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Jesus Christ Superstar [DVD]
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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.
Ted Neeley 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
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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"
Placing a bid for a used copy on an auction website I was disappointed to be outbid near the end of the auction, but checking on Amazon I was then delighted to find this brand new copy cheaper than the used one I was bidding for and with free delivery.
The sound is not that brilliant in places but the music is as good as ever, excellent value for a trip down memory lane with a true classic film.
Oh, and the performance by Carl Anderson as Judas, what an amazing voice he had! He is breathtaking, as are the whole crew. Pontius Pilate and Mary are also stars of this show.
However, I absolutely love this film and have done so since it's initial release in 1973.
Great music, wonderfully performed in a great setting and (if I'm honest) a brilliant story. Most stories I enjoy are works of fiction so whether or not I happen to believe in the voracity of this particular tale is irrelevant - it's still a fabulous film.
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