Jesus Christ Superstar

Trivia: Yvonne Elliman and Barry Dennen, as Mary Magdalene and Pontius Pilate, respectively, are the only cast members who appeared on the concept album, in the original staging of the show on Broadway, and in the feature film.

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Jesus Christ Superstar trivia picture

Trivia: Ted Neely met his wife Leyann on location. She can be seen during the "Simon Zealot" song, the brunette dressed in brown.

Trivia: At Carl Anderson's (Judas) funeral Ted Neely (Jesus) performed the song "Gethsemane", which had been Anderson's favorite piece from the musical.

Jesus Christ Superstar trivia picture

Trivia: When the apostles sit down to dine at the Last Supper they strike a pose imitating the famous painting by Leonardo DaVinci.

Trivia: Although all of the singing had been recorded before shooting began and the actors were lip-syncing, Carl Anderson (Judas) and Ted Neely (Jesus) sang with full intensity during the takes. The actors chose to do so because merely lip-syncing would not give the emotion and intensity their scenes required.

Trivia: The song "Then We Are Decided" was written for the film, and has never been used in any subsequent regular production, although it was performed in the 2013 Arena tour.

Trivia: In addition to Yvonne Elliman and Barry Dennen, Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson, and Bob Bingham also appeared in the stage production on Broadway. Neeley and Anderson were understudies for the roles of Jesus and Judas, respectively, and Bingham was the lead Caiaphas.

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Trivia: Ted Neeley originally wanted to try out for the part of Judas but Noman Jewison told him to try out "for the other guy" and he did and has been playing Jesus ever since.


Trivia: Ted Neely was performing in the musical "Tommy" while Norman Jewison was casting for the film. Since he was unable to go to an audition Neely called Jewison's agent and asked him if Jewison could attend a performance of "Tommy" and watch him perform. Jewison drove to Los Angeles from Palm Springs and attended the one performance which didn't include Ted Neely.

Trivia: Ian Gillan, the lead vocalist of Deep Purple, played Jesus on the original 1970 concept album. He was offered the chance to play the role in the film, but after a financial disagreement, he decided to continue with Deep Purple on their scheduled tour.

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Trivia: Philip Toubus, who plays Saint Peter, later had a prominent career as a pornographic actor and director.

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Trivia: Although he had a prolific career on stage, this was the only feature film Bob Bingham made. He retired from show business shortly after its release, and later managed a zipper factory.

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Audio problem: During the song "Judas' Death", Caiaphas sings the line "What you have done will be the saving of everyone", but his mouth is saying " the saving of Israel", the song's original lyric. (01:24:00)

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More mistakes in Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus: Can you show me now that I will not be killed in vain? Show me just a little of your omnipresent brain! Show me there's a reason for your wanting me to die! You're far too keen on where and how, but not so hot on why.

More quotes from Jesus Christ Superstar

Question: Isn't Judas' reference to Muhammad an historical inaccuracy? Muhammad lived from 570 AD to 632 AD.

Answer: In the song "Jesus Christ, Superstar, " Judas highlights several anachronisms. He makes comparison to Buddha, about whom he likely would have known little to nothing. He references Muhammad, not yet born. He even brings up the concept of mass communication, also unheard of in the ancient world. However, this number is meant to take place in a spiritual realm, out of place and time, where past and present have no actual meaning. Judas is shown to be eternally struggling with Jesus, his message, his methods, and whether or not he is truly divine. But also, let's face its contemporary, "Godspell, " the entire film is pretty much an anachronism. For starters, it's a rock operetta which puts just about everything in modern terms in its language ("what's the buzz") and its cinematography (Judas being chased down by tanks, for example). If you are looking for temporal realism, there are many options for that. This film is far more allegorical than it is historical.

Michael Albert

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