This film is part of Rentals

Now Barabbas Was a Robber...

Prison drama focusing on the seamy side of life in post-war Britain.

Drama 1949 87 mins

Director: Gordon Parry


This prison drama presents a kaleidoscope of criminals of every background, from Irish saboteurs to West Indian petty thieves. Each reveals the story of how they found themselves behind bars, whether it be bigamy or murder, and reflects on the ups and downs of life in stir. The starry line-up of jailbirds includes Richard Burton, Kenneth More and Richard Todd, with William Hartnell - later the first Doctor Who - as the tough screw who keeps them in line.

The film was adapted from a play by politician and writer the Honourable William Douglas-Home, who drew on his own experiences of imprisonment to create a realistic presentation of the range of issues Britain's justice system was dealing with in the 1940s. He had been jailed in 1944 for refusing to bomb Le Havre during the Second World War as civilians would have been killed.