7.3/10
22,464
214 user 38 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 »

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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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

Norman Jewison had originally contacted Ian Gillan to play Jesus because Gillan sang the role on the original album version of the opera. Gillan refused, and his stated justification has varied over the years from a dislike of Jewison to his commitments to his band Deep Purple. See more »

Goofs

During "Gethsemane", Jesus sings "If I die, what will be my reward? If I die, what will be my reward?" but he is clearly mouthing the words "If I die, what will be my reward? Have to know, I have to know my Lord". See more »

Quotes

Judas: Did you mean to die like that, was that a mistake? Or did you know your messy death would be a record breaker?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Frink Gets Testy (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

John 19:41
Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Performed by Orchestra
See more »

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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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