I also like the rock opera as well as the films, but we shouldn’t deny that the 1973 film didn’t age that well.
BTW, did you know that Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson were originally slated to perform at the Vatican around 2004, were it not for Carl’s illness and death? And according to both Norman Jewison and Ted (as per the DVD commentary), some folks from the L’Osservatore Romano came to Norman and viewed the film. I quote:
Norman: I was more concerned, I think, that - on the release of the film - that everyone would turn on it, and, of course, when the Vatican sent the Roman L’Osservatore Romano, the newspaper in Rome which is the spokesman for the Vatican, they sent a journalist from Rome with the Monsignor, and they came and I showed them the film at Pinewood Studios in England. And I kind of held my breath, because I didn’t know how they were going to react to it. And, of course, we didn’t have Italian subtitles on it, but they were aware of the project and, when they came out, they were just totally overwhelmed.
Ted: They were. And I remember specifically…
Norman: One of them said: “Not since Leonardo da Vinci!” and they were just overwhelmed with the effect that it had on them. And I think they took that back to the Vatican and then, of course, I was contacted and I sent a print to the Vatican so that it could be screened for the Pope. So we did, as I remember, I think we pretty well had the support of the Vatican.
Ted: Oh absolutely. And, I remember specifically, because one thing that was said so amazingly was about my involvement - the quote was: “That boy that plays Jesus should be canonized!”
Norman: So sweet, isn’t it?
Were it not for the fact that Ted’s actually a Southern Baptist.