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Plot summary

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Sharon Tate Photo
Sharon Tate as Patrician in Arena
Ernest Borgnine Photo
Ernest Borgnine as Lucius
Jack Palance Photo
Jack Palance as Torvald
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
991.68 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 17 min
P/S 2 / 2
2.07 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 17 min
P/S 2 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ma-cortes7 / 10

Outstanding religious spectacle with marvelous scenarios and excellent acting by large cast

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 .

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird7 / 10

Overlong and dully paced at times, but still among the better biblical epics out there

Who cannot resist seeing a film with a cast like Anthony Quinn, Jack Palance, Ernest Borgnine and Harry Andrews? The cast and my general interest in biblical epic films were my reasons for seeing Barabbas. It's imperfect and could have been better, but there are also a lot of fantastic things. And when it comes to biblical epics, while not definitive or masterpiece status Barabbas is towards the better end of the spectrum.

Barabbas is very grand in scale visually. The sets and costumes are very lavish, the use of amber-orange gives the film a very soothing look and there's some truly breath-taking cinematography. The music score is incredibly powerful and the very meaning of stirringly epic. Also in terms of how it's orchestrated and recorded it's quite innovative with its experimental sounds. The script has its foibles but is a vast majority of the time intelligent and thoughtful, Richard Fleischer directs with a fine sense of period and an understanding to using the action and set pieces to their fullest potential and the story has many compelling moments. Especially true to this are the crucifixion set against a real eclipse of the fun, easily the most striking image of the film, and the climax in the arena, which is the most dramatically compelling and entertaining Barabbas gets.

Rachel's stoning(a heart-wrenching moment),the burning of Rome and the sulphur mines collapse are equally unforgettable scenes. The action is very exciting, so much so that it outweighs the film's dull stretches, and emotionally Barabbas is genuinely heartfelt and sincere. The cast is a uniformly talented one and all performances(despite the characters varying in how well-written they are) range from solid to great. Anthony Quinn portrays titular character Barabbas as a tortured, guilt-ridden soul and portrays this very movingly and with a great deal of intimacy. Not many actors succeed in bringing humanity to a criminal but Quinn manages to do that. Of the supporting cast, the standout is Jack Palance, whose performance as the snarling villain Torvald is an evil-incarnate powerhouse.

The film is let down chiefly by its pacing however. Not all of the time, mind, but the first half in particular is very stodgily paced and not always very eventful before properly coming to life in the stoning scene. There are a lot of references to Jesus which were dealt with rather heavy-handedly at times, some speeches ramble on a little too much and lose flow. 137 minutes is actually reasonably short compared to other biblical epics, but because there are some very draggy and not so eventful parts Barabbas to me did feel a little overlong in places. Barabbas is hardly the first biblical/historical epic to have these problems though, and others have done them much worse this said, and I'm usually tolerant of slow pacing and long lengths dependent on the execution of everything else.

And while a lot is done right in Barabbas, other areas are patchy. Also as gently sincere and pretty Silvana Mongano is, she has very little to do in a particularly clichéd and thinly sketched role in a film where only Barabbas has any proper development. To the film's credit, the idea of people being brought up and living life in tumultuous times is portrayed with much riveting realism, so while development is sketchy it is easy to get emotionally engaged and empathise with what the characters are going through.

Overall, overlong, at times heavy-handed in the script and with its dull spots, but with the wonderful production values, powerful music score, emotional resonance, some visually striking and dramatically compelling scenes and strong acting Barabbas still manages to be a good film and one of the better biblical epics. 7/10 Bethany Cox

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca6 / 10

Biblical epic with some outstanding moments

A Biblical epic that today seems forgotten amongst its bigger counterparts (BEN-HUR being the most obvious example),BARABBAS proves to be a rewarding visual experience. And it certainly deserves the 'epic' tag; sometimes it's slow, sometimes it drags out endlessly, but at other times it provides just the kind of spectacle you'd expect from one of these movies.

The first half of the film, once the Christ stuff is done with, is a little slow. Anthony Quinn's titular character is a man difficult to like, and he doesn't seem to do much. Once he gets thrown into the sulphur mines, things change for the better and the film impresses with one massive sequence after another.

Such highlights culminate in the gladiator scenes, which are on a scale to rival those of SPARTACUS or even GLADIATOR. There are moments in the arena, involving lions, elephants, and chariots, which are truly spectacular and incredibly impressive to this day. The presence of Jack Palance as a psychotic trainer is the icing on the cake. Things then move rapidly and inevitably to the moving climax.

Director Richard Fleischer reaches a career peak early on by incorporating a real-life solar eclipse into the crucifixion scene to excellent effect. He also rounds up a busload of stalwarts (including Arthur Kennedy, Harry Andrews and Ernest Borgnine) to enhance the experience. While BARABBAS is a little too ponderous to be considered a true classic, fans of old-fashioned epics will find little to dislike.

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