Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar

4.7 27
Director: Norman Jewison

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Norman Jewison's big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar gets a new deluxe DVD release that hit stores the same day as Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. The film itself is presented in a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The film has never looked…  See more details below


Norman Jewison's big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar gets a new deluxe DVD release that hit stores the same day as Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. The film itself is presented in a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The film has never looked better on home video. English, Spanish, and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. Spanish and French subtitles are accessible. The supplemental materials provide a great deal of background information. An interview with Tim Rice lays out the story of how the initial record and the stage show came to be, and that leads nicely into the commentary track recorded by Jewison and star Ted Neeley. They are full of affection for the film, and although the track occasionally suffers from too much patting each other on the back, it is nice to see how well Neeley remembers many details about the cast. A still photo gallery rounds out this solid release from Universal.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Norman Jewison's Jesus Christ Superstar may not be the most tuneful rendering of Andrew Lloyd Webber's beautiful score and Tim Rice's deconstructive lyrics, but that's precisely what makes it the definitive realization of Webber and Rice's work. The 1973 film oozes human emotion, better encapsulated by cracking voices than golden throats. This crucial thematic approach starts with Ted Neeley as Christ, an imperfect, temperamental saint whose frail voice plants him firmly in the world of mortals. Not only does Neeley look the part, he lives it. But Carl Anderson's Judas carries the film. Wiry, acrobatic, and torn apart by anguish and confusion, Anderson is part sneaky fox, part peaceful dove, as complex as the part was written. While many directors have chosen unconventional settings to stage Superstar, Jewison was smart to film on location in Israel, as the stark, arid climate both drives home the themes and gives the Biblical story a sense of place. Jewison understood that the lyrics themselves -- "If you came today you could have reached a whole nation/Israel in 4 B.C. had no mass communication" -- provided as much anachronism as the film needed. The standout scene is the intense, lively ode from Simon Zealotes (Larry Marshall), which includes an inimitably choreographed number that likens the hippie movement to the followers of Christ. Bob Bingham's guttural Caiaphas also makes a lasting impression. Far superior to Godspell, the similarly themed hippie
eligious outing released the same year, Jesus Christ Superstar remains repeatedly watchable for its rousing, unabashed earnestness that narrowly steers clear of excess. It's also a glorious snapshot of an era and the imagination inspired by it.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]

Special Features

Feature commentary with director Norman Jewison and actor Ted Neeley; Exclusive interview with master lyricist Tim Rice; Photo gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ted Neeley Jesus Christ
Carl Anderson Judas Iscariot
Yvonne Elliman Mary Magdalene
Barry Dennen Pontius Pilate
Bob Bingham Caiaphas
Josh Mostel King Herod
Pi Douglas Apostles
Thommie Walsh Actor
Kurt Yahgjian Annas
Robert LuPone Apostle
Jonathan Wynne Apostle
Richard Molinare Apostle
Jeffrey Hyslop Apostle
Marcia McBroom Woman
Leeyan Granger Woman
Ron Hyatt Actor
Larry Marshall Simon Zealotes
Philip Toubus Peter
André Previn Conductor

Technical Credits
Norman Jewison Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Yvonne Blake Costumes/Costume Designer
Melvyn Bragg Screenwriter
John Clark Art Director
Antony Gibbs Editor
Keith Grant Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Iscove Choreography
Richard MacDonald Production Designer
Gordon K. McCallum Sound/Sound Designer
Patrick Palmer Associate Producer
Jack N. Reddish Asst. Director
Douglas Slocombe Cinematographer
Herbert Spencer Musical Direction/Supervision
Robert Stigwood Producer
Andrew Lloyd Webber Score Composer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Overture: Heaven on Their Minds [10:56]
2. What's the Buzz? [2:22]
3. Strange Thing Mystifying [4:52]
4. Everything's Alright [7:50]
5. Hosanna [3:37]
6. Simon Zealotes [5:57]
7. Pilate's Dream [1:44]
8. The Temple [1:53]
9. My Temple Should Be [4:54]
10. I Don't Know How to Love Him [5:15]
11. Damned for All Time [4:08]
12. The Last Supper [4:50]
13. Gethsemane [2:27]
14. The Arrest, Part One [6:10]
15. The Arrest, Part Two [1:56]
16. Peter's Denial [2:16]
17. Pilate and Christ [2:39]
18. King Herod's Song [2:16]
19. Could We Start Again Please? [3:16]
20. Judas' Death [3:47]
21. Trial Before Pilate [4:48]
22. Superstar [6:57]
23. The Crucifixion [4:06]
24. End Titles [5:16]


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Jesus Christ Superstar 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
alisonwonderland212 More than 1 year ago
I grew up watching this movie on vhs over and over again. I was singing "Hosanna" at 3 years old, and at 20, I am still a die hard fan. Ted Neeley is incredible as Jesus, and Carl Anderson is such a memorable Judas. The dvd has a commentary with the director, Norman Jewison, and Ted Neeley. Usually I don't watch the movie with commentary, but I knew that with those two, the insight into my favorite movie would definitely be worth it. And I was right! Please watch with the commentary, you will learn so much and come to appreciate this classic even more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie as a kid and love it even more as an adult and have shared it with my children thru their lives. They continue to watch it again and again. While this version of Jesus life is not true to the bible, its the passion in this story, from multiple perspectives not just Judas, that intrigues me. The music is outstanding. For example, the passion in the Garden of Gethsemane - Neeley's performance of Jesus' doubt and fear facing death was revealing. These feelings are not something you can experience reading scripture until you have seen that passion performed. The torture that Pilot went through trying to keep him from being crucified, the anger and illness of Judas after the betrayal. The mockery by Herod. How naive the apostles were until after the resurrection. I own both the original and the modern version of this and love certain parts of each. The stage version we saw in Madison with Neeley & Anderson was incredible. The part I really don't get is the end when Judas comes back after suicide, but I like some of the questions from a non-believer side. Buy this movie, watch it and reread your bible again, the passion will carry forward.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just about the same time, Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell were released. From two different books from the Bible, they both produced films lasting over 20 years. The music from Superstar can stand by itself even without the film. Starting from the gathering of the apostles, and ending with his crucifixion, it takes the viewer thru the most memorable events in Jesus' life. Even third graders with a basic idea of Jesus can find something in this movie. Ted Neely as Jesus really shines with ''Only Want to Say'', just a little past the halfway point. Evonne Elliman as Mary Magdeline resonates with talent. Even Carl Anderson as Judas is outstanding. Enjoy the movie for the music as well as the story. Keep watch at the end when the sun sets for the figure in the lower left shadows leading the sheep. I've seen this movie over 50 times and just noticed it last week.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is awesome!!! I love the music in it. The actors are also wonderful, and Thommie Walsh you rock!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been watching this movie since I was very little and I've always liked it
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am religious, and I am NOT offended by this movie. I think, this says a lot. The creators gone into the reasons why negative personages did what they did, and got amazing results with this work. The movie does not try to justify them, but they are not scary icons anymore, but rather live people with their own problems, reasons, and logic. And what Jesus does there, creators of the movie also got a lot of that right. And they don't press any final judgements on the viewer, you are free to decide for yourself, who is who and who is right or wrong. Word of caution, do not even try another edition of the same title made in 2000. This one, made in 1973, is the good one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although a very simple story, it has a complex meaning, the entire movie relates to the present as well as past times. A rock-opera based on the story of Christ¿s last weeks as a man, it portrays an unknown unexplored side of the story. A strange thing in the film though, is the strategic placement of anachronisms all throughout the movie. As we know it was set in the year zero, but in the truth of it, they used the ruins, instead of building the buildings over again, and that in itself is an anachronism. Set serenely in the middle of Israel, this movie presents a mind game to any one who takes upon the task of watching it. The comedic mishaps lead us astray but it really seems as if they want to tell us something; perhaps that we are not just retelling the story, but reliving it. The end comes to play when you leave the scene of Jesus hanging on the cross, then you go to the bus and the actors are forlornly preparing to return back to normal life. This frighteningly reminds us of the fact that the actor portraying Jesus did not get back on the bus, and perhaps is still out there somewhere. With the anachronisms, and this thrown in to play with, one would believe that it was an actual crucifixion, and that the modern inserts were not just comedic relief, but a link to now, asking if you think that it actually happened or not, but telling you that it was a real crucifixion and that maybe they did just leave him out there, because you don¿t see the cross on the bus again, and you don¿t see Jesus return. I think that it is just that, I think that it is meant to be real, not just a movie. They actually do hang him on the cross and they actually do betray him. It is not fake, and the anachronisms along with the last scene tell us that, it is more than that, it is real, and they mean for you to be shocked by the reality of it.
TELL_ME_YOUR_STORY More than 1 year ago
Years ago, I was THRILLED to see Jesus Christ Superstar's LIVE performance in Santa Barbara California, with Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson, Yvonne Elliman. It was AWESOME sitting in the outdoor theater with the actors & music all around me!!! I'll never forget it!!!  LOVE this movie too!!!!  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you were a hippie, you'd understand. JC Superstar was a box office failure and a spectacular generational success. This was typical of the times-- the Vietnam-era, them-vs.-us schism between ''regular'' society and us long-haired rabble-rousing free-love dope-smoking troublemaking hippies. For ''them'', the film represented everything scary about hippies-- rock music, an attitude of irreverance about things that no one would dare be irreverent about before (such as religion, sex, marijuana, etc.), a dare to look at things differently. JC Superstar was the first time anyone dared consider Jesus as a very ''human'' kind of person-- with fears, uncertainly, even a lack of faith on occasion, just like anyone else. The film had cutting edge choreography, great music with incredible lyrics, and just enough experimental cinematographic efforts to make a hippie smile and their parents shake their heads. For the hippies out there, the film was important because it admitted that our influences existed. Like 'The Wiz' (an incredibly entertaining black adaptation of 'The Wizard of Oz'), it dared to look at classic stories with a very different perspective. So not only is the film entertaining-- it's descriptive of a time of great change and social evolvment. Oh-- and it's FUN to watch, too. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I generally hate Jesus Christ movies...and i generally hate Jesus Christ...but...and this is a big BUT...i adored this's like a ''this-is-the-kind-of-musical-everyone-should-watch'''s superb...grandiose and keeps you stuck to your chair...the music is divine...everything just says ''this is the rock life of Christ''...SUPERB!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a nineteen year old, I and many others my age or older view this movie as a remarkable work. Increadibly moving, and very true to the Scriptures, a must have for people of all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Jesus Christ Superstar. I think it is absolutely amazing. Carl Anderson as Judas is just remarkable. I love 'Heaven of their minds' as well as 'Damned for all time/blood money'. Mary Magdelene was fantastic in all of her songs, especially 'Everything's alright'. I was the most surprised by Jesus. At first I didnt like his voice, but now it is one of my favorite things. I love how high he can go and how intense he looks while doing it. It's shot beautifully too. Just the way they do simple things astounds me. I love all the circles around Jesus when everyone claps. The dancing is very good. Oh yes, Pontius Pilate is very great. I love the dynamic in his and Jesus' voices. I think it is one of the best rock operas ever made. I could never watch the new version of the movie.....this one just blows me away every time!!!!!! You must watch it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My husband and I first saw 'Superstar' the year it came out and were blown away by the music and dialog. As young musicians, we identified immediately with how profound this musical was. Since then, we have met & followed Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson thru the years at all their local performances. Their stage presence fills the theatre as few performers have or ever can. Kind words and encouragement from Ted & Carl helped propell us into becoming active in local stage productions of 'Superstar' and many other plays. We have been overwhelmed with the love & humility of 'Superstar' since day one. It reaffirmed our faith and helped heal our extended family. We whole heartedly recommend 'Superstar' for all people to view. God bless all the performers - past, present and future!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My first exposure to this musical was a live performance in Salt Lake City where Ted Neely played Jesus twenty-some years after JC Superstar was originally performed. He did an outstanding job--much more intense than his performance in the movie. The entire cast caught the intensity and projected that passion to the audience. When the remake with the London Cast came out two or three years ago, I picked that up because I enjoyed the stage play and the music. I loved it. It had the intensity of the stage play--the 'in your face' quality that reaches out and sucks the audience in. I picked this version up out of curiousity to see the original, and I'm a little disappointed. The pacing on this version is very slow, and I miss the interaction between the characters that the stage version and the London Cast version have. This seemed more like a series of music videos strung together than a coherent play. I'm still glad I bought it though. It's nice to have it in contrast to the London Cast version and the live performance, and it's interesting to see some of the artistic choices, even if I don't appreciate them as much.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Josh Mostel. Although his role was small, his portrayal of the sniveling sycophant King Herod absolutely stole the show.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you can set aside some of the cheesier moments in the film (the freeze frame on the line "Will You *DIE* for me?" the ridiculous number of zoom/re-zoom during the opening of "Heaven on Their Minds") it is actually a great little rock opera. For the purposes of this public review I'm going to ignore the criticisms of a vocal few who say that this is a sacrilegious retelling of the Christ mythology as I find that irrelevant. I'm going to write a review that focuses more on the music as well, but in regards to the film it is rather interesting that it is filmed in Israel which is used as a backdrop for this very stylized film. I was a big fan of all the anachronistic elements to tell this story. Carl Anderson (Judas) really steals the show in my opinion but then again I think this version of the Christ myth is more about Judas and Jesus than Jesus alone. I liked the concept of the actors arriving during the Overture and preparing to do a little performance although I was glad that this motif was only a bookend structure as it could have really detracted from the film if brought up too often. The performance of "Herod's Song" is still one of my favorite moments of this movie along with "Simon Zealotes." I think the film does a good job of bringing up a lot of the history surrounding this story that I think most Christians ignore or are unaware of. For example, the occupation of the Jews by Rome at this time and the charged political atmosphere during the time that Jesus supposedly lived. A fun watch and a great soundtrack.
toongirl44 More than 1 year ago
While not a practicing Catholic/Christian (I'm Wiccan) I still love this movie. The actors chosen for each role is nothing less that perfect (Carl Anderson RIP). This is not the "hippy-happy-go-lucky" Jesus that many might think of. Rather, Tim plays Jesus as a very serious, brooding (knows what is coming) man. Carl's Judas is not the evil character many have made him out to be. He definitley shows the tortured side of Judas and the regret of his desision. Overall a FANTASTIC movie. The script is spot on to the New Testament (I've been told) and the music really sticks in your head.
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