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Jesus Christ Superstar (Widescreen)

3.9 out of 5 stars 190 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Directors: Gale Edwards
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: 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
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Parental Guidance (PG)
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Jan. 15 2013
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 190 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000056NX5
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,966 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.

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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
WARNING! It takes a little time to get used to this version (Norman Jewison's version has always been a favourite of mine) but once you get over the sudden change in tone of this JCS to the 70's film, you are plunged headfirst into a deeply emotive and provocative masterpiece. This stage version (shot specially at Pinewood Studious, UK) was commissioned by Andrew Lloyd Webber to be the definitive Superstar after he saw director Gale Edwards take on the rock opera while it was on tour in Dublin. "I've waited 30 years for this" he told the audience after the performance, so impressed was he by the radical new take on his legendary version of the Passion. The singers/actors are all superb. Glenn Carter gives Jesus a desperate, bewildered edge as events spin out of his control with everybody, Apostles included, interpreting his message for their own selfish and political ends. The only one who understands, and tries to alter the tragic course of events is Judas, expertly played by Jerome Pradon. But even he cannot save his friend, and the betrayal of Jesus is all the more poignant as the struggle between responsibility and duty becomes increasingly blurred. The betrayal scene itself is heartbreaking to watch. Visually, the film is exceptional, a real treat for the eyes (and ears). But younger viewers might find the last 30 minutes or so, especially the "Superstar" sequence itself, frightening. The supporting cast are fine, sometimes slipping into OTT dramatics when they should really be playing it down here and there. The only real quibble in this production. The music score has also been brought up to date for the millenium. Not so 70's and camp, more surging and powerful. A very contemporary arrangement.Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
I was initially skeptical of this new film version of the Weber / Rice classic. However, after viewing I found the production to be far more compelling than the the 1973 version. Direction by Gale Edwards and staging updated this broadway classic in a way that is at once classical (as in Greek drama) and modern (allowing it to speak to a younger generation).
While there are moments of overacting on both the parts of Glenn Carter (Jesus) and Jerome Pradon (Judas Iscariot) - perhaps appropriate on stage - the intensity and emotion both bring to the material illuminated the complex relationship of these two men far greater than the 1973 version.
Also the singing quality of both main leads at times leaves something to be desired and in general are inconsistent. However, again, both actors have an intensity that propelled this viewer into watching the production 5 times in a row.
Renee Castle as Mary Magadeline is compeling and the vocal quality of the actor playing Peter (sorry I don't have his name)was amazing.
The staging of the title song brought new insight into this moment in the production, but at the same time it was a little awkward in its execution.
While the filmic version of this stage production worked on many levels, it at times seemed to be unskilled. Overall, I think huge credit needs to go to Gale Edwards for her vision in the direction and staging of this production.
A fine and compelling cast, while showing imperfections in acting and vocal talent at various points, when pulled together make for a strangly addictive production. Well worth the purchase for those who love the music and are suckers for stories of ordinary folks caught up in extraordinary circumstances.
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