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Jesus Christ Superstar (Widescreen)

3.9 out of 5 stars 188 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Glenn Carter, Jérôme Pradon, Renée Castle, Fred Johanson, Rik Mayall
  • Directors: Gale Edwards, Nick Morris
  • Writers: Tim Rice
  • Producers: Austin Shaw, Dusty Symonds, Kevin Wallace
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Jan. 15 2013
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 188 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000056NX5
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,028 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

The stage spectacular makes a stunning debut on DVD! Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar is now available to own for the first time ever. When it exploded on the scene in 1970, Jesus Christ Superstar changed the way the world watched musicals. At last, the phenomenon has been filmed especially for DVD, so you can see one of the world's best-loved soundtracks come amazingly to life. Powerful performances of Jesus Christ Superstar an unforgettable extravaganza you can't afford to miss!


Before Andrew Lloyd Webber took over Broadway with his operatic productions and Tim Rice tossed in his lot with Disney's animated musicals, they were the young turks of musical theater and their rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar was their calling card. Director Gale Edwards's 1999 stage revival, which became the basis for this video production (also available on CD), takes the show out of ancient Jerusalem to an indeterminate mix of modern New York (complete with graffiti-scrawled walls and T-shirt garbed disciples) and timeless Rome. The grandly abstract sets, rainbow lighting, and striking costumes are more theater than cinema, but like the previous made-for-video Lloyd Webber-Rice production Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the enormous soundstages give the director free reign to combine the mediums.

The setting folds fascism, intolerance, and revolution into a portrait out of time, robbing the play of its powerful historical grounding but injecting it with energy and insight. As Christ, Glenn Carter (who played the role in the 2000 Broadway revival) flashes his anger and rolls his eyes at Judas (Jerome Pradon) but cannot deny the truths of Judas's fears: "Every word you say today gets twisted 'round some other way." As Christ sees his cult of personality overtake his message and struggles with the fears of his sacrifice, he reaches within for faith and forgiveness, giving the show the spiritual dimension it so often lacks.

It's an entertaining, thoughtful, and well-sung production. Edwards avoids the tepidity of Norman Jewison's solemn 1973 film, driving forward with energetic editing and swooping cameras, and guided at all times by the dramatic, exhilarating score. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The reason I got this new DVD of JCS, is that i've never seen the play performed live, and this would get me closer to it than the 1973 movie version. Well, sort of. First of all, it's not neccesarily a faithfull live performance. The work of cameras, the edition, the need of presenting it "like a movie", take a little of that notion. And second, this is just another adaptation of the live play. Not the first, nor the last.
Is it ejoyable for those who only know the '73 movie?. Well, I kinda liked it. My guess is that if you love the play, you'll like this DVD, because it's all about the songs and the play. But certainly, I cannot say that, as a whole, this DVD is better than the old movie.
The "modernized" enviroment is intended, I guess, to give the play an "updated" feeling. JCS for the new generations. But the street looks of the stage, the grafittis, the Nazi/Darth Vader-like costumes of the authorities and guards, and other elements, compromise compatibility. I mean, the message of Jesus Christ is universal, but the time and place in which events took place were unique. More than updated, the historical facts look out of place.
OK, maybe it's just a false impression. Some would argue that the '73 movie version had the same flaws, with, among other things, roman guards in jeans and construction helmets. But since the movie was filmed in locations close to the originals in place and looks, details like modern costumes were easier to overlook.
Regarding the voices, most of the singers are wonderful. I was specially impressed by Tony Vincent (Simon), Fred Johanson (Pilate) (by the way, he sounds so much like the judge in The Trial, in Pink Floyd's The Wall), and Renee Castle (Mary Magdalene). But the leads...
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Format: DVD
I love this musical, but this filmed version of the revived stage show suffers from poor casting. Glen Carter as Jesus is simpering and shallow without the emotional and vocal complexity necessary for Jesus, particularly in "Gethsemene." Jerome Pradon's Judas screeches his way through his most emotional moments and comes across as more irritating than sympathetic. Mary Magdalene is quite good and Tony Vincent as Simon is wonderful. The changes in costume and set design are interesting, but I wish they had filmed a different cast. (My choice for JC dreamcast is Eric Kunze as Jesus, Todd Fournier as Judas, and Natalie Toro as Mary.) Instead of wasting your money on this version, go for the 1973 Norman Jewison one. It's much more complex and emotionally satisfying, if less pretty.
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Format: DVD
Jesus Christ Superstar is somewhat of a period piece. The style of the music reflects the time period in which it was written. To try to revive it in the 21st Century, it just does not work. 1973 was the perfect time to make JCS into a movie. The style of rock mixed with opera was a fad during the 1970's. Although the music stands the test of time and is still AMAZING, this movie trys to throw a contemporary twist on Superstar and it ends up blowing up in everyone's face. Herod is portrayed as a Frank Sinatra look-alike in a tuxedo, while the Jewish mob is portrayed as a LA street gang. Through this Broadway version, the original setting of "Isreal in 4 BC" is lost. There is no sign of Jesus' real homeland. Glenn Carter is a mediocre Jesus and does not show the turmoil and emotion of the character as Ted Neeley did in the 1973 movie version. Plus Ted Neeley could sing circles around Glenn Carter. Wow Ted Neeley was phenominal. Skip this version and buy the old version instead. Some musicals should be not be revived and Jesus Christ Superstar is one of them.
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Format: DVD
I have been looking high and low for this DVD and I was exhilarated when I found it. I had to have it specially ordered because the store I went to did not have it in stock. And yes, it was worth it.
To those of you unfamiliar with the plot of Jesus Christ Superstar (JCS), well... that sounds quite implausible, but still... if you have no idea what the story of Jesus Christ is, all you have to do is read the Bible, or head out to watch Passion of the Christ. JCS chronicles the last few days, or perhaps hours of Jesus of Nazareth's life, through the point of view of the betrayer, Judas Iscariot.
Yes, this is what makes the storyline somewhat distinct from other movies/plays based on the story of Jesus. Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical sees Jesus through the eyes of Judas, and explores Judas's character, while at the same time, helping the audience to speculate why Judas would betray someone he loved so much.
The cast here is outstanding. Glenn Carter is superb as Jesus, partly because he bears some resemblance to his character. Renee Castle is a great singer, though her voice is a little feeble and is reminiscent of Brandy. Jerome Pradon gets the thumbs-up for his performance as Judas. His interpretation of Judas's character shows us a man who is torn between his love for Jesus and his wisdom. Although Jerome is hardly a great singer, he is an outstanding actor. And his great performance is what makes the film so enjoyable. Rik Mayall is wonderful as King Herod. He has the right mischievous air, coupled with the malice he exudes.
Indeed, it is the cast that holds this performance together. The musical itself, to me, is hardly as strong as what Andrew Lloyd Webber could have offered. The music has not enough lilts to engross viewers. I would not classify this musical as one of the greatest in the world for this reason. Such a great story deserves a stronger musical score to bring forth its greatness.
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