncredited)

Simone Signoret ... (uncredited)
Honoré Singer ... (uncredited)
John Stacy ... Beggar (uncredited)
Malis Stroyberg ... (uncredited)
Dan Sturkie ... (uncredited)

Sharon Tate ... Patrician in Arena (uncredited)
Peter Tavis ... (uncredited)
Jacopo Tecchi ... Apostle Thomas (uncredited)
Marilyn Tosatti ... (uncredited)
Ivan Triesault ... Emperor (uncredited)
Wladimiro Tuicovich ... (uncredited)
A. Valentinsich ... (uncredited)
Richard Watson ... (uncredited)
Veronica Wells ... (uncredited)
Jay Weston ... (uncredited)
Christa Windish-Graetz ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Fleischer 
Writing credits
Christopher Fry (screenplay)

Pär Lagerkvist (novel "Barabbas")

Nigel Balchin  uncredited
Diego Fabbri  uncredited
Ivo Perilli  uncredited
Salvatore Quasimodo  Italian dialogue (uncredited)

Produced by
Dino De Laurentiis .... producer
Luigi Luraschi .... associate producer
Original Music by
Mario Nascimbene 
Cinematography by
Aldo Tonti (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Raymond Poulton 
Alberto Gallitti (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Mario Chiari (art direction)
Costume Design by
Maria De Matteis 
Production Management
Bud Spencer .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
Art Department
Maurizio Chiari .... set dressing
Elio Bonadonna .... stunts (uncredited)
Friedrich von Ledebur .... additional stunts (uncredited)
Nazzareno Zamperla .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Nazzareno Zamperla .... stunts (uncredited)
Music Department
Franco Ferrara .... conductor
Ennio Morricone .... music arranger (uncredited)
Other crew
Ralph Serpe .... assistant to producer
Crew verified as complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
137 min (TCM print) (DVD release)
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Mono (Westrex Electric Recording) (35 mm prints)

Did You Know?

Anthony Quinn was appearing on Broadway in "Becket" (as King Henry II) when he was approached to appear in this film. Producer Dino De Laurentiis had to buy up his Broadway contract to secure his release from the play - something Quinn was anxious for him to do, as he greatly disliked his co-star, Laurence Olivier. After Quinn had departed, Olivier continued in the play, but took over Quinn's part instead of continuing in the title role.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
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?
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 work of the wild beasts of the emperor.
Female Christian:Are you a lunatic?
See more »
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16 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
The Mighty Quinn eludes the cross...for a while., 16 November 2004
Author: Poseidon-3 from Cincinnati, OH

Whatever happened to that guy who was let off the hook when Jesus was crucified? Here is a fictional account of his life after he was released in Jesus' place. Quinn plays the title character, a thief and rabble-rouser who is set to be crucified when a technicality allows one prisoner to be released due to a holy day. It is brought up in order to free Jesus, but the crowd instead calls for Barabbas' freedom and stay of execution. Quinn spots Jesus briefly through piercing sunlight, then finds himself touching the blood that he's left on a post. He shakes it off and returns home only to find that his lover (Mangano) has fallen under Jesus' spell and won't play anymore. Soon, he has returned to his old ways and when he's arrested, he discovers he can't be killed due to the same technicality that freed him the first time! So he's shipped off to a harrowing sulfur mine where he is chained to man after man, each of them dying in turn until he's paired with an ideological Christian (Gassman.) Circumstances then lead this pair to the Roman Coliseum where they are trained in the art of gladiatorial combat and must face down the deranged and powerful Palance. As the many years go by, Quinn finds himself tempted to believe in Jesus, but always wavering until finally he must make a choice. The film is epic in story and scope with several memorable sequences including a solar eclipse, a stoning execution, a cataclysmic cave-in and a spectacular visit to the Coliseum. The film must be seen in its wide-screen format in order to appreciate the magnitude of its composition. Quinn gives an understated performance with surprisingly little dialogue. His grunting, mumbling approach near the beginning fortunately gives way to a more comprehensible, accessible performance later. The film has a parade of famous actors each of whom is billed in order of appearance except for Mangano (who unfairly gets special treatment due to her marriage to the producer!) It's really Quinn's show, but several others get a chance to shine. Gassman is given a heroic and dignified role, Andrews adds weight to the film with his surehanded presence and Palance is quite notable as the unbeatable gladiator. With his ear-to-ear, snarling grin and his stony stares at his opponents, he presents a formidable foe in the arena. The production is quite eye-filling and visually arresting, but also relentlessly downbeat. Jurado, as Quinn's second favorite bed-mate, adds a little earthy humor to the proceedings, but is dispatched without much ado. There is a tad of unintentional humor along the way thanks to some of the conventions of film-making at the time, but mostly from the entire sequence featuring Lazarus, recently risen from the dead and not looking too great for it! The hysterically wan and creepy looking performer does little to encourage anyone's desire to be resurrected! It's an oddly under-appreciated film, though, which can stand proudly aside its cousins such as "Ben-Hur" and "Spartacus".

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