The Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice rock opera about the life and death of Christ is brought to the big-screen after success on Shaftesbury Avenue and Broadway. The story of Christ's (Ted Neely) last week on Earth is told by a group of travellers who arrive in modern-day Jerusalem on a tour bus. Events are seen from the perspective of Apostle Judas, who betrays Jesus to the Judaic religious leaders in return for thirty pieces of silver. Songs include 'I Don't Know How to Love Him', 'Hosanna', 'Herod's Song' and the now-famous theme tune.
makes for a wimpy looking Jesus in Norman Jewison's screen adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice "rock opera," which was a smash on stage in the early '70s. Jewison (Other People's Money
) adds some good exterior settings in the desert, but Lloyd Webber and Rice's dialogue-free story (everything is sung, as in a real opera), with its quasi-profundities about the inner demons of principal figures in the life of Christ, is the real hook. Yvonne Elliman sings the show's best-known song, "I Don't Know How to Love Him." --Tom Keogh