Godspell
  • Godspell
  • Godspell

Godspell

4.3 12
Director: David Greene, John-Michael Tebelak

Cast: David Greene, John-Michael Tebelak, Victor Garber, David Haskell

     
 

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The chances are pretty good that Columbia Pictures would never have put up the money to acquire Godspell had it not been for the earlier mega-hit status of Jesus Christ Superstar as an album and Broadway show. Godspell was a livelier, somewhat lower-rent off-Broadway musical, with a harder, more basic rock sound, also derived from a religiousSee more details below

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Overview

The chances are pretty good that Columbia Pictures would never have put up the money to acquire Godspell had it not been for the earlier mega-hit status of Jesus Christ Superstar as an album and Broadway show. Godspell was a livelier, somewhat lower-rent off-Broadway musical, with a harder, more basic rock sound, also derived from a religious source. Luckily, the producers didn't carry the original too far from its roots as a student work and an off-Broadway success, shooting the movie entirely in New York with a guileless young cast drawn from various stage companies of the piece. The DVD features a good letterboxed transfer of the film, from elements that look and sound at least two generations up from the source material used for television showings in the 1980s. It's not perfect but it is likely a match for most theatrical showings that the movie ever got. The score does come through loudly, with a lot of presence even to the acoustic guitars. The producers have tried to make the DVD special, with only limited success -- in fact, the packaging seems to promise more than the disc delivers. The "Bonus Trailers" refer to trailers for other Columbia titles, but not for Godspell. The "Talent Files" are somewhat sparse, limited to three principal cast members and the director. And the 15 chapters, although they allow viewers to access the individual songs, are also too limited and run way too long, with too much non-song material. On a more positive note, the insert card credits the individual performers featured in each song.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Those who prefer their religion served with a side order of skepticism may find themselves feeling uncomfortable during Godspell -- at times, it's a lot like going to church. Conversely, those with an earnest view of faith will find joyous celebration in this giddy, straight-faced musical that has no place for irony. Unlike Jesus Christ Superstar, which is superior storytelling but inferior recitation of chapter and verse, Godspell floats along with little forward momentum, using only the lesson-intensive gospel of St. Matthew for its minimal plot. While not quite preachy, it's still arcane enough to lose viewers unfamiliar with the Bible. Godspell is full of color and a dear hippie mindset, but it is often too quirky for its own good, full of characters acting so goofy that it seems they've been brainwashed rather than willingly converted. Steadfastly unhip, the movie has to get by on its nonstop energy and enthusiasm, which is neither as contagious as it should be, nor satisfying enough to those looking for a satirical undercurrent. Directors David Greene and John-Michael Tebelak do get thematic resonance from making New York City into an additional character, but it remains on a surface level. The songs of Stephen Schwartz lack the incisiveness of those of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, but they have a totally different agenda and are equally rousing on their own terms. The hit singles ultimately provide the movie with its winning buoyancy, forcing even the cynics to indulge in unself-conscious toe-tapping.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/04/2000
UPC:
0043396224193
Original Release:
1973
Rating:
G
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Pan & Scan, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[monaural]
Time:
1:43:00
Sales rank:
12,097

Special Features

Digitally mastered audio & anamorphic video; Production notes; Interactive menus; Audio: English [mono]; Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai; Musical Highlights: Direct scene access to musical numbers; Talent files; Bonus trailers; Scene selections

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Victor Garber Jesus Christ
David Haskell John,Judas
Jerry Sroka Jerry
Lynne Thigpen Lynne
Katie Hanley Katie
Merrell Jackson Merrell
Robin Lamont Robin
Gilmer McCormick Gilmer
Joanne Jonas Joanne
Jeffrey Mylett Jeffrey

Technical Credits
David Greene Director,Screenwriter
John-Michael Tebelak Director,Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision,Screenwriter
Sammy Bayes Choreography
Brian Eatwell Production Designer
Peggy Gordon Songwriter
Jay Hamburger Songwriter
Alan Heim Editor
G. Richard Heimann Cinematographer
Richard G. Heimann Cinematographer
Ben Kasazkow Art Director
Edgar Lansbury Producer
Stephen Schwartz Score Composer,Songwriter,Musical Direction/Supervision
Sherrie Sucher Score Composer,Costumes/Costume Designer
Kenneth Utt Associate Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [1:15]
2. Prologue [6:16]
3. "Prepare Ye(The Way Of The Lord)" [3:04]
4. "Save The People" [11:54]
5. "Day By Day" [8:04]
6. "Turn Back,O Man" [11:05]
7. "Bless The Lord" [4:24]
8. "All For The Best" [4:34]
9. "All Good Gifts" [4:23]
10. "Light Of The World" [10:35]
11. "Alas For You" [4:59]
12. "By My Side" [3:15]
13. "Beautiful City" [3:57]
14. "On The Willows" [7:11]
15. "Finale" [7:46]
16. End Credits [6:04]
Side #2 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [1:15]
2. Prologue [6:16]
3. "Prepare Ye(The Way Of The Lord)" [3:04]
4. "Save The People" [11:54]
5. "Day By Day" [8:04]
6. "Turn Back,O Man" [11:05]
7. "Bless The Lord" [4:24]
8. "All For The Best" [4:34]
9. "All Good Gifts" [4:23]
10. "Light Of The World" [10:35]
11. "Alas For You" [4:59]
12. "By My Side" [3:15]
13. "Beautiful City" [3:57]
14. "On The Willows" [7:11]
15. "Finale" [7:46]
16. End Credits [6:04]

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