7.4/10
23,600
218 user 43 critic

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 »
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:

Jesus Christ Superstar See more »

Filming Locations:

Avdat, Israel See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$105,659
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

"I Don't Know How to Love Him" had originally been published with different lyrics in the autumn of 1967, the original title being "Kansas Morning". The melody's main theme has come under some scrutiny for being non-original, being compared to a theme from Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's Violin Concerto in E Minor. In December 1969 and January 1970, when Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice completed Jesus Christ Superstar, Rice wrote new lyrics to the tune of "Kansas Morning" to provide the solo number for the character of Mary Magdalene (Rice and Webber's agent David Land would purchase the rights to "Kansas Morning" back from Southern Music for £50). Now entitled "I Don't Know How to Love Him", the song was recorded by Yvonne Elliman and completed between March and July 1970. When first presented with "I Don't Know How to Love Him", Elliman had been puzzled by the romantic nature of the lyrics, as she had been under the impression that the Mary she'd been recruited to portray was Jesus's mother, who is a very important presence in the Gospel story but surprisingly absent from the musical. See more »

Goofs

When Jesus is arrested in the garden and says, "Put away your sword," a distorted reflection of the camera man is on the side of the Roman soldier's silver helmet. See more »

Quotes

Jesus: Father, forgive them... they don't know... what they're doing!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Then We are Decided
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Performed by Bob Bingham and Kurt Yaghjian
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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