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Godspell [DVD] [1973]

  • SKU: 3855885
  • Release Date: 04/04/2000
  • Rating: G
The chances are pretty good that Columbia Pictures would never have put up the money to acquire Godspell had it not been for the earlier mega-hit status of Jesus Christ Superstar as an album and Broadway show. Godspell was a livelier, somewhat lower-rent off-Broadway musical, with a harder, more basic rock sound, also derived from a religious source. Luckily, the producers didn't carry the original too far from its roots as a student work and an off-Broadway success, shooting the movie entirely in New York with a guileless young cast drawn from various stage companies of the piece. The DVD features a good letterboxed transfer of the film, from elements that look and sound at least two generations up from the source material used for television showings in the 1980s. It's not perfect but it is likely a match for most theatrical showings that the movie ever got. The score does come through loudly, with a lot of presence even to the acoustic guitars. The producers have tried to make the DVD special, with only limited success -- in fact, the packaging seems to promise more than the disc delivers. The "Bonus Trailers" refer to trailers for other Columbia titles, but not for Godspell. The "Talent Files" are somewhat sparse, limited to three principal cast members and the director. And the 15 chapters, although they allow viewers to access the individual songs, are also too limited and run way too long, with too much non-song material. On a more positive note, the insert card credits the individual performers featured in each song.

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (5 out of 5)

    Special Features

    • Digitally mastered audio & anamorphic video
    • Production notes
    • Interactive menus
    • Audio: English [mono]
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai
    • Musical Highlights: Direct scene access to musical numbers
    • Talent files
    • Bonus trailers
    • Scene selections


    Directors David Greene and John-Michael Tebelak collaborate with composer Stephen Schwartz to bring his wildly successful Broadway musical, Godspell, to the big screen. Told almost entirely in song, Godspell presents the gospel of St. Matthew updated to New York City of the late '60s/early '70s, featuring Jesus Christ as a wandering minstrel dressed like a circus clown. By blowing on an instrument that reaches only the ears of a select few around the bustling city, John the Baptist (David Haskell) summons nine simpatico hippies to a fountain in Central Park, where they revel in the waters of their baptism. When Christ (Victor Garber) joins the group, the free-flowing fraternal love solidifies into a desire to spread the word of God around the city. Outfitting themselves in a nearby junkyard that bursts with color, the lively group makes its way around a sparsely populated fairy-tale version of the city, re-enacting Biblical parables with great enthusiasm and flamboyance. Opting for a lighter yet more devout approach than its thematically similar Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell features an equivalent number of hummable hit songs, notably "Prepare Ye (The Way of the Lord)," "By My Side," and "Day by Day." ~ Derek Armstrong, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Victor Garber
      Victor Garber - Jesus Christ
    • David Haskell
      David Haskell - John
    • Jerry Sroka
      Jerry Sroka - Jerry
    • Lynne Thigpen
      Lynne Thigpen - Lynne
    • Katie Hanley
      Katie Hanley - Katie

    Customer rating

    Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 5 reviews

    would recommend to a friend
    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Fond Memories From Years Ago

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      The Easter season and the NBC live updated production of Jesus Christ Superstar led me to search out this film version of Godspell from 1973. Interesting memories from 45 years ago were conjured up as I watched - not the least of which were a very young Victor Garber in the lead role, and views of the New York skyline featuring the ill-fated Twin Towers. Our local college's summer theater program had facilitated an early developmental production of Godspell on stage, making this all the more nostalgic.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great Movie

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      I remembered seeing Godspell in the movie theater many years ago and could not pass up the opportunity to own it on DVD.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Fun DVD great price

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase

      Wonderful deal on a classic show. I hadn't seen this since it wad I theaters.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      excellent musical of story of Jesus

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      This is a fun version of Godspell......set in New York in the early 70's. Vocals outstanding.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Hippy Jesus

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
      • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

      60s version of the passion of Jesus Christ. Based on the Broadway musical.

      I would recommend this to a friend

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