Andrew Lloyd Webber's CATS, the most famous musical of all time, first exploded onto the West End stage in 1981. 'Memory', one of its many classic songs, became an instant worldwide hit. ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
Since portraying Jesus in this film, Ted Neeley went on to practically make a career of playing Jesus in stage productions of "Superstar"; as of early 2010, he has been doing so for nearly 40 years. See more »
In the long shot of Judas Iscariot hanging himself, you can see the noose attached to a flesh-colored harness on Carl Anderson's back. See more »
Will no one stay awake for me? Peter? John? James? Will none of you wait for me? Peter? John? James?
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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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