Based on a concept album project written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and the subsequent long-running Broadway performance, this film tells the story of the final 6 days in the life of Jesus Christ through the troubled eyes of Judas Iscariot. Too often mis-labeled a musical, this film is a "rock opera." There are no spoken lines, everything is sung. Written by
Ralf Southard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"King Herod's Song" is actually a number from "King Richard", a failed Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Tim Rice had to write new lyrics for this number so that it could be added to "Jesus Christ Superstar"; originally, the number was called "Those Saladin Days". See more »
During "King Herod's Song", when there is a close up of the pianist, you can see that a female is sitting on the piano. Later on, the female gets up to dance, but when there is another close up of the pianist after the dancer leaves, you can still see someone sitting on the piano. See more »
To think I admired you! Well, now I despise you!
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The Lloyd-Webber and Rice musical comes to the screen, and is nothing like the stage show at all. The deserts are real, although the back story is that this is a theatre company, putting on a production in real locations.
The cast are largely session singers and unknowns - Ted Neeley, delicate and high-voiced as Jesus (particularly superb in `Gethsemane'); Carl Anderson, black and doe-eyed as Judas with hot soul vocals, Barry Dennen as Pilate, and Yvonne Elliman as Magdelene with her big number `I Don't Know How To Love Him'.
One loss for those who know the stage version is being removed from the crucifixion preamble, when the ghost of Judas sings `Superstar' - this was all video camera projection in the theatre, while in the movie we are detached observers. But at other times we get uncomfortably close. And the songs survive the transportation to a more realistic setting (except the added `Could We Start Again, Please?' which sounds rather too much like the Coca-Cola theme for comfort).
Best scenes? The one in the temple; Hosanna; and the Pharisees tapping on their scaffolding perches like crows.
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