From Stage to Silver Screen: Top 15 Movie Musicals of the Last 50 Years

By Ben Rimalower
14 Sep 2013

Ted Neeley

5. "Jesus Christ Superstar" (1973, directed by Norman Jewison)

I love the movie "Jesus Christ Superstar." It straight-up lifts the sung-through rock opera score of the stage show, daringly utilizing it as the screenplay. People can balk at the potentially corny 1970s style "hippies putting on a show" concept behind some of the production elements and the opening and closing sequences, but I think these choices are in keeping with the anachronistic tone of the lyrics and offer a valid and engaging context for this raw and exciting work from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The performers, many of them pulled from the Broadway production, are excellent singers and act their roles with conviction. This remains a movie I can enjoy again and again.  Continued...