One of the best use of child actors in cinema since Carol Reed's "Oliver!"
Bored destiny of an exile, whose wounds are healed, and now wants to go to Haifa in Israel! Where many exiles have returned.
Deserved to win the Oscar for best screenplay for which it was nominated.
Viewing the film a second time after 50 years, this film is still a good thriller and less of a horror film as most people classify it. Very good performances to boot.
Few realize that the author of the story wrote "Psycho" directed by Hitchcock, and that the director of the film produced "Rosemary's Baby."
I have not read the novel and I have not seen the earlier Swedish film by director Alf Sjoberg--both are great works, I believe.
What is great about Fleischer's "Barabbas"? The casting is accidentally superb--Yul Brynner was to play the Quinn part initially. And this is arguably Quinn's best work. So is the case of Sylvano Mangano, again the most memorable work of hers. Jack Palance, Arthur Kennedy and Ernest Borgnine are fascinating. Ms Mangano's brother plays the cameo of Jesus.
For the religious, the eclipse during the crucifiction of Christ was real, not a studio trick. At the same time one needs to know that director Fleischer had planned it in advance. It was not a "miracle" at all.
Starting from the amazing low-angle opening shot of the film, the film has very creditable photography. The cinematographer is Aldo Tonti who gave us the lovely images in Fellini's classic "Night of Cabiria" (1957).
For me, "Barabbas" is the best Biblical and the best sword-and-sandals work Hollywood and Cinecitta ever made. A miracle by itself, not just the mere work of a great novelist! A great subject to meditate on--darkness versus light, thanks to the author of the Nobel-Prize winning novel.
Fricke's shots of Mecca were outstanding in Samsara. He blatantly copies shots of Arizona that Koyaanisqatsi had done earlier. Skyscraper shots, indigenous folks were part of the Reggio equation that Fricke re-uses without the philosophy behind Reggio's choices.
Further, Fricke's choice of music lacks the class of the Reggio-Philip Glass collaboration. Give me Koyaanisqatsi any day--it is one of my top 100 films ever made, with the same Fricke behind the camera but philosophic Reggio deciding what to do at each stage of filmmaking..