Starring Anthony Quinn in the title role Barabbas was released in 1961 in the midst of a wave of widescreen epics based on Biblical characters. "It begins where the other big ones leave off", declaims the trailer. The screenplay, by playwright Christopher Fry (who also contributed to Ben-Hur), is an unusually intelligent one: listen out for Barabbas' final encounter with the Apostle Thomas, for example. Further assets are the imaginative, sparingly orchestrated score by Mario Nascimbene and a handsome production design by art director Mario Chiari that is so rewarding to the eye in Aldo Tonti's often dazzling cinematography. Like the other Biblical epics of the day, in its original theatrical incarnation Barabbas had an intermission and orchestral intermezzo which is sadly missing from this version. (It occurred at the point where Barabbas emerges from a 20 years exile in the sulphur mines in Sicily, allowing the audience to dwell on his recuperation before we next encounter him. He now appears muscled and bronzed ploughing the verdant fields outside Rome in all too quick a fashion!). Many scenes, such as Christ's crucifixion, are shot and staged like tableaux in a style reminiscent of the great masters of art. And in Fleischer's hands this film surpasses anything Ridley Scott achieved years later in Gladiator: he fills the huge arena--a vast Roman amphitheatre--with a gladiatorial school of hand-to-hand combat, a parade of elephants and a den of lions, and then caps his production with a riveting and thrillingly mounted duel between Jack Palance, careering round the circumference of the arena in his chariot, and Barabbas dodging him on foot. The supporting cast, who sport a variety of accents call for some tolerance, however. On the DVD: Barabbas on disc comes devoid of any extra features other than trailers for it and another contemporaneous blockbuster, The Guns of Navarone. --Adrian Edwardsfrom£3.00 | RRP:
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play Barabbas (Anthony Quinn) is a man literally marked with the blood of Jesus Before being crucified Jesus is brutally flogged while tied to a post outside Barabbas&39; cell When released by decree of the people Barabbas staggers into this post covering his hands in Christ&39;s blood His life is never the same again
Sword and sandal epic which imagines the later life of the biblical character Barabbas (Anthony Quinn). Released from prison when the crowd chose his freedom over that of Jesus, Barrabas quickly returns to his life of crime. A subsequent arrest gets him sentenced to a lifetime's work in the silver mines, but fate grants him the chance to become a gladiator and the opportunity to regain his freedom. Meanwhile, throughout these adventures he becomes increasingly troubled by the knowledge that an innocent man died in his place.
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