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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 7.84%
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Pretty Crappy: 9.8%
Sucks: 5.88%

1 review, 45 user ratings

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Jesus Christ Superstar
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by Godfather

"This is God's favourite movie. After all, it's one-third autobiographical."
5 stars

Jesus Christ Superstar is one of those rare films that not only entertains but also has the benefit of according a good deal of its viewers with a life changing experience. Released in the early 1970's, this film draws from two historical periods: the 1960's and the period which would later become to be known as 33 AD. While the 30 AD's did not have a great impact on the young persons of the 70's it is quite apparent that the 60's did. And it was with this thought in mind that the director Norman Jewison adapted the successful Broadway play of the same name into one of the greatest films ever made.

Jesus Christ Superstar, as you most astute of readers may have guessed, is about the life of Jesus Christ. Or, more specifically, about the last days of Christ. In this adaptation of the greatest story ever told we watch mesmerised as Jesus and his disciples and friends come to life not as the stale characters from the Bible but as living human beings with real lives, hopes, dreams, fears, and aspirations. If you have had any exposure to modern day Judeo-Christian beliefs the cast of characters will be to you both familiar and exotic in their true life forms. There is Jesus Christ (Ted Neeley) who not only is capable of great wisdom and understanding but also to fits of anger, frustration, and fear. With Jesus is his right hand man who later betrays him Judas Iscariot (Carl Anderson). Looking after his earthly needs is the prostitute Mary Magdalene (Yvonne Elliman). Worshipping him and yet later denying him is one of his most devote disciples Peter (Philip Toubus). And following him blindly and at the same time completely misunderstanding any of his motives is Simon the Zealot (Larry Marshall). The Head Priest Caiaphas (Bob Bingham) is conspiring to kill him. Cheerfully assisting him is the very unusual and hedonistic King Herod (Joshua Mostel). And reluctantly issuing the death sentence is Pontius Pilate (Barry Dennen).

One of the many magnificent things that this film does is avoid the temptation to present the characters in their well known but one-dimensional roles and therefore play down the controversy this film created. If you believe the events of this movie then you learn the following. Judas betrays Jesus but only because Jesus (and God) force him to. Mary Magdalene may have been a prostitute but she was also in love with Jesus and quite possibly his girlfriend. Caiaphas didn't hate Jesus; he just wanted to kill him for political expediency. And Pontius Pilate was the one man who was most reluctant about issuing the order to crucify Jesus. As well as bringing the ancient text of the Bible to life this film also entertains. The singing is unsurpassed by any film in cinematic history, with songs by two legends in the industry, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. And the tie in with ancient Israel and modern day times is brilliant and a tribute to the genius that is always displayed by Norman Jewison.

There is nothing unique, of course, about a movie that focuses on the life of the man who is considered by many, many people (rumour has it even more than read my reviews on a regular basis!!) to be the Son of God. And in all fairness it is not even the only movie to discuss Jesus in a controversial (The Last Temptation Of Christ) or modern musical genre (Godspell). But it is the film that has been credited with taking what was considered to be a stagnant religion and presenting it to young people in such a manner that they could understand it and participate in it. In the lingo of the times, after seeing this film young people "turned on to Jesus". Whether or not Jesus really is the Son of God or just one of the greatest prophets that ever lived is a matter of (religious) opinion. What isn't opinion is that Jesus Christ Superstar ranks in the top ten greatest films ever made. And if that isn't worthy of Superstar status, I don't know what is.

For Hollywood BitchSlap, I'm the Godfather.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4300&reviewer=142
originally posted: 04/24/00 20:38:12
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User Comments

2/16/17 Vulnavia I found Ted Neeley's petulant, whiny performance revolting! 1 stars
4/21/13 Granny Shagger WARNING SPOILER: Jesus dies, for our sins...yeah, right! 4 stars
1/30/09 hardfact not exactly bibical but still good 5 stars
7/04/08 jackie love a spiritial epiphany 5 stars
6/15/08 Shaw Gynan A deeply moving film, wonderfully choreographed, spectacular settings, cutting-edge 5 stars
4/11/08 simon one of the best musical movies ever, great performances all round. 5 stars
4/26/07 Marguerite Ted Neeley rocks this film!! 5 stars
12/30/06 Lauri Cosby I saw JCSS years ago-just got the movie. Ted's voice is amazing-even now! 5 stars
12/09/06 David Cohen Jesus comes off as a ninny, the only interesting character was Judas 2 stars
6/16/06 Joanie not bad, but good either 3 stars
3/24/06 fairmaidenvoyage I have seen both the screen and stage versions of JCS and I love them both. Totally awesome 5 stars
3/17/06 Rever good film half baked ending 5 stars
2/23/06 Redbrook Carl Anderson is amazing. It's too bad he wasn't in much else. Otherwise, eh... 2 stars
7/22/05 Diane Ted Neeley's performance was outstanding along with all the others 5 stars
3/12/05 DM One Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that's actually worth watching. 4 stars
11/16/04 Melody Dougherty The greatest film ever made. The music is moving, inspirational, fun. Simply amazing 5 stars
7/18/04 scrambled brain i can't wait for its sequel ("the passion of the christ, the musical" 4 stars
3/09/04 Danelle Superstar film about the Greatest Superstar who ever lived! 5 stars
1/27/04 sue The best point of view about Jesus that I´ve seen. Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson: ˇGLORIOUS! 5 stars
10/09/03 Jenna Childs I am a Christian & I love musicals, but this was just disgusting. 2 stars
9/29/03 JohnnyXXX Powerful performance by the lead palyers, especially Yvonne Elliman!! 5 stars
11/12/02 Charles Tatum Elliman's voice is flawless in this wonderful film 5 stars
4/11/02 Cindi I agree 100% - Ted and Carl are the BEST Jesus and Judas for ANY generation! 5 stars
3/28/02 S. Mavar Ted Neely made me consider taking up religion 5 stars
3/22/02 MMJ GOOD REVIEW 5 stars
10/28/01 Paul Very Unique with style 5 stars
10/25/01 r m montgomery I was one of those Jesus freaks of the 60's and still am. 5 stars
7/15/01 skrelick one interesting movie 5 stars
5/03/01 The Lord Thy God JSC is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help Me Me. 5 stars
4/16/01 Nilla What if the Bible(God'd word)is true?/Who, would want to be branded: belittling God's Son?? 2 stars
4/12/01 Siena Coppa I think it mocks the total story of Jesus and what he did to save us. 1 stars
4/11/01 Katrina Rocks! 5 stars
4/01/01 Rebecca Finally someone tells this story like the people are real. Judas rules! 5 stars
3/08/01 Eron Absolutely unbelievable. See it. 5 stars
2/11/01 Rohan Gera This movie is awesome just awesome. If I was rating it I would give 11/10, 5 stars
2/10/01 Joey-boy "Avenger Girl" sounds like an illiterate sow! 5 stars
2/04/01 Avenger Girl The people who made this should be shot.PURE SHITE like a fart from someone's bum. 1 stars
1/01/01 Cokry i meen corky dis wuzs de besstestt moovy i evvur sall 5 stars
12/04/00 Barb West Good movie 4 stars
10/29/00 juli 17 in 1973 learned more about the bible here then any religious class I was ever forced to endure. 5 stars
9/11/00 Gale T Awesome! Saw it in 1974 and just a few hrs ago. I agree with the Godfather! 5 stars
7/28/00 Wendy This movie is CRAZY and the musik is juss plain funky...get ready toget down with judas! 5 stars
6/22/00 Steve Bryce What a piece of crap! The ONLY thing this movie has going for it is Carl Anderson. 2 stars
5/13/00 emily the best movie in the world 5 stars
3/30/00 the eight ball Judas' afro is fantastic. Mary is hot. Jesus is not cool, but still a groovy film 5 stars
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  02-Apr-1973 (G)
  DVD: 31-Aug-2004



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