Evita (film) The musical story of Argentina’s controversial and charismatic Eva Perón, a girl who rose from poverty to become one of the most powerful women in the world as the wife of Juan Perón, changing her country’s history through sheer determination and a conviction that all Argentineans should prosper. Attracting attention like no other woman before or since, she hypnotized a nation of 18 million people for seven years before her untimely death at the age of 33 in 1952. Directed by Alan Parker. A Cinergi production released by Hollywood Pictures. Released on December 25, 1996, in New York and Los Angeles; wider release on January 1 and general release on January 10, 1997. (The film had an earlier opening on December 20 in London.) Stars Madonna (Eva Perón), Antonio Banderas (Ché), Jonathan Pryce (Juan Perón). 135 min. Filmed in CinemaScope, in Argentina, Budapest (which more accurately replicated Buenos Aires of the 1930s and 1940s), and the U.K. It took much backstage persuasion, including entreaties by Madonna herself to the president of Argentina, to obtain last minute permission to shoot on the balcony of the Casa Rosada, the official government house. Madonna was fitted for over 80 costumes for the production. The film was based on a stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, which originated in a concept album released in 1976 while still unproduced on the stage; it opened on the stage in London in 1978 to great acclaim. The song, “You Must Love Me,” written specifically for the film by Webber and Rice, won the Academy Award for Best Song for 1996. Released on video in 1997.