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Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 2

audience

77

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 36,070

My Rating

Movie Info

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

Mar 16, 1999

Universal Studios

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Latest News on Jesus Christ Superstar

September 20, 2013:
Hit Movie Songs from the 1970s
June 20, 2012:
Paul Verhoeven Envisions Jesus of Nazareth
Perhaps religious conservatives will want to pass on this.

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (9) | DVD (9)

The music quickly becomes monotonous, and the operatic dialogue is silly right from the start.

March 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (2)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite the 'impressive' desert locations and an array of tanks (to represent the ills of modern militarism), it's still staged like a student revue.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jewison, a director of large talent, has taken a piece of commercial shlock and turned it into a Biblical movie with dignity.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Yvonne Elliman is electrifying as Mary Magdalene, and Carl Anderson couldn't have been better as Judas; but Ted Neeley as Jesus is more whiny than heroic.

March 19, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

If it weren't for Lost Horizon, this would have gone down in history as the Worst Musical of 1973.

March 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Flawed, but still worthwhile film of the show.

September 4, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Overall: Some good songs, some interesting choreography, and some utterly forgotten actors.

June 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Like a baptism by fire, Jesus Christ Superstar rarely leaves the viewer in lukewarm waters

June 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

[A] rather tedious, if flamboyant affair.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Ted Neeley is great but the film never rises to the material.

February 7, 2003
Your Movies (cleveland.com)

Jesus Christ Superstar makes a better musical than a movie.

January 1, 2000
Cinema Sight

If only all biblical films could be this groovy.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Audience Reviews for Jesus Christ Superstar

This film is about the week before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ by the Romans, and the relationship between Jesus and Judas. Also, if the title doesn't tip you off to the epic power of this film, it is also a musical. A rock opera at that, written and scored by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. There isn't a great need for historical accuracy, or Biblical accuracy at that, and many points in the film have come up for dispute in the Christian community. The film actually took pains to sanitize itself in comparison to the original musical so not to offend them, though most of the time there is little difference between both. Though it may not be useful as an educational tool for the dogma of the Christian religion, it does teach about the relationship between the messiah and one of his apostles, and the way Jesus struggled through the end of his life, ending up very human and yet above it all with his sacrifice for the sins of everyone. He is damned, he does go before Pontius Pilate, and he does end his story with his crucifixion. The musical itself is a blatant anachronism of the seventies and the times of Jesus, fusing the savior's concepts of salvation with the free love and ambivalence of the sixties. The music in the first twenty minutes is the best of the entire musical and features the amazing pipes of Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson, and Yvonne Elliman. The rest of the music (which is the only way the plot moves since there isn't any dialogue) is fairly rock opera-esque, but it's not until the final song that the music starts becoming huge and rock once more. The rest is slow and bleak as it tells the story of Jesus and how he must take the punishment of the Romans and his sacrifice. His and Judas' relationship in the film is really quite interesting and Carl Anderson's performance as Judas is both complex and understated. Ted Neeley is a bit of a shifty eyed pessimistic throughout, and I do believe his performance does not deserve the accolades it brought, or the forty year career he's had playing the character on Broadway. The film did do something different with the traditional musical when it came to sets, characters, in-jokes, and costumes, and that anachronism and tie to contemporary music made the story more accessible for an entirely new generation. Though the film drags in places it is definitely enjoyable and interesting when it came to the original story of frenemies.
May 23, 2013
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

A surreal portrait of Jesus with a mix of 70's and music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Jesus Christ Superstar it's also a tense, unique and sometimes boring, but the soundtrack and the oddity made this controversial cult classic charming musical a likable movie.
July 6, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

This is not the best movie musical ever made, not even close. But is it highly enjoyable? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: This is one of the most surreal films made. Not only is it based on the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, but the film gives us thousand anachronisms to stammer at, giving it a very off-beat feel that you can't take your eyes off of. At the end of the day, you have to watch it at least once.
*NOTE: The song "Superstar" is AWESOME. Just saying.
April 22, 2011
Jacob Ethington

Super Reviewer

One of the best musicals of the 70s, best uplifting Jesus related films, and just super cool. I love this movie.
December 29, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

    1. Pontius Pilate: I wash my hands of your demolition. Die, if you want to. You innocent puppet!
    – Submitted by Brian f (11 months ago)
    1. Jesus Christ: Think while you still have me. Move while you still see me. You'll be lost, and you'll be sorry when I'm gone.
    – Submitted by Brian f (11 months ago)
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