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By Anthony Quinn (Actor), Silvana Mangano (Actor), Arthur Kennedy (Actor), Katy Jurado (Actor), Harry Andrews (Actor) & Richard Fleischer (Director)
Our Price $ 14.44  
Retail Value $ 16.99  
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Item Number 85713  
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Item Specifications...

Record Label   Sony Pictures
Format   Closed-captioned / Color / DTS Surround S
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.5" Width: 5.1" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  DVD Video
Publisher   PROVIDENT #130
ISBN  0012492019  
EAN  0043396077508  
UPC  043396077508  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This sweeping Biblical-era epic stars Anthony Quinn as the criminal Barabbas who is spared death when Pontius Pilate has Jesus Christ crucified in his place. Tormented by guilt in light of Christ's death and confronted by the changed lives of the new Christians surrounding him, he seeks to make meaning of his life against the backdrop of a brutal Roman Empire.

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More About Anthony Quinn, Silvana Mangano, Arthur Kennedy, Katy Jurado, Harry Andrews & Richard Fleischer

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Who do you want? Barrabas, or this man Jesus?  Feb 17, 2008
I find the reviews of this film a bit paradoxical. ANY film depicting any or all aspects of the life of Jesus is gone over with a fine toothed comb, and JUDGED accordingly ("The Last Temptation of Christ" comes to mind), but the story of this "criminal" released by the Roman Governor Pilate by the insistence of The Mob is taken at face value. HHMMMMM.

Don't get me wrong, I liked this film. Anthony Quinn does a superb job, as usual. I suppose Barrabas DID harbor guilt, if he ever gave a moment's notice to the part he played in the history of mankind. In the film we see Barrabas tormented at every turn when people realize it is HE who was spared, so "Justice" could be meted out to "Jesus of Nazareth", a dangerous "rabble-rouser" and Blasphemer. Had he been punished by the Romans for misdeeds as it is told in the film? Maybe not, but it made for good entertainment, eh?

Religious AntiHero Hero!!!  Nov 9, 2007
Jesus dies in your place--would you have conflicting emotions??? It really happened, in a real jail, with a real n'er-do-well, and in real dirt and arena sand!!! It had real prostitutes, real crooks, and Jesus; the destiny of; the fate of; the temptation of; the betrayal of; and the crucifixion of Him! But all that is background--yes, that's right, Jesus is background--but, omnipresent and pervading overall. One of Anthony Quinn's best performances. What would you have done, if you had been a malcontent? Would you have changed? Would your life be the same? What am I talking about? Will you forget about your popcorn???
The struggle with sin, guilt, redemption, people, belief, suffering and God  Oct 30, 2007
"Barabbas" is an Italian film released in 1961 and directed by Richard Fleischer ("The Vikings"). It's a sword & sandal epic that begins where more popular biblical epics leave off, like "Ben-Hur," "King of Kings" and "The Passion of the Christ."

THE STORY: Anthony Quinn plays the titular character, a murderous lout and insurrectionist condemned to die at the time of the trial of Christ. Barabbas' first name was Jesus, so Roman governor Pilate was essentially asking the crowd to choose between Jesus Barabbas and Jesus Christ, the guilty or the innocent, to be put put to death or set free. They of course choose to condemn the innocent so Barabbas is set free. Throughout the rest of his life Barabbas is haunted by Christ's sacrifice and struggles with guilt over his unmerited salvation. His ex-girlfriend is stoned to death for her Christian beliefs, he spends twenty years as a slave in the notorious sulfur mines and then becomes a gladiator. His life is a constant struggle -- with himself, with others, with his beliefs, with his various predicaments and mostly with God Himself.

No one knows what really happened to Barabbas after he was set free; this is a fictional account based on the novel by Par Larverkvist.

WHAT WORKS: The picture was filmed entirely in Italy, including Sicily, and the locations & sets are great and very authentic-looking. The Colosseum scenes were filmed at real Italian amphitheaters, so these sequences have a genuine feel as opposed to the fake-looking CGI Colosseum scenes in "Gladiator."

The stoning scene is truly heart-wrenching. The is the first and only film I've ever seen that shows what a real-life stoning was like, and it's not pretty.

Silvana Mangano plays Barabbas' ex-girlfriend Rachel. Unfortunately her natural beauty is played way down here. Be sure to catch Silvana in Kirk Douglas' "Ulysses" (1954) where she plays both Penelope and the witch/siren Circe. Silvana's beauty is absolutely captivating in "Ulysses," which has far more pizzazz than the comparatively boring "The Odyssey" (1997).

The sulfur mine sequences have a very realistic feel. So much so it may occur to you that, no matter how bad you have it, at least you're not a slave in a sulfur mine.

Jack Palance plays the lead gladiator. He lives for one purpose only: to entertain spectators by killing people in the arena. He thrives on the accolades he receives. What will happen when Barabbas faces him in a duel to the death?

The gladiatorial scenes are pretty much on a par with similar scenes in "Spartacus" and "Ben-Hur" (although, of course, nothing can ever top the spectacular chariot race).

Ernest Borgnine is also on hand in a small role. You can never go wrong with Borgnine.

The score by Mario Nascimbene is ultra-solemn and potent.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: The picture starts off slowly and doesn't really capture your full attention until the stoning sequence, which is a full 40 minutes into the story. In other words, be prepared to persevere for about 45 minutes or so. At the 50-minute mark the mine scenes start and you'll start to lose consciousness of time passing (the film runs 2 hours and 17 minutes).

FYI: The Almighty (apparently) provided an actual total solar eclipse February 15, 1961 to realistically enhance the eerie scenes of darkness, which mysteriously fell across the land after Jesus' crucifixion. The score during this scene is simple, almost non-existent, but truly ominous.

FINAL ANALYSIS: "Barabbas" successfully depicts every man or woman's struggle with sin, guilt, redemption, suffering and the search for ultimate reality or truth. This is not a fun, adventurous or action-packed film (although there's some good action in the gladiatorial scenes). Barabbas' journey is torturous at best, but definitely worthwhile if you're in the proper brooding mood for such a picture.

COMPARISON: Although "Barabbas" isn't as great as other biblical epics like "Ben-Hur" or "The Ten Commandments" or sword & sandal epics like "Troy," it's better than the incredibly melodramatic "The Robe" (which is a horrible film!) and the ridiculously boring "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (how about "The Boring-est Film Ever Made"?). It's on a par with films like "Samson and Delilah," "King of Kings" and "Spartacus" (even though I give "Spartacus" a slight edge).
Portrait of a Soul's Dark Night  Sep 7, 2007
"Barabbas" is a stunning film. Anthony Quinn portrays the criminal released instead of Christ during the Holy Days, and he has to live with the guilt for the rest of his life.
The film is filled with dark scenes and dark emotions. Unlike many films dealing with the story of Christ's death and resurrection, this film presents all the events as hearsay. Neither Barabbas nor the audience is able to witness Christ's resurrection and subsequent appearances--only the word of the faithful is offered as evidence. None of the miracles of Christ are shown--but a truly disturbing scene involving Lazarus, whom Christ raised from the dead in the Gospel account--is presented as a disturbing, spooky figure--who lets Barabbas know he is in the realm of awesome, mysterious events.
Especially today, with the recent news of Mother Theresa of Calcutta's own "dark night of the soul" so current, this is a gripping film that offers no easy solutions to the metaphysical questions it poses--=but it affirms faith as, perhaps, the only recourse for suffering humanity.
Darkness and Hope  Aug 26, 2007
"Barabbas" is certainly not your average Roman epic; viewers should't expect the usual ending of the protagonist living happily ever after somewhere in the lovely countryside. No, this is quite different, a film dealing with human doubt and brutality as well as Christian hope. The plot is dark throughout which honestly seems to add more realism to the film. The acting is good and many scenes are memorable such as Christ's crucifixtion (partly filmed during a real solar eclipse), the stoning scene, the first gladiator fight, and the Great Fire of 64 A.D. Perhaps the most haunting visual shot is the forrest of crosses near the picture's conclusion.
Quinn does a good job at protraying the protagonist, one unusual because of his dark nature. The last lines Barabbas speaks are somewhat ambigous and can be interpred in different ways. Palance gives a sinister performance as a sadistic gladiator that ranks right up there with his performance as hired killer Jack Wilson in "Shane."
Overall, I enjoyed the picture. There are some historical inaccuracies such as the way Roman helments are depicted and the fact the Flavian Ampitheatre hadn't been constructed yet (neither flaw takes much from the film). The musical score was well done. Finally, viewers considering purchasing the film should remember it is dark and fairly violent.

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