76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2005
I must have watched this film dozens of times - it's one of my all-time top ten!! It's a very moving story, for a start. Every time I watch it I discover something new, another subtle little nuance I haven't noticed before... The casting is fantastic - each actor is just so right for their role, and the acting is superb. The backdrops/photography are truly wonderful - it is an amazing landscape. I love the way that the film's costumes and sets very cleverly combine period and modern styles so seamlesslessly - the secene where HE chases everyone from the temple is a good example. My own favourite scene is in the garden of Gethsemane, where he has his dark night of the soul - the passion in his singing at God is awesome. I loved the film as a video and was thrilled when it came out as a DVD - I bought it immediately. It was extremely interesting to see the film with the comments/chit chat by Ted Neeley (Jesus) and the Director - I learned so much about the film and now know why the performances were so wonderful. The music is divine. Even though it's very 70s, it still is a wonderful, inspiring film - please get it and watch it!!!!! (And no,I'm not religious at all...)
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2007
My 9 year old daughter happened to be playing nearby the TV during the video, and she was completely entranced. There is so much mystery to her about Jesus' crucifixion since all her learning is from a kids religion book, and this movie brought the story to life. The movie is INTENSE, and I sat with her and explained the scenes and was able to answer her questions. The music is fantastic, the symbolism a little tough to figure since it's pretty deep, and Ted Neely is mesmerizing as Jesus. His voice is so good that we are getting tickets to his JCS tour in the spring.
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2004
This has it all
... A classic soundtrack, Listen to the powerful Overture, the pain in Judas before he commits suicide, and the confusion in Mary's voice in the classic "I don't know how to love him"
... Inspired direction (All set in the desert, filmed in seven days, numerous clever touches and symbolism), and most of all ENERGY. Judas is the strongest character, and steals the show, but Jesus and Pontius Pilate for me are just behind, with Mary just behind again (Sorry but I have heard Mary's songs too many times !!).
For me the most compelling thing about this production is it's coherence. It is clearly produced in a certain period, but for all that it is ageless. Some of the singing is off, but beyond that everything just clicks wonderfully, and the dancing is exciting and impressive.
I looked around for a long time to get this, and even got hold of a multi-region player to watch it.
Early work by any composer always tends to have the raw edge and energy to inspire the audience, and this is certainly one for me.
BUY THIS!! Don't bother with the later production, I will be diplomatic, and say that I cannot watch it, because it is so bad, and this is so good.
This set a benchmark, and I don't expect another musical based on the life of Jesus to beat it any time soon.
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2005
Still as enjoyable to watch and listen to today as it was when I first saw it as a child. Even better watching it on DVD with a pristine picture & sound quality. If you have never seen this live, then watch this movie version first and what could be better than in the privacy of your own living room. It's just as enjoyable if not more so than watching it live at a theatre. I have experienced both and the movie version still wins hands down quite simply, because the singing and acting performances are better than any I have witnessed at any theatre I have seen it in.
Don't get me wrong though, I would still go to see it again at the theatre because it's a fantastic and enjoyable night out for all the family.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2006
Two things can be said about this edition of "Jesus Christ Superstar": It poses an important religious question and it is a complete and time-typical rendering of the musical.
First the religious: Judas is the main character in the musical, asking rightly (when seen from his political / human perspective) whether Jesus has strayed from the path. For Judas, this is a political quest, not a religious search. When it finally dawns on Judas that it has nothing at all to do with ordinary politics - that Jesus indeed is (believing himself to be) a savior, he has hanged himself and can only comment post mortem (in the title song). Judas was indeed murdered in the couse of the plot - the question is, was it necessary?
A reviewer found the apperance of the Israeli tanks (and perhaps also the jets) laughtable, but failed to see the significance: This is a demonstration of (Roman!) power and one should notice that it was only shown in connection with the lone and frustrated Judas-figure. A reflection on his thoughts.
The second observation for specifically this edition of JCS is that it is a true representation of the musical when it was first shown, in the happy-hippie days. The actors are carrying flower-power outfits (espc. Herod) and the dancing is "wild" or "free". Although the quality of the singing and dancing can be argued I personally will give this edition high marks for nerve. After all, this is an old production.
A very good thing now is that this DVD-version now is region-0. It took a long time before it came to Europe, and that was a crying shame! It should also be noticed that the extra materials - although not much, let it be said! - is more directed to the European audience. Better, now!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2003
Once you accept the bare chested, medallioned rabbi's you'll have no problem at all accepting Ted Neeley as JC himself. Top track for me: Why must I die? have played that track over and over and it still brings goose bumps!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2011
Jesus Christ Superstar
This terrific musical "Rock Opera" directed by Norman Jewison--about a bunch of "students" enacting Christ's last few days of life , until his eventual crucifixion.
Remarkably still relevant--Isreali tanks roll across the desert at regular intervals, I hadnt watched for ages(at least 20+ years)and am pleasently surprised by the freshness of the movie.
Ted Neeley plays Jesus with just the right amount of knowing(of his fate...), and the fate of judas and the apostles.
Not surprisingly the show it was derived from, caused some controversy in its time sadly in these more heathen times--that no longer seems to apply.
Overture - Ensemble
"Heaven on Their Minds" - Judas
"What's the Buzz/Strange Thing, Mystifying" - Jesus, Mary, Judas, Disciples
"Everything's Alright" - Mary, Judas, Jesus, Disciples
"This Jesus Must Die" - Caiaphas, Annas, Priests, Disciples
"Hosanna" - Caiaphas, Jesus, Disciples
"Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem" - Simon, Jesus, Disciples, Roman Guards
"Pilate's Dream" - Pilate
"The Temple" - Jesus, Profiteers
"Everything's Alright" (reprise) - Mary, Jesus
"I Don't Know How to Love Him" - Mary
"Damned for All Time/Blood Money" - Judas, Caiaphas, Annas, Priests, The Mob
"The Last Supper" - Jesus, Judas and Apostles
"Gethsemane" - Jesus
"The Arrest" - Jesus, Judas, Peter, Apostles, Caiaphas, Annas, The Mob, Roman Guards
"Peter's Denial" - Peter, Mary, Apostles, The Mob
"Pilate and Christ" - Pilate, Jesus, Annas, Mary, Apostles, Roman Guards, The Mob
"King Herod's Song" - Herod and his Court
"Could We Start Again Please?" - Mary, Peter, Simon, Disciples, Roman Guards
"Judas' Death" - Judas, Caiaphas, Annas, The Mob
"Trial By Pilate" - Pilate, Caiaphas, Annas, Jesus, The Mob
"Superstar" - Judas, Soul Girls, Angels, Paparazzi
"Crucifixion" - Jesus, Disciples
"John 19:41" - Jesus, Disciples
Beautifully lit, and shot in the Isreali desert, Jewison showing what an expert director of most subject matters, he was.
This movie was of course made in an age where "questioning" anothers religion, you didnt end up getting firebombed, or being bombed in the subway.
Well worth seeking out--this very witty (the king herod song, still funny), profound, deeply religious, possibly the movie for these troubled times.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2008
This film is my particular favourite interpretation of the score.
Well, having watched this a whole bunch of times for own entertainment/degree study/group entertainment i can happy say this film fits each area.
Your enjoyment depends on a how important 'cinematography' and/or 'religion' is to you.
Yes they whoosh past the crucifixion & other more religious elements, some of the characters are funny, some beautiful, some of the costumes are just darn daft and Jesus tearing up a market is just magic...
HOWEVER if you LIKE
Free form 70's style dance
Costumes in a 70's fashion
and some seriously high squeaky/impressive/stunning 70's style singing ....YOU'LL LOVE IT!!!
I find this film deeply moving in parts and laugh out loud silly in others.
Ted Neely as Jesus is beautiful (described above as a 'wimpy looking Jesus'...wander around desert land for a couple of years and see how you look ((but I'm not getting into that argument))
Neely's voice cracks, he looks strained, tired and he's thin (Some see this as a failing on his part as an actor)
BUT it's perfect for the part of a confused, torn man.
His voice sores with beauty, pain and power. The mind & body of a torn man screeches at the sky over the rocks he sings from.
It's free, it's angry and it's broken. It's beautiful and it's fuelled with the oomph of 70's ROCK.
What else is expected from a 70's ROCK Opera!!??
ROCK ON people.
As one of the guards says;
"one thing I'll say for him, Jesus is cool"
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2006
This is a very, very good, beautifully told, yet slightly tongue-in-cheek, musical version of the story of J.C.
There are some superb songs in this movie, which -- if you just go with the style --are very moving, funny, dramatic and exciting in places. In short, if you just let it be what it is, this movie is very entertaining.
Three things to remember however:
1) This was made in the 70's!!!!! Don't expect it to be fabulously produced (think Monty Python's - Life of Brian meets Spartacus/Moses - Man of God and you're about there).
2) It is _supposed_ to be slightly tongue-in-cheek. You should enjoy that aspect about this movie (and not dislike it for it). The movie is _purposefully_ funny/ridiculous/controversial in places - this is an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical for heavens sake - he is trying to get you to think! It was made like this on purpose (tanks, Herod scene and all!). Pay attention to the (sometimes wicked and thought provoking) lyrics and enjoy it for what it is.
And finally...don't forget...
3) It is also, faithfully, a biblical story & an A.L.W. musical - if you have no interest in either you probably won't enjoy this movie. For the rest of however, it rocks!
All in all: a very, very entertaining way to present the story of J.C.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2007
I much prefer this version to the more recent production staged by Andrew Lloyd Webber. I remember the original production appearing in London all those years ago and the sensation it was. This DVD is a fine reminder. To me the recent, gritty and more realistic production lacked punch. Also I much prefer the singers in this old version, for Jesus, Judas, Herod and Pilate and I think the sarcasm of the original works far better than the "realistic" version.
But I heard ALW always wanted it in the style he recently produced but originally didn't have the control over the show - so it's good to have both versions so we can compare.