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Hair (1979) Poster

(1979)

Trivia

Director George Lucas was offered the chance to direct this movie in the early 1970s but turned it down because he was developing American Graffiti (1973).
Jump to: Cameo (1) | Spoilers (1)
During the closing number, entitled 'The Flesh Failures', when Berger sings the third verse, background singers can be heard singing lines from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The words come from Romeo's death scene before drinking the poison. Phrases such as 'Eyes, Look your Last, Arms take your last embrace' and 'The lips, oh you the doors, of breath, sealed with a righteous kiss' are all from Romeo's final monologue. This is then followed by 'Hamlet''s last line, "The rest is silence."
Although the film is based on the theatrical stage musical as well as sharing some of the songs and character names, the two versions are drastically different in most respects including plot, which songs are sung, the order in which they are performed and which character performs them, and how the characters are portrayed.
The highest grossing movie in the European nation of Hungary in 1980 which is a country which is situated near the Czech Republic in Europe where this film's director Milos Forman originates from.
Singers Madonna and Bruce Springsteen auditioned for parts in the film.
Betty Buckley's voice is used for the Vietnamese girl singing "Walking In Space."
Debut cinema movie of actress Nell Carter.
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Director Milos Forman originally wanted Brad Dourif for the role of Claude Hooper Bukowski who in the end was cast with actor John Savage.
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Playing the fiancée of LaFayette "Hud" Johnson (Dorsey Wright) was actress Cheryl Barnes, who had previously appeared in the Broadway stage musical productions of "Godspell" and "Jesus Christ Superstar", and in this movie performs the "Easy to be Hard" musical number. Director Milos Forman said of Barnes' audition in the magazine 'Turnaround': "As she started to sing the tune she had prepared, a hush came over the room. She had a voice like a bell, flawless musicality, and great presence".
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First cinema movie in about four years for director Milos Forman whose last film at the time had been the Best Picture Academy Award winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975).
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The original Broadway production of "Hair" opened at the Biltmore Theater on 20th April 1968 and ran for 1750 performances before it closed on 1st July 1972. The production was nominated for the 1969 Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical.
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First Dolby Stereo film dubbed in a language other than English when released in Germany.
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The movie screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1979 where the picture opened as the Opening Night Film there.
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Director Milos Forman attended the very first off-Broadway performance of "Hair" in 1967 in New York, USA. Backstage after the show, Forman told the musical's creators James Rado, Gerome Ragni and Galt MacDermot that he was interested in making a filmed version of the stage musical and to please consider him for directing its production.
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First full cinema movie choreographed by choreographer Twyla Tharp.
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Reportedly, director Milos Forman had been attempting to stage a production of the theatrical musical version of "Hair" in Prague in his home country of Czechoslovakia [now the Czech Republic] when Russia invaded the nation in 1968.
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Over approximately 20,000 extras and background artists participated in the musical numbers "3-5-0-0" and "Let the Sun Shine In" which were both staged at the base of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, USA.
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According to Emily Soares at the 'Turner Classic Movies' website, "the only casting regret [director Milos] Forman has is for director Nicholas Ray (Rebel Without a Cause (1955)) in the role of The General. Though he performed well, Ray had to endure clouds of heavy smoke for his big scene, and it was only weeks later that Forman learned he was dying of lung cancer".
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During the production of this picture, director Milos Forman was nationalized as an American citizen of the USA, and was appointed Head of the Film Department at Columbia University in New York City, where the high majority of Hair (1979) was filmed.
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Second consecutive back-to-back Vietnam War related picture of actor John Savage who had co-starred in Michael Cimino's previous year's 'Nam epic war film The Deer Hunter (1978) which won five Academy Awards including Best Picture.
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Appearing in the movie both playing '3-5-0-0' Soloists were actors Melba Moore and Ronnie Dyson who had both appeared in the original stage production of "Hair".
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Actress Annie Golden was cast as Jeannie after director Milos Forman saw Golden performing with the punk rock bank The Shirts at a famous Bowery Rock 'n' Roll nightclub.
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Publicity for this picture stated that the film was the "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) of movie musicals" and "the best movie musical since Cabaret (1972).
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The setting of the film's source "Hair" stage production is described in its musical book as being: "The 1960s. The East Village [New York]".
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Final film as an actor of director Nicholas Ray who passed away in mid-June 1979 about three months after the movie had premiered in mid-March of that year in New York City.
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Star John Savage had previously won a Drama Circle Award for his performance in a stage production of Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" (1962) novel (its first stage version had been produced in 1963). Hair (1979) movie director Milos Forman had previously directed the film version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975).
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Actor Dorsey Wright, who portrays LaFayette "Hud" Johnson, had previous appeared in the Broadway revival of the film's source stage musical "Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical".
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A March 1979 'Life' magazine article on the movie said of the film's Czech director Milos Forman: "He comes from the land of Kafka and he could understand youth in rebellion, since his own country has a tradition of subtle resistance to authority. They've been dominated so often, so long".
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Approximately 10,0000 New York residents partook in the Central Park sequences as extras and background artists which was the setting for the musical numbers "Colored Spade", "Ain't Got No" (aka "I'm Black") and "Aquarius" (aka "The Age of Aquarius") as well as other key pieces.
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Actor Curtis Armstrong auditioned for a role in the film but did not appear in a cinema movie until Risky Business (1983) about four years later.
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The third part in director Milos Forman's unofficial 1960s trilogy which includes the earlier films Taking Off (1971) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975).
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The nick-name of character LaFayette Johnson (Dorsey Wright) was "Hud".
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The film was made and released about twelve years after its source stage musical "Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical" had been first performed Off-Broadway at the Joseph Papp's Public Theater in New York, USA in 1967.
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The tagline and subtitle for the movie's original source "Hair" stage musical was "The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical".
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Producer Lester Persky's production company CIP Filmproduktion GmbH bought the film rights to the stage production "Hair" in 1972 for a then quite sizable amount of approximately $1,050,000 from theatre producer Michael Butler who also acted as a producer on the filmed version.
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First, final and only ever dramatic theatrical feature film produced by stage producer Michael Butler.
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More than a year in time was spent in the casting of this picture for its production which involved a comprehensive talent search and some very big casting calls.
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Debut cinema movie produced screenplay written by screenwriter Michael Weller.
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First of two collaborations of director Milos Forman and screenwriter Michael Weller with the second being about a couple of years later with Ragtime (1981).
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The film was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards in 1980 but failed to take home a gong in either category.
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The actress who sings "White Boys" with Nell Carter and Charlayne Woodard, is Broadway and Film star, Trudy Perkins, who also sings the on-camera vocal solo and theme song, "These Hands" in the 1977 film "El Puente".
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The song "Frank Mills," which is performed in the musical by a character named Crissy, was filmed but eliminated from the movie during the editing. Crissy was played in the film by Suzette Charles who was eliminated from the film when the song was cut. Four years after the film's release, Charles would succeed Vanessa Williams when Williams was dethroned as Miss America in 1983. The old RCA two-record soundtrack for the film does not list who sang what in the film, but the souvenir program for the movie included a removable plastic extended play recording of selected songs from the film that does list the singers. Included on the E.P. is "Frank Mills" and Charles is credited as the vocalist. Also, as already noted here, Betty Buckley provided the voice for the young Vietnamese actress who sings "Walking in Space." Again, Buckley is not credited on the soundtrack album but is on the light plastic E.P. included in the program.
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In Spain was a re-release only in Madrid (Artistic Metropol) for 2 days in subtitled version.
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Cameo 

Nicholas Ray: The veteran Hollywood director as The General.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The inscription on the headstone for the deceased Vietnam soldier portrayed by Treat Williams read: "George Berger. Vietnam. Oct 11 1945 - Apr 6 1968".
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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