BARABBAS
1961, Sony Repertory, 137 min, Italy, Dir: Richard Fleischer

Closer in spirit to Scorsese’s THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST than to the biblical epics of its own day, director Richard Fleischer’s visually stunning drama (shot in Technirama 70) about the thief (Anthony Quinn) given amnesty in place of Jesus is a moving, gritty and harrowingly unsentimental odyssey of one lonely unfortunate’s spiritual evolution. With Silvana Mangano, Ernest Borgnine and Jack Palance.


KING OF KINGS
1961, Warner Bros., 168 min, USA, Dir: Nicholas Ray

Director Nicholas Ray and epic producer Samuel Bronston seemed an odd couple, but the pair made this reverent, straightforward portrait of the life of Christ work on its own terms. Filled with moving performances by Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus, a potent, often mysterious messiah, and Robert Ryan as John the Baptist, with support from Siobhan McKenna, Rip Torn, Royal Dano, Harry Guardino, Viveca Lindfors and others. Meticulous and spectacular production design augments the realism, while Orson Welles’ narration adds storybook charm. Originally played at the Egyptian Theatre!


DANCES WITH WOLVES
1990, MGM Repertory, 181 min, USA, Dir: Kevin Costner

Union Lieutenant Dunbar (Kevin Costner, who also directed) takes a new assignment on the Western frontier, where he comes into contact with the Sioux tribe and gradually comes to identify with them, falling in love with one of their women (Mary McDonnell), hunting buffalo and ultimately becoming a full-blown member of the tribe. A traitor in the eyes of his own people, Dunbar ultimately must decide to whom his allegiance truly belongs. Winner of seven Oscars including John Barry’s nod for best score.


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