Biography / Drama / History

IMDb Rating 5.4 10 353


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January 13, 2020



Billy Zane as Sheriff Conor O'Hara
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
822.04 MB
23.976 fps
200 min
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1.45 GB
23.976 fps
200 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tomsview 4 / 10 / 10

Biblical Billy the Kid

I was hoping this movie would be better than it is. Even if you don't know the book or the 1962 film version, this movie still has to be disappointing. It is very loosely based on Pär Lagerkvist novella, which tells the story of Barabbas, the bandit who was chosen over Jesus Christ by the people of Jerusalem when given the choice of releasing one prisoner during Passover. Pär Lagerkvist novel is a moving and thoughtful work. The 1962 Dino De Laurentiis production, although it added a great deal of action to the story, caught the tone of the novel, emerging as a moody, almost surreal epic. Unlike the book and De Laurentiis' movie, this made for television version starts before the crucifixion. We quickly learn that Barabbas (Billy Zane) is a real tearaway. He either hangs out at a brothel in town or with his gang in the hills. If they'd packed six-guns back then, he'd have shot up the place. Although the Zealots are involved in guerrilla warfare against the Romans, Barabbas is more interested in holding up the odd caravan or two. There are a number of lacklustre sword fights with the Romans - the production seems a little light on extras - and Barabbas and his crew cook up a scam to rob the promoter of a local gladiatorial show. This sequence, more than any other, undermines the film. Seemingly inspired by the "Spartacus" TV series, it's unbelievable and is reminiscent of the ridiculous action that used to turn up in the old Italian sword and sandal movies of the 50's and 60's. Eventually Barabbas is caught. Condemned to death then spared while Christ is crucified, Barabbas starts to question why he escaped death, and meets Christians whose faith seems indestructible. Although this crisis of conscience could have given the film a little depth especially after he learns of Christ's resurrection, the script goes off on another flight of fancy, as Barabbas becomes Barabbas PI. After dressing up in Roman uniform he interrogates the soldiers who were on guard at the tomb of Jesus. Arriving in Rome after a side trip as a slave in a copper mine, Barabbas is sent undercover by Pontius Pilot to find his niece who has become a Christian, knowing that the sect is about to be blamed for burning Rome. However Barabbas inadvertently betrays them. He lands in prison awaiting execution. The last few scenes have the gravitas lacking in the rest of the film as Barabbas sacrifices himself and is then crucified. Filmed in Tunisia, the scenery looks authentic enough although the film lacks scope and size. But it's the uneven script that sinks it, with much borrowed from other films - not all good ones. A pity really, because Billy Zane actually made a pretty good Barabbas.

Reviewed by KatharineFanatic 5 / 10 / 10

Not Bad, Could Be Better

I'm a Roman/Judean history nut, so when this came out, I had to see it. Three hours later, I have mixed thoughts. The Good: the plot! It has its shaky moments but overall, this is a decent script. Barabbas comes across as a cynical, self-serving man who undergoes a change of heart and finds redemption. Pilate's wife, Claudia, also has a decent role, far bigger than any other depiction of her ever made—although I can't say the end of her story made me happy! Wandering in and out of different biblical events was also fun. The Strange: can someone explain to me why Pilate has a beard? It wasn't fashionable for Romans at the time. He's also much too short to be a believable governor, considering Barabbas is about a foot taller. Why does Ester one minute tell Barabbas fornication is a sin against God, then turns around awhile later after following Jesus around and fornicates with him? Also, even though thirty years have passed by the end (which the film doesn't tell us, and most people ignorant of the time period wouldn't know), no one gets any older except Peter… why is that? The Bad: the acting! I'm not sure if it was foreigners struggling to speak in English rather than Italian that turned in such a crop of mediocre and sometimes downright painful performances, or that they just have no talent, but almost no one in this production is memorable. Zane is better than most but still hams it up a bit; I also wonder why Hristo Shopov is wasted in a minor role. He's played Pilate twice before (in Mel Gibson's film, and in a foreign follow-up), so it's strange they wouldn't let him do it again, particularly given that he has five times the presence and "governor-ness" than "this" Pilate. Also, something is "off" in this Jesus, but I'm not sure what; it's slightly creepy in places. The Result: is a decent film hampered by its low production values; if you can overlook that, it's enjoyable, moving, and quite often surprising in where it leads.

Reviewed by redbolter 5 / 10 / 10

The parts I saw were uneven...but I look forward to seeing it all someday!

I only saw part of this--near the beginning, but it looked like Billy Zane was having some real fun chewing the scenery. I found that surprising considering the subject matter seems to call for a more somber treatment. (Enjoyed seeing it none the less, and Zane will be the reason I see this in its entirety at some point--I loved the long hair and the bellowing--and the quips, though they probably don't belong here.) The production values were such that I wish I could have seen this in high def. I appreciated the inclusion of both the Jewish 'rebel' and Roman points of view, while also touching on the plight of the slaves, the impoverished and the diseased. (Though I don't know how deeply the film went on any of these matters.) I don't know how this ended, but I hope things worked out well for young Ester and old Barabbas!

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