Whatever happened to Barabbas,
the condemned thief who, the Bible says, was spared from crucifixion by Pontius
Pilate when he might have spared Jesus Christ? That unresolved question is
answered — suppositionally, at least — in a huge, turgid color film, "Barabbas,"
which came, appropriately, to the DeMille last night.
Theatrical Release: December 23rd, 1961
DVD Review: Sony Pictures (with CD Sampler) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Sony Pictures - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 5.63 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
|Subtitles||English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, None|
This is the exact same transfer of the film from 2002 but Sony have strangely added a bonus CD featuring some Christian music artists (perhaps you are supposed to listen to it during the stoning sequence or during the lions and carnage of the Coliseum). It has the Jan 3rd, 2002 VOB files and although the DVD is dual-layered and anamorphic it is still interlaced (see combing example below). Essentially it is only for CRT viewing there is also some speckles and light damage marks. The time indicates that it is the Turner broadcast version although I believe there is a longer cut somewhere (as mentioned in the review above). The disc is coded for regions 1, 3 and 4 in the NTSC standard. The 2.0 channel English audio has lots of, sometimes awkward, post dubbing but is acceptably clear and there are some subtitle options in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese making it compatible to sell in South America as well.
There are no extras save a very long, 4:3 letterboxed trailer. The film is a decent 'sword and sandal with religious overtones' type entry. Quinn is fairly competent with the narrative's adventurous structure and there are some grandiose set and extras' moments. Kind of a lesser Spartacus but enjoyable enough if you are in the mood. Fleischer includes some well-crafted and genuinely stirring scenes. We can't really complain for the price of less than $10 although I was hoping that it would have, at the least, been upgraded to a progressive transfer. Your guess is as good as mine as to the reasoning behind the inclusion of the CD (anyone smell nepotism?).