The musical Jesus Christ Superstar, after its success in Broadway theaters, landed in cinemas in 1973.
And now it also lands on I Love Disco. So let’s get to know the characters who made this musical famous, as well as the film.
Judas : Contrary to what we may think, the main role is not that of Jesus but that of Judas, played by an incredible Carl Anderson. From the beginning of the film the figure of Judas has a privileged relationship with the Master (Jesus); he is convinced that he is the only one who has understood this and that he is his right hand. But he is scandalized because he does not behave as he would like (under the attentions of Magdalene, children and adults), therefore he is perplexed and at the last supper he shouts “I admired you now I despise you!”. Carl Anderson is so good at characterizing this controversial character that his portrayal will earn him two Golden Globe nominations. Unfortunately he died at the age of 54 in Los Angeles on February 23, 2004.
Magdalene : Another character who exalts the dialectical relationship with Jesus is that of Magdalene. He is played by a very good Yvonne Elliman. The intensity with which she lives her relationship with Jesus, which is evident from the song “I don’t know how to love him” in which Magdalene describes her being upset more by the conflict of feelings than by the senses for a man, Jesus , and from the impalpable diversity; looking more deeply at the film, in particular in the characterization of the Magdalene, it almost seems that she is something more than a disciple.
Caiaphas : In Andrew Webber and Tim Rice’s work, Jesus Christ Superstar is played by actor Bob Bingham, who created the role of Caiaphas in the original Jesus Christ Superstar concert and starred in the original Broadway production, which ran from 1971 to 1973. With Barry Dennen (Pilate) and Yvonne Elliman (Mary Magdalene), Bingham reprized her role in the 1973 film. Caiaphas is the only one in Webber’s work to have clear ideas about Jesus and the danger he represents, in fact he will say: “we cannot set him free, for the good of the country he must die“. Jesus gives importance to the character of Caiaphas when at the entrance to Jerusalem he points out to him the irrepressibility of the triumph, all accompanied by the poignant “Pilate’s dream”.
Pilate : he is played by the actor Barry Dennen who had already played this character with Bob Bingham, almost managing to rehabilitate this character in the eyes of the spectators, in fact, like Judas also Pilate, he is the victim of a divine plan that he tries to subvert from the beginning of movie .
Herod : he is represented by the actor Josha Mostel who, hear ye, began his career as a soprano at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Mostel sets his character in a frivolous and vicious way, managing to bring out a rather secluded figure compared to the other characters.
Pietro : played by Paul Tomas was a pornographic actor and director who was a member of the Hall of Fame. He is considered to be one of the most charismatic and experienced actors in the entire porn industry. Paul Tomas first played the role of Pietro in the Musical Jesus Christ Superstar and only later entered the world of red light cinema.
A curiosity, the location of the last supper was chosen and rented a year before the shooting. The production paid an inhabitant to cultivate that piece of land so that at the time of the shoot there was a meadow surrounded by desert.
Finally let’s talk about him, Jesus : played by Ted Neeley who rose to the headlines precisely for having interpreted this role, even if many do not know that Neeley signed his first record deal at the age of 22, a great friend of Carl Anderson (Judas), he will be the one to report Carl to production. From the narrative point of view, the film tries to underline, often with symbolic elements, certain exclusive characteristics of Jesus “Superstar”. In one of the scenes of the film a luminous cross descends from the sky on the amphitheater and carries Judas who is clinging to it.
This and much more is jesus christ superstar .