Jesus Christ Superstar [Special Edition] [DVD] [1973]

  • SKU: 6731557
  • Release Date: 08/31/2004
  • Rating: G
Norman Jewison's big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar gets a new deluxe DVD release that hit stores the same day as Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. The film itself is presented in a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The film has never looked better on home video. English, Spanish, and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. Spanish and French subtitles are accessible. The supplemental materials provide a great deal of background information. An interview with Tim Rice lays out the story of how the initial record and the stage show came to be, and that leads nicely into the commentary track recorded by Jewison and star Ted Neeley. They are full of affection for the film, and although the track occasionally suffers from too much patting each other on the back, it is nice to see how well Neeley remembers many details about the cast. A still photo gallery rounds out this solid release from Universal.
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (21 out of 21)

Special Features


  • Feature commentary with director Norman Jewison and actor Ted Neeley
  • Exclusive interview with master lyricist Tim Rice
  • Photo gallery

Synopsis


Jesus Christ Superstar
The second Biblical epic to be turned into a musical by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice, this box-office disappointment recounts the last week in the life of Jesus Christ in rock-opera format and from the surprising point of view of Christ's betrayer, Judas Iscariot. Carl Anderson stars as Judas, who has begun to believe that Jesus (Ted Neeley) has sold out and started buying into the mythology that's quickly springing up around him. Particularly disturbing to Judas is the relationship between Jesus and his friend Mary Magdalene (Yvonne Elliman), a prostitute. When Jesus throws a temper tantrum at the moneylenders in a temple, Judas determines to work with the Pharisees who want to put Jesus on trial as a false prophet. Following his success with the adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof (1971), director Norman Jewison experimented with a hippie-influenced sensibility on Jesus Christ Superstar (1973). Among such touches are depictions of the cast arriving via bus to mount the show, modern high-tech weaponry in the hands of the ancient Romans, and on-location filming in Israel. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Ted Neeley
    Ted Neeley - Jesus Christ
  • Carl Anderson
    Carl Anderson - Judas Iscariot
  • Yvonne Elliman
    Yvonne Elliman - Mary Magdalene
  • Barry Dennen
    Barry Dennen - Pontius Pilate
  • Image coming soon
    Bob Bingham - Caiaphas



Overall customer rating

Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars with 21 reviews

100%of customers would recommend this to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A Super Way to Proclaim the Gospel!

    Posted
    Galadrielle

    It has been said that, through theatre, Shakespeare emphasized the flaws and foibles of regular human beings. Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice go back to the ancient tradition of bringing the powerful story of the dying God into mainstream public entertainment, just as Euripides did, in his play "The Bacchae," with the Greek god Dionysos long before Jesus was even born. The dramatization of Jesus' death is not new at all - it was performed onstage in the Middle Ages and Renaissance all the time. Most recently, Mel Gibson directed a very powerful film version starring Jim Caviezel. However, Webber and Rice add the dimension of rock 'n' roll to the Passion Play, and the music and lyrics are easy for the audience to carry in their minds and, today, on their iPods. Ted Neeley is a very strong Jesus whom we can imagine creating things made out of wood as easily as He can heal the sick and spread the message of hope. We see the concern and anguish in his face as he confronts Judas Iscariot (Carl Anderson), and, with a stroke of genius, Rice has Jesus calling him a "Judas", which has since become an insult word meaning "traitor"! Pontius Pilate's song is particularly poignant, as Pilate speculates his own name being dragged down in infamy. Rice has also taken a word associated with the entertainment industry and has made it sacred - the word "Superstar." By thinking of Jesus as a Superstar, we both relate to Him and stand in awe of Him at the same time - He is our Friend, but He is also the King of Kings. I was only able to give the Plot 3 stars because the very essence of the Christian religion - Jesus' Resurrection - is omitted. The movie would have been far more powerful had it shown the sorrowful tears of Mary Magdalene (Yvonne Eliman) turning to tears of joy as she is one of the first to see Jesus after His triumphant Resurrection. In fact, up until the 19th Century, Easter, and not Christmas, was the predominant holiday in European and European-Influenced society. Consequently, it is all the more disappointing that this important aspect of Jesus' story is missing from this film. There were also a couple of minor costume errors. First, Ciaphas and the other Priests wore oversized black hats that resembled bad onions, which detracted from both their rank and their evil nature. Fortunately, the singers who portray them enabled me to see both their importance and their wickedness. The white robe that Neeley wears is out of place in this setting. Jesus worked as a carpenter. Old jeans, a tattered T-shirt, and a warm jacket would be a much more appropriate costume, considering that Jesus was very rugged and moved around all the time. I believe the white robe that we see on many actors and models depicting Jesus first came into being in 1209, when St. Francis of Assisi, who founded the "What Would Jesus Do?" philosophy, wore one as a sign of humility, and which, today, signifies monasticism and the priesthood. On the whole, I found this film an excellent way to present the Gospel, and to honor Jesus' death, by unjust crucifixion, at age 33. Due to the tasteful way in which this tragedy is depicted, I believe this movie is very appropriate for children 11 and under and for sensitive people. I also make sure to watch it on Good Friday in order to enrich my own respect and admiration for the Ultimate Superstar, Jesus.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best Version of the New Testament

    Posted
    Moviegoer
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase

    The original 1973 movie version has the best performances of this rock opera. I saw it in the movie theater as a nine-year old little Lutheran in 1973 (thanks, Mom and Dad), and I've probably watched it three more times, and listened to the album at least 10 more times. I'm not the only one; my brothers and most of my friends are obsessed, and apparently Stephen Colbert, like me and my brothers, can sing the whole thing start to finish. It's just magnificent, and this is the version you want to see. Join the cool kids!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A Super Gospel!

    Posted
    AnAngelForSure

    I love this Rock Opera. I really enjoy how they took Judas's perspective and made a movie about it, because I feel that Judas is like most humans in how he doubted in God's power and how Jesus was the Son of God. Many people have doubts in their faith and when he turned Jesus over he realized what he had done and knew he had made a mistake. It humanizes Judas and shows the power of God and Jesus at the same time. Very talented cast with amazing voices and I find myself singing along with the movie all the time.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A great movie finally comes to Blu-ray!

    Posted
    lcummins
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    If you are a fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, you have probably seen this movie many times. But now it has finally been released on Blu-ray! The video transfer is pretty good but there is room for improvement, but the audio is excellent! The musical numbers sound fantastic! Highly recommended for any Lloyd Webber fan and if you grew up in the 70's, this movie will really bring back the memories of that era!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    THE ONE AND ONLY...A TRUE ORIGINAL

    Posted
    FONZIESMOM
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase

    SAW THIS FOR THE 1ST TIME WHEN IT ORIGINALLY CAME OUT AND IT MADE QUITE AN IMPRESSION. I LEARNED AND THOUGHT ABOUT THE LIFE OF JESUS IN A WAY I HADN'T BEFORE. THE SIMPLICITY OF THE WAREROBE AND SETS IS NICE. FILMED IN ISREAL TED NEELY IS WONDERFUL AS JESUS. OVER THE YEARS, I HAVE PROBABLY SEEN IT ATLEAST 25 TIMES AND NEVER TIRE OF IT. THIS EDITION FEATURES SOME EXTRAS - DIALOGUE WITH TED NEELY AND THE DIRECTOR, EXTRA PHOTOS, AND AN INTERVIEW WITH TIM RICE.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    JC JC!

    Posted
    voodue
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is one of my top 10 movies of all time! It looks 100% better on Blu Ray than DVD! I LOVE IT!!!! The only thing that is kind of a bummer, is that they didn't get any new extras for the blu ray. It's the same extras you get with the DVD, commentary, and an interview with Tim Rice... I NEED MORE JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR!!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Movie

    Posted
    Rodman
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Saw the Jesus Christ Superstar play when I was a teenager, but never had the opportunity to see the movie. The movie is Great. Filmed on location in Israel which makes the movie more powerful. This movie is truly a gem.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Love it!

    Posted
    Eeyore13
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I love this movie! I had it on VHS and somebody borrowed it years ago and never returned it. I've been lucky to have seen Ted Neeley perform it live twice. It's great to own on Blue-ray at a great Best Buy price!

    I would recommend this to a friend



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