What do you know about the movie "Jesus Christ Superstar?"

By: J. Reinoehl
Image: TMDB

About This Quiz

"Jesus Christ Superstar" earned $10.8 million in 1973 alone. Despite the controversy surrounding the film, it has lasted for more than 40 years and had many revivals on stage and in theaters. How well do you know "Jesus Christ Superstar?" Take this quiz and find out!

Which character wandered away from the group during the setup?

Judas wandered away from the rest of the group in the very beginning. Judas was the compelling reason they wanted to write this story. They felt that he did not have motivation for what he was doing in the traditional Biblical story and wanted to tell it from his point of view.

Judas opened the film singing that he was upset with Jesus because of what?

"If you strip away the myth from the man, you will see where we all soon will be… You started to believe the things they say of you. You really do believe this talk of God is true."

The first scene showed what type of vehicle traveling across the desert?

The actors arrived at the place in the desert by bus. The actor who played Jesus neither got off the bus in the beginning nor got back on it in the end. However, the acting troupe does help him dress in the beginning.

During "What's the Buzz" what did Mary Magdalene do that Jesus approved of?

"Let me try to cool down your face a bit. Let me try, oh, let me try to cool down your face."

Who played Judas in the movie?

Carl Anderson (February 27, 1945—February 23, 2004) was a singer whose group had performed some of the songs from the album. During one of these performances, he was spotted by a talent scout for the Broadway production and employed initially as a backup for the lead Judas (Ben Vereen).

When Judas criticized Jesus for letting Mary touch him, how did Jesus respond?

"Who are you to criticize her? …if your slate is clean, then you can throw stones; if your slate is not, then leave her alone."

Who composed the music for Jesus Christ Superstar?

This was one of many collaborations where Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber (born March 22, 1948) composed the music, and Tim Rice (born November 10, 1944) wrote the lyrics. "Evita" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" are two other examples.

Although Annas wanted to ignore Jesus, Caiaphas said they couldn't for what reason?

"He's just another scripture thumping hack from Galilee." "The difference is they call Him king. The difference frightens me."

From where did Caiaphas and the other Pharisees watch as Jesus entered Jerusalem?

The Pharisees were on scaffolding. No theater wanted to produce the musical, but the single "Jesus Christ, Superstar" was released and had moderate success in some countries. Because of this, they were given enough money to make a full album.

During the scene where people were worshipping Jesus with palm branches, which song did Jesus' followers sing?

"Hosanna! Hey, Sanna, Sanna, Sanna, Hosanna… Hey, J. C., J. C. won't you smile at me? …Hey, Superstar."

Who had a dream about Jesus?

Barry Dennen (born February 22, 1938) was one of the few actors to perform his role as Pilate on the album, stage, and screen. He has had a few small parts on television shows and has also provided the voice of several cartoon characters.

What was not one of the modern items being sold at the temple?

Norman Jewison, who directed the film, stated, "My hope is that audiences will take this for what it is – an opera, not history. These kids are trying to take Jesus off the stained-glass windows and get him down on the street. Some people are not going to like that."

When the people wanted to be healed, what structure did they come out of?

The people who wanted to be healed literally came out of the rocks. Jesus' miracles were downplayed throughout because Rice wanted to humanize Jesus, believing that Judas would not have accepted Him as the Son of God.

What did the Pharisees say to get Judas to take the money?

"Think of the things you can do with that money. Choose any charity; give to the poor."

What chased Judas through the desert?

In addition to humanizing Jesus and sympathizing with Judas, they wanted to show Jesus as a purely political figure. This better represented the political atmosphere of the 60s and 70s in which the rock opera was written.

Which day of the week did Judas tell the Pharisees to seek Jesus?

"On Thursday night, you'll find Him where you want Him—far from the crowds in the Garden of Gethsemane."

In the middle of the movie, what famous painting was replicated with a frozen shot?

The film was shot in Judea, and the weather was hot. The only time it rained was during the crucifixion scene, and they had to shut down until it stopped. The centerpiece of the film was The Last Supper, which freezes on all the apostles in an image similar to the one painted by Da Vinci.

Finish the quote: "For all you care, this bread could be __________."

"For all you care, this wine could be my blood. For all you care, this bread could be my body."

Which character sings "I Don't Know How to Love Him?"

Ted Neeley (born September 20, 1943), who played Jesus, met his wife on the set of Jesus Christ Superstar—but it was not the actress who played Mary Magdalene. Instead, it was one of the dancers. He had been watching her and felt she was dancing too close to the fire, so he went to tell her to be careful, and the rest was history.

What did Jesus tell them to do when they ate and drank?

"If you would remember me when you eat and drink. I must be mad thinking I will be remembered."

When Judas ran off to betray Jesus what herd of animals did he have to run through as he was leaving the Last Supper?

Judas runs through sheep. Many Christians protest the musical, but surprisingly the protesters with the loudest voices are those who complain Jesus is singing rock-n-roll. The main complaint of those Christians who have actually watched the show (and are not condemning it solely based on the music) is the fact that Jesus has lost his divinity in it.

Who did Jesus say would deny him three times?

"Peter will deny me in just a few hours—three times will deny me, and that's not all I see."

While Jesus sang Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say), what were the other apostles doing?

Neeley always regarded this as one of the most difficult scenes for him to shoot, but he managed to nail it in one take, despite having to climb a mountain while hitting some of the highest notes in the performance. Neeley has continued playing the stage versions of "Jesus Christ Superstar" through his 70s.

What were the people who questioned Jesus on His way to Caiaphas representing?

Again, the reporters were a way to bring the story to a modern audience. Robert "Bob" Bingham born October 29, 1946) played Caiaphas but did not remain in show business long and retired from it in 1974.

Who witnessed Peter's denial of Jesus?

The Apostle James and Mary Magdalene both witness Peter's denial. Richard Orbach, who played the Apostle James, went on to tour with dance companies, such as The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.

Where did Pilate first send Jesus?

Herod was played by Josh Mostel (born December 21, 1946), one of two actors to have previously performed in a film before "Jesus Christ Superstar." Mostel can also be seen in "Sophie's Choice," "The Money Pit," "City Slickers," and "Big Daddy."

Which miracle was not one that Herod asked Jesus to perform?

"Prove to me that you're divine: Change my water into wine… Walk across my swimming pool… feed my household with this bread. You can do it on your head."

When Jesus was thrown into the cave-jail, who peered down at Him?

Anderson, who played Judas Iscariot, was friends with Neeley offstage. They had both toured together with the stage production, and both fell into their roles when the lead who was cast could not perform. The director told them to keep their offstage friendship in mind while playing their roles.

What did Judas do with the money the priests gave him?

Judas threw the money at the priests, and it landed on the ground. The song "Then We Are Decided" was one that was made for the film version.

When Pilate asked the crowd what crime Jesus committed, what was their reply?

"Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" "Behold the man! Behold your shattered king!"

How did Judas hang himself?

Judas hung himself with his own belt, but he does it as if compelled to that moment. During filming, the actors not only had to drink five quarts of water each day to fight dehydration, but also had to watch out for scorpions and terrorists.

How many times was Jesus flogged?

"39! Where are you from, Jesus? What do you want, Jesus? Tell me."

Who came to Jesus to sing the song, "Jesus Christ Superstar?"

Judas came back from the dead to sing "Jesus Christ Superstar." This was not the first rock opera released. "Tommy" had been released by The Who in 1969.

What was the closing shot of?

The final shot is of the cross at sunset, and a figure can be barely seen walking in the dusk. The film covers the Passion play, which does not include Christ's resurrection. The fact the director left this accidental shot in the movie can be seen as a nod toward the resurrection.

Who played Mary Magdalene?

Yvonne Marianne Elliman (born December 29, 1951) performed on the album, stage, and in the film as Mary Magdalene. She went on to sing "If I Can't Have You" in the movie "Saturday Night Fever," which became a #1 hit.

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