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Barabbas (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 77% 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 »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Among the best of all Biblical epics See more (55 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 ... Man Pleading for Release of Prisoner
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 ... Bearded Gladiator

Friedrich von Ledebur ... Officer (as Frederich Ledebur)
Marcello Di Martire
Spartaco Nale ... Overseer
Maria Zanoli ... Beggar Woman

Gustavo De Nardo
Vladimiro Picciafuochi ... Guard with Rufio
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vanoye Aikens ... Prisoner in Mines (uncredited)
Anna Alexandrief ... (uncredited)
Emma Baron ... Maria (uncredited)
Roland Bartrop ... (uncredited)
George Birt ... (uncredited)
Sal Borgese ... Dragged Gladiator (uncredited)
Harold Bradley ... Gladiator (uncredited)
William Lyon Brown ... (uncredited)
Roger Browne ... Gladiator (uncredited)
Colm Caffrey ... (uncredited)
Alfio Caltabiano ... Gladiatior Trainer (uncredited)
Miranda Campa ... Maria's Sister (uncredited)
Omero Capanna ... Citizen (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)
George Ehling ... Roman Gladiator (uncredited)
Jody Excell ... (uncredited)
Karin Faber ... (uncredited)
Arnaldo Fabrizio ... Dwarf in Arena (uncredited)
Audrey Fairfax ... (uncredited)
John Farksen ... (uncredited)
Charles Fawcett ... Old Man Warning Rachel (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)
Carlo Latimer ... Gladiator (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)
Sandro Mondini ... Man in Rufio's Procession (uncredited)
David Montresor ... (uncredited)

Paul Muller ... High Priest (uncredited)
Burt Nelson ... (uncredited)
Remington Olmsted ... Guard in Mines (uncredited)
John Palance ... (uncredited)
Luciano Palumbo ... (uncredited)
Piero Pastore ... Nicodemus (uncredited)
Joseph Pilcher ... (uncredited)

Paola Pitagora ... Mary Magdalene (uncredited)
Sacha Podgorsky ... (uncredited)
Mimmo Poli ... Man in Tavern (uncredited)
Massimo Righi ... (uncredited)
Margherita Sala ... (uncredited)
Amerigo Santarelli ... Gladiator (uncredited)
Gaetano Scala ... Gladiator (uncredited)
Nino Segurini ... Apostle John (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)
Darix Togni ... Lion trainer (uncredited)
Marilyn Tosatti ... (uncredited)

Ivan Triesault ... Emperor (uncredited)
Wladimiro Tuicovich ... (uncredited)
Marco Tulli ... Man Making Crown of Thorns (uncredited)
A. Valentinsich ... (uncredited)
Giovanni Vari ... Worker in Mines (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

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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?

Average Shot Length = ~8.2 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~7.4 seconds.See more »
Continuity: Torvald's own net is supposedly snagged by his chariot's wheels and he is dragged to his death, yet when the chariot comes to a stop his net is tied to his chariot inside the wheel, not on the outside of the wheel where the net was snagged.See more »
[after being released from jail, Barabbas enters a tavern]
Barabbas:Here's a fine sight. Six weeks and nobody's moved!
See more »
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20 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
Among the best of all Biblical epics, 17 April 2006
Author: Martin Bradley ( from Derry, Ireland

Richard Fleischer was a good jobbing director but there were occasions when he seemed inspired. "The Vikings" is one of the great genre movies and "The Boston Strangler" is one of the best police procedural films ever made. This is very much in the same class and has much to commend it. It's biggest drawback is that the early scenes never quite shake off the enforced piety that engulfed Hollywood movies that centered on Christ. Is it any wonder that Monty Python lampooned such movies in their "Life of Brian"? On the other hand, coming as it does from a novel by Nobel prize-winning author Par Lagerkvist and scripted as it is by Christopher Fry, the film is more intellectually challenging than we have any right to expect, (for example Barabbas has a discussion with Lazarus on what it was like to have died and then to be raised from the dead), while at the same time not skimping on the spectacle, (the gladiatorial scenes are superb).

It begins with the freeing of Barabbas in the place of Jesus, then follows him on his own journey of redemption as he realizes that it was through Christ's death that he came to live. It's a theme, of course, as old as the Bible itself and as religious movies go it's a bit simplistic but it does work on a primitive, intellectually jarring level and it doesn't thrust it's religiosity down our throats. Barabbas' journey of discovery is long, slow and painfully questioning and is consequently quite moving.

No one in the large, international cast gets to rise above being a Biblical or gladiatorial cliché with the exception of Anthony Quinn in the title role. He is excellent and had yet to give way to the bombast of Zorba the Greek. Still, neither Quinn's performance nor the film have ever been given their due. Perhaps a movie about the man who lived so that Christ might die proved unpalatable. Nevertheless, it is certainly worth rediscovering.

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