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3.8 out of 5 stars
Godspell [DVD] [2008]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2015
This is very much a curate's egg of a film - by turns cloying & irritating then suddenly very moving!
I saw the original London production several times, and that initially was quite serious, but as the run continued & the cast changed, it became increasingly reliant on silly voices and TV catch-phrases, like bad pantomime. In the same way, this film's very likeable cast simply tries too hard - the frantic routines remind me of "The Monkees" TV show at times. But suddenly there are moments of great charm - notably the close harmonies of the lovely song "By My Side", always the show's musical highlight in my far-from-humble opinion.

Theologically it's very dodgy - why are John the Baptist and Judas Iscariot the same person, and doesn't all the happy-clappy, sub-hippie lovey-doveyness sit rather uncomfortably beside the uncompromising "fire-and-brimstone" preaching? And why, why, why is there no Resurrection? The stage show had Jesus leaping up to join the rest of the cast in a rousing encore of "Day by Day", but here...nothing. The cast just carries his body into the city streets. Symbolic of evangelism, perhaps, but couldn't they, say, have gone back to their everyday lives and looked up from time to time, only to see Him across the shop/office/cafe or whatever?

A missed opportunity when it was made, but worth buying for the well-sung songs, the nostalgia, seeing New York in a more innocent age, and the individual charm of the performers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Just a great show from the seventies with full hippy costumes and a great script around some fine voices and good acting froma professional cast. Set in New York streets pre 9/11 and the Twin Towers disaster. We enjoyed every minute and it left us a adefinite deelgood feeling and a better understanding of Matthew's gospel, acted out in a contemporary setting. Don't demand too much of it biblically, just enjoy the show.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2012
I saw the original Godspell show in London and have since it since as a local amateur production. Both stage shows were absolutely fantastic and I cannot believe how it has been represented in this DVD. The stage show was an extremely moving interpretation of the gospel with wonderful music; even though it was presented in a light hearted way with the cast dressed as clowns / hipppies. This DVD does not represent the original feeling and emotion. Songs that were originally sung with feeling were now sung with a comedy aspect. At times it is like watching a childish slapstick comedy. Also the order of the story and songs has been changed from the order in the stage show. Anyone who remembers the original show and is hoping to recreate this, will be very disappointed. A complete waste of money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2014
Shame that it's only a mono soundtrack, but it was good to watch again one of my favourite films from my teenage years as it no longer appears on TV (possibly something to do with one one of the song and dance numbers taking place on the Twin Towers, which were in the final stages of construction at the time of filming). It's a little bit dated, but the deserted New York background is still as haunting as ever.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A snippet of time. The film made in the 70' with a seventies version of 60's hippies. There are some great views of the twin towers.

As with many film adaptations of plays, I the effort to take advantage of the media the essence of the play can get lost. Sure the songs are there but the filler is just that. The play as seen in its many incarnations is inspiring and makes one want to read the gospel of St. Mathew. However this version takes great effort to get through. Also based on the book "The Feast of Fools: A Theological Essay on Festivity and Fantasy".

Still this is the only recording we have to remember a play a time and a message. And the song "Day by Day" pretty much expresses the reason for the play and the reason to be part of the larger play.
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on 2 December 2012
This was the first time that I had seen the film version of the musical, Godspell. The acting enhanced the wonderful songs and brought the story to life in a very convincing manner. I had previously been to a local Youth Theatre stage production of Godspell where I had enjoyed the songs and they were joined together loosely by the action but here, on the film there is a greater sense of continuity which I found to be quite uplifting. Some excellent individual vocal performances supported from a very able chorus from the cast members.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2013
I love this film/ Musical because it has beautiful, tuneful songs with unadulterated bible/ scripture running all the way through them.
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on 5 December 2012
Although Jesus Christ Superstar is much better known than this one, Godspell is a beautiful film/musical with some remarkable melodies. Just check out the song "Day by day". It gives me a very warm feeling.
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on 27 December 2012
this dvd takes me back to my youth. its very dated but is a "feel good" film that i enjoyed years ago and again recently.
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Going to introduce this into our Sunday Club. Catchy tunes and talented cast. Very entertaining to watch and would recommend.
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