Barabbas - Dissapointing

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joe Caps, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

    Dec 10, 2000
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    Just Got Columbias DVD of Barabbas starring Anthony Quinn. This is a marvelous andunderrated film. The original prints were in Technicolor and I have seen older video masters that look better than the DVD, which finally includes the original stereo track. Picture quality is not horrendous, but shoud be better than this.
    in chapter 16 at 1:14:40 the music starts to build up to what should be the end of act One leading into the intermission card and the intermission music - instead it just fades out - Columbia cut the intermission. For a film of this magnitude they should have done a mini making of - director Richard Flescher did this for the new DVD of the Vikings. The story of how they shot the Crucifixion scene would be worth it ( they found, just days ahead of time, that they was going to be an eclipse of the sun in north italy - got Technicolor to ship all of the technirama cameras they had to Italy at the last minute, they shot a real eclipse behind the crucifion - and prayed it all came out on film!)
  2. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

    Jun 17, 2000
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    I agree with you that BARABBAS is a highly underrated film. I don't share your views on the transfer-I found it to be very good. Having said that, this was my first exposure to the film in widescreen and a decent transfer. The only other times I've seen it was when it was broadcast on local independent stations from beat up 16mm prints, and the godawful VHS pan and scam transfer. So that's my point of comparision, if I'd ever seen it on the big screen I might feel as you do.

    One thing that made me very happy was the inclusion of the scene where Barabbas meets the resurrected Lazarus, which was missing from the tape and the broadcasts I'd seen. This was a powerful moment in the book, and I knew it was filmed since I've seen stills from the sequence in various film mags. So that was an added bonus for me.
  3. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

    Dec 30, 2000
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    London, United Kingdom
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    I saw this when it first opened in 70mm many years ago. On the large screen it looked really good and it was my first experience of hearing directional sound. Unfortunately the DVD has disappointing sound (why does the music sound so poor) and picture quality and I too was annoyed that the intermission was missing. At least it's a vast improvement on my old VHS video tape which I've been able to bin at last.
  4. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

    Sep 30, 2001
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    Yes, I think it's underrated too. I was disappointed with the transfer though it's far from a disaster. Like others have mentioned, I was most irritated by the lack of the intermission insert in Barabbas, which the DVD of Exodus also shamefully eliminates. I hope this is not a new trend in releasing roadshow films for DVD.

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