Tear Jerker: Godspell

  • The Finale and "Long live God".
  • During the "On the Willows" scene, it's when all of the Disciples remove their makeup, signifying their return to being human beings. The first touching moment is when Jesus holds up a mirror to Judas, as if to tell him "Take a good look at yourself", then starts removing his makeup. However, he's only the first, and it's not a punishment. All of the Disciples are returning to being normal human beings. When Victor reaches to remove Jesus' makeup, he stops him, and shakes his hand wistfully "no." Another moment is when Jesus says one of them will betray him, and each of the Disciples ask jestfully, "Can you mean me?" When Judas asks, "Rabbi? Can you mean me?", Jesus tells him, "Do what you must do." Shockingly (to the other Disciples, of course), he runs off. That's what makes the "On the Willows" scene so sad.
  • In some productions, each Disciple has their own little gimmick that they periodically do throughout the show, especially during their spotlight song. During "On the Willows," each one performs their gimmick for Jesus one last time before he goes off to die.
  • The new version of "Beautiful City" is this crossed with a Heartwarmer. The arrangement has been stripped down, becoming something of a hopeful lament by Jesus, praying for a future that he knows he'll not survive to see. (At least in this incarnation.)
  • As with the play, the film ends the morning after the crucifixion of Christ as his disciples (some crying) carry him away, leading into a reprise of "Day By Day". They round a corner of a building, and the camera then rounds it as well—and other people of New York City are walking past, a huge crowd of them, as the song continues in voiceover (we hadn't seen anyone but Jesus and his disciples in the city since the long prologue); the last shot is a freeze-frame of ordinary people going about ordinary lives. After the intensity of the crucifixion sequence, this ending can be a punch to the gut.