7.4/10
25,020
226 user 45 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 movie...... See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Musical

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ironically there was a string of hippie-themed/60s style Jesus movies that came out at the same time, in 1973, "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Godspell," followed by the Jesus themed "Oh God" in 1977; which were all big hits. Also ironically this came out at the same time a string of Devil themed movies came out; "The Exorcist" came out in 1973, the same year as "Jesus Christ Superstar." Also "The Mephisto Waltz," "Rosemary's Baby," "The Omen," "The Chosen," and "The Devil Within" her all came out in the same general period of time. So after a period of agnosticism in the culture in the early to mid 60s; spirituality made a strong comeback in the late 60s/ early 70s. 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

[first lines]
Judas: [singing] My mind is clearer now - at last all too well, I can see where we all soon will be, If you strip away the myth from the man, You will see where we all soon will be...
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Connections

Referenced in Margaret Cho: I'm the One That I Want (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Judas' Death
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Performed by Carl Anderson, Bob Bingham, Kurt Yaghjian, and Choir
See more »

User Reviews

 
Very good, if not quite a superstar, movie musical
27 May 2004 | by wainotSee all my reviews

Although I have been aware of this musical, seemingly forever, I just very recently saw the whole movie on dvd. Unfortunately, while I was acquainted with many of the songs before, I had never really seen it in its entirety before, and I'm not sure why. Also, I've never seen it as a live stage show, be it on Broadway, in London or down the street at the local high school ...

So, then, I can only rate it as a singular movie experience, not comparing it with the Broadway or London stagings. Also, being Jewish and never really studying the life and crucifixion of Jesus, I don't have any strong or pre-conceived spiritual ties to the story.

For me, then, this is a cleverly written and very well-performed musical, that mixes irreverence, time juxtapositions and genuine emotions of sadness and wistfulness. I'm not sure that the movie enhances the great musical; in other words, now that I've seen the movie, I regularly listen to the cd of the musical, and enjoy both about equally. For me, Carl Anderson, as Judas, is the standout, but Ted Neeley does bring an angelic quality to the title character. all of the other supporting roles, including Yvonne Elliman, are done well.

I rate it 8/10 for its excellent music, good staging and for what seems like a faithful film-ization of the original..worth watching for sure!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »
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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
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