14 December 2015

Quickie Movie Review: "Barabbas" (1961)

Rated: PG (Canada)
Starring: Anthony Quinn, Ernest Borgnine, and Jack Palance
Released: 1961 (theaters)
Synopsis: Scripture says that when Jesus was sentenced to crucifixion, hardened criminal Barabbas (Anthony Quinn) was released from prison...but, what happened to him after that? This fictionalized account gives us a possible answer; in this film, he goes back to his old friends, denies the power of Jesus, and ends up sentenced to a life of working in the mines...only to be given another second chance.  Will he discover the true meaning of Jesus' sacrifice before it's too late?

My Review: Long, boring, and confusing; that's how I'd sum up this film.  While the message itself is powerful--especially the ending--and the filmmakers' intent is admirable, for me, this movie did not stand the test of time very well.  Fans of older cinema may disagree, but, this was definitely not a winner for me, though it did have its moments; still, I won't be giving this one a second look.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Barabbas interacts with some women; nothing sexually explicit happens. 4/5
  • Nudity: Shirtless guys are seen in several scenes; a woman in an off-the-shoulder top. 3/5
  • Language: The d-word is used once. 4/5
  • Violence: People are whipped by Roman soldiers; a disaster in the work camp; several gladiator duels, a couple of which are bloody; the finale shows countless people being crucified. 2/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Along with the violence, some emotional intensity is present, especially at the end. 2/5
  • Other: This film takes liberties with people and places from the Bible. 4/5
Score: 2/5

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