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Barabbas (1961)

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.

Director:

Richard Fleischer

Writers:

Christopher Fry (screenplay), Pär Lagerkvist (novel)
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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Quinn ... Barabbas
Silvana Mangano ... Rachel
Arthur Kennedy ... Pontius Pilate
Katy Jurado ... Sara
Harry Andrews ... Peter
Vittorio Gassman ... Sahak
Norman Wooland 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 Guido Celano ... Scorpio
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

"The motion picture that begins where the other big ones leave off" See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Barabbas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print) (DVD release)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (Westrex Electric Recording) (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Anthony Quinn, Jack Palance and Ernest Borgnine; and three Oscar nominees: Arthur Kennedy, Katy Jurado and Valentina Cortese. See more »

Goofs

When Barabbas is sent to the sulfur mines, a guard chains him to another prisoner by hammering closed an iron link shaped like a 'C' with both ends of the 'C' glowing red-hot. The same technique is shown at least one other time. However, it's not the ends of the 'C'-shape that should be glowing red-hot in order to hammer the link closed, it is the middle, where it needs to bend. Cold iron is brittle and needs to be heated to bend or it will fracture. See more »

Quotes

Barabbas: Darkness... I give myself up... into your keeping. It is... Barabbas.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Solomon & Sheba (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Outstanding religious spectacle with marvelous scenarios and excellent acting by large cast
25 March 2008 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Barabbas (Anthony Quinn) , a thief and killer , is set free by Pontius Pilatus (Arthur Kennedy) in place of Jesus who is condemned to die crucified . Then , Barabbas suffering living anguish by this deed for the rest of his existence . But again he's detained and sent to horrible sulfur mines in Sicily , including terrible work conditions ; there he meets a kind Christian named Sahak (Vittorio Gassman) . Later on , he is brought to a school of gladiators run by cruel Torvald (a sadistic Jack Palance) . In Rome Barabbas meets other Christians (Ernest Borgnine) and Saint Peter (Harry Andrews) .

This epic film contains spectacular scenarios , lavish production and terrific performances . Second movie version of the renowned story based on popular novel by Lagerkvist (Nobel's prize) and previously adapted (1952) in Sweden by Alf Sjoberg . Interesting screenplay by Christopher Fry (who wrote ¨The Bible¨ by John Huston also produced by Dino De Laurentiis) . Top-notch performance by Anthony Quinn , he plays like his previous characters , a Zorba style, adding a little of Quaimodo , though sometimes overacting . Jesus is played by Roy Mangano , brother of Silvana Mangano , Laurentiis's wife . Extraordinary support cast , including prestigious players such as Arthur Kennedy , Katy Jurado , Ernest Borgnine , Arnaldo Foa , Norman Wooland , Douglas Fowley and even Sharon Tate was an extra in the amphitheater scene .

The overwhelming circus scenes were shot in the arena of Verona . Impressive sets produced in high budget , such as the scenarios of the mines and the Roman circus . Magnificently climatic gladiators fights , featured by hundreds of extras and stunning effects . The breathtaking gladiator combats is still one of the best screen fights today , along with ¨Gladiator¨ by Ridley Scott . The Golgota crucifixion scenes were actually shot in a sun eclipse and filmed in Niza . In fact , 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 . Problems lingered on the set and at a cost of over ten million of dollars , it was one of the most expensive pictures of its time and took long time to finish . Colorful cinematography by Aldo Tonti and evocative musical score by Mario Nascimbene . Firstly , the producer De Laurentiis thought in charge direction to Federico Fellini , though he appointed to Richard Fleischer who realizes a quality film-making .


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