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.

Cubs Fan Premium member

Jesus Christ Superstar mistake 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 mistake 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.

Cubs Fan

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: 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: 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.

Cubs Fan

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

Cubs Fan

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.

Cubs Fan

Continuity mistake: During entire scene with dancing king Herod and his men, shadows on the floor are at different angles from one shot to another. (01:16:15 - 01:19:30)

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: At the very end when they show the sun setting over the hill, you can see something/someone moving across the screen, just under the ground. Is this done to symbolize something, or was it a sort of camera problem?

Answer: According to Ted Neeley and Norman Jewison on the DVD commentary, the shepherd walking across the frame in the final shot of the film was never intended to be there, and just happened across the shot as they were filming. Because of the significance of a shepherd in the teachings of Christ, Jewison and the crew were struck profoundly by the timing of this shepherd crossing the field, and kept the shot. They got a perfect sunset, as well as a subtle depiction of the resurrection.

More questions & answers from Jesus Christ Superstar

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.