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
First cinema movie collaboration of actors Ernest Borgnine and Anthony Quinn. The films were: Barabbas (1961), Jesus of Nazareth (1977), and High Risk (1981). The three pictures were all made in different decades: the 1960s, the 1970s, and the 1980s. The first and last of the joint ventures were made and released around twenty years apart. See more »
The gladiators are fighting in an huge amphitheater, clearly intended to be the Colosseum, but since the action is taking place during the reign of Nero (St Peter is alive in Rome) the Colosseum will not be completed for at least another 15 years. See more »
[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.
Who are you to tell me I'm wrong?
Many years ago, we spoke together. Do you remember?
You asked me why I was making a net so far from the sea.
Jerusalem. The street of the potters.
You were as mistaken then as you are again now.
We didn't set fire to the city.
You've done the...
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An Intelligent, Sane, Thoughtful, Moving Film: Mel Gibson Had Nothing To Do With It
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.
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