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Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

Film version of the musical stage play, presenting the last few weeks of Christ's life told in an anachronistic manner.

Director:

Norman Jewison

Writers:

Melvyn Bragg (screenplay: based upon the rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" by), Norman Jewison (screenplay: based upon the rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
720 ( 3,437)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ted Neeley ... Jesus Christ
Carl Anderson ... Judas Iscariot
Yvonne Elliman ... Mary Magdalene
Barry Dennen ... Pontius Pilate
Bob Bingham Bob Bingham ... Caiaphas
Larry Marshall ... Simon Zealotes (as Larry T. Marshall)
Josh Mostel ... King Herod (as Joshua Mostel)
Kurt Yaghjian Kurt Yaghjian ... Annas
Paul Thomas ... Peter (as Philip Toubus)
Pi Douglass Pi Douglass ... Apostle
Robert LuPone ... Apostle James
Jonathan Wynne Jonathan Wynne ... Apostle
Thommie Walsh Thommie Walsh ... Apostle Thaddeus
Richard Molinare Richard Molinare ... Apostle Andrew
David Devir David Devir ... Apostle
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Storyline

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 <rps8@psu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

and now the film... See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Musical

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 August 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jesucristo Superstar See more »

Filming Locations:

Avdat, Israel See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$24,477,615
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Roman soldier who nails Jesus to the cross was played by an Israeli who spoke very little English. He thought Ted Neeley was actually supposed to have nails hammered through his hands! Just in time, director Norman Jewison saw what was happening and screamed, "NO! NOT IN THE HAND!" See more »

Goofs

After Jesus finds his apostles asleep, the camera cranes up next to the leaves of a tree. At one point (about 1:00:48 on the DVD) a twigs swings back and forth wildly, indicating that the camera has brushed against it. See more »

Quotes

Caiaphas: We need a more permanent solution to our problem...
See more »

Connections

Featured in It's Black Entertainment (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Last Supper
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Performed by Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson, and The Apostles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Stellar performances and groovy threads.
27 April 2000 | by kph2001See all my reviews

Nevermind that the film was controversial... the performances were outstanding. I first watched heard the soundtrack when my mother bought it on a whim. She exposed me to the music and it was not long before I wanted to see the movie for myself.

When I did it instantly became one of my favorites--- certainly my favorite of Webber & Rice's.

I revisted and exposed the film to my girlfriend not too long ago (inspired by Holy Week, of course) and realized how much appreciation I have for Jewison's extraordinary interpretation.

Neeley and Anderson are outstanding. I considered other reviews while listening to the soundtrack and must argue that the entire cast delivers entirely real and stellar performances.

The fact that the movie has 1970's imprints is not to be brushed off as just something that dates the film. In the closer, Judas is asking Christ why he didn't come to earth today:

("Why'd you choose such a backward time and such a strange land? / If you'd come today you would have reached a whole nation / Israel in 4 B.C. had no mass communication...")

Therefore, Judas' groovy threads are necessary. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to see JCS live--- even luckier to see Neeley and Anderson as the leads--- they've kept with that philosophy and the entire cast (save the priests & Jesus) were dressed in nineties clothes... I also should note that King Herod was an Elvis impersonator (quite funny).

This movie is simply unforgettable.


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