Rejoice and be exceedingly glad! Godspell, the buoyant religious classic that has charmed three decades of Christian groups in its stage versions, was made into a delightful movie in 1973. But the film was never released on video — until now.

The setting is New York City, a booming, bustling confusion. Welcome to the daily grind. God's people long for liberation: a waitress, a ballet dancer, a parking lot attendant, a taxicab driver, a model. At Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, Victor (Victor Garber), a stranger, appears, is baptized, and starts teaching the people. They receive marks, signs of release. They are free.

Victor communicates with this motley group through stories and parables about humility, giving, brotherly love, compassion, forgiveness. Their pilgrimage through the city brings them closer together. Sharing, dancing, hoping, feeling, laughing, singing — they trace the outline of life's bounty and mystery.

Director David Greene has honestly and vividly translated the stage play of Godspell for the screen without losing its basic simplicity, warmth, and vigor. Here is a graceful free fall into life, laughter, and love. It makes a grand case for delight and the pleasures of fellow feeling. But most of all, it proves that we can be the happiest of all creatures if we will just dance to the rhythm of our comic songbook souls.