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This film really showcases the wonderful music of the Broadway show, and the fabulous Choreography of the legendary Twila Tharp! I saw it again after many years, and it still holds up well.
Thank you, MGM/UA for putting this on DVD! I love the option of seeing in Widescreen. MGM rocks for doing this on many of their DVD releases.
Ya gotta love Treat Williams as Berger and John Savage as Claude. They couldn't have picked better actors & actresses for this film! Beverly D'Angelo is such a 'hot mama' in this film--I had forgotten just how hot! WOW!
The supporting cast is absolutely great,
with the late great Nell Carter making a singing cameo in a couple of scenes, as well as the kooky Charlotte Ray (Mrs. Garrett on 'Facts Of Life')
The story gets a little weak toward the end, but the anti-war sentiment of the late 60's still holds up, and is relevant today.
It's beautifully filmed (quite a bit on location) and is so colorful and lovely and really brings the spirit of 1968 back on the big screen.
I saw this movie when it was released in 1979 when I was 15, and was moved by it then, and it still moves me now at 40. Some other reviews on here say they think it should have been made sooner--I don't think Hollywood was ready to make such a movie back in the late 60's-early 70's.
The Vietnam War ended in 1975, and the whole thing hit a little too close to home, I think for this story to be filmed before it was (like in 1969, 70, 71)
Bravo to Director Milos Foreman! I love this film!!!!!!!
It's nice to see it again, this time on DVD. It never looked better!
The only problem I have with this movie, however, is that the relationship between Claude and Sheila is not very convincing. They are barely ever shown together, and when they are, they fight (remember the skinny dipping scene?). It seems as though their relationship is very weak, and by the end of the movie we are supposed to believe they are madly in love, only based on the few meetings they had. I also see that many people writing reviews here are upset by the PG rating this movie has. I personally would raise the rating up to a PG-13, only because there is some drug use... but remember in 1979, PG-13 didn't exist. I don't think the nudity is bad at all, it is in no way sexual (in fact, there isn't really any sex at all in this movie), and it is only to show the childlike innocence that the group maintains. In most European countries, nudity isn't regarded as something bad, and I don't see why it is here in the US. Anyways, I give this movie a high rating, and I'm glad it was made back then, because in the insanely "politically correct" world of today, they wouldn't even think of making it, and even if they did, it would be a very "watered down" version, and I'm sure you wouldn't get the full effect.
In conclusion, this is a very underrated film that is definitely worth checking out.
At the beginning of the film, I enjoyed The Age of Aquarius number, and was intrigued. However, when the number Hair came on, I didn't know how to react. I wanted to laugh at it and change the channel, I didn't want my siblings to make fun of me. Yet the song, though a little stupid, was also catchy. I kept watching. After I was finished watching the entire film, I had no idea what had just happened. I didn't know if I liked it or not, I did know that I wanted to see it again.
This is a strangely addicting film. I watched it three more times in the days following, and my final verdict is, I love it! I can't help it. It's just so fun! The fist time I watched it I was mocking it, but by the third time viewing it I was in anticipation over when the number Hair would come on so I could sing along. I especially loved the song, How Can People Be So Hard, it's a different pace from the majority of the film. What can I say, when it was over I was singing the songs in my head for weeks. I just have to buy it. I highly recommend this film to musical lovers (especially if you love musicals like The Who's Tommy). And although I know I would never be a hippie, this film makes me want to say "Heck with work, I'm going to grow out my hair so fleas can live in it!" Watch it, but beware, I think it just might do the same for you!!!
A couple of people here have complained that the relationship between Claude and Sheila wasn't documented well enough to explain "the great love they're supposed to have at the end of the movie" (to paraphrase one reviewer here).
I would like to respectfully suggest that they didn't have any such "great love;" instead, Claude had a crush on Sheila, which she didn't reciprocate (or at least not to the same degree). Instead, she came along on the road trip to spend the time with Berger, whom she found far more interesting than Claude - you can see that from the time she meets him.
Doesn't that make more sense, now? Enjoy!
The pacifist and touching story is still amazing, a hymn of freedom, friendship and liberty of choices, and pictures the resistance of a generation against the stupidity of war. I do not know what happened to this wonderful generation of the counterculture of the 70's and their dreams, since the present world is probably worse than in the 70's. I do not recall who won the Oscar in 1979, but Treat Williams and John Savage deserved at least a nomination for their awesome performances. Beverly D'Angelo is extremely gorgeous in the role of a hypocrite spoiled upper-class teenager. I have seen "Hair" probably more than twelve times, and my eyes always get wet while Berger walks to the airplane singing "That's me, that's me, that's me", and I start crying with his gravestone in the cemetery. I believe this is one of the most beautiful, sad and touching conclusions of the cinema history. My wife, my daughter and my son also love this film; therefore I can guarantee that "Hair" is timeless and recommended for any audience. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "Hair"
And I did, and I've to say: This film is amazing. The songs are great, the actors are very good and the message... The message of this film is one of the most important ones: "Make love, no war". This film is a real masterpiece. Meanwhile it's my favourite film.
The last song is one of the saddest and happiest I ever listened to. I nearly could feel myself joining the crowd. All I've got to say: "LET THE SUN SHINE, LET THE SUN SHINE IN"
What was filmed is lively and a fun depiction of the hippie movement as it never was. Then again, most musicals reach into fantasy just a bit to give the audience the escapism reason for wanting to see movies. The movie of Hair is presented in a very main-streamed format (unlike the stage show) and leaves out the major protests of the stage show against pollution (I understand that DOW Chemicals was a major financial backer of the movie, so that might explain the omission of all pollution references and songs - although they are on the soundtrack) as well as most references to the politics of the era or the plight of black soldiers in combat. Gone, too, are most of the conflicts between the younger and older generations.
This film, however, works for what it is: a musical fantasy that should not be taken seriously or as a depiction of real history. The songs that made it to the film are just as full of energy as they were on the stage, and the new story line (for the most part) is well done. The ending, sadly, goes over the top and alters the whole focus of what had been the building conflict within the plot.
Overall, it is an enjoyable musical involving a very sad time in this nation's history. Unfortunately, the profundity of the stage show is lost, and most people will only ever know the frivolity of this film rather than the beauty and depth of the original musical.
Don't waste your time. It isn't worth it.
I didn't like it.
Now, 25 years later I have tried to watch it again, thinking that with the passage of time, Hair the Movie might have qualities I didn't notice then. No. That is not the case. If you like The Wiz then Hair the Movie might be up your alley. But if you are expecting it to let the spirit of the songs and story emerge, forget it. Watch the original Jesus Christ Superstar or watch a movie made in the 60s or early 70s, like a Cassavettes or Jodorowksy movie (or anything). But I'll try to tell you why Hair the Movie is such a disappointment.
Several reviewers have complained that the movie is dated. I agree - but it is dated, not because it is about the 60s, but because it is about the late-70s. Watch Micheal Jackson's Thriller and you'll have pretty much seen the "authentic" 60s dance sequences. Tharp or no Tharp. Make-up, coifs, clothes, jewelry, all remind me of the cheesy late disco/early New Wave style.
The producers went out of their way to flatten the significance of the songs. We can still hear the taboo words, but gone is their force, and gone are the dark insinuations the writers made about a society torn apart by racial hatred, economic inequality, and confusion over a war we were fighting for murky reasons. Hair the Play asked questions like: what does it mean to die for your country? what does it mean to be free? what does it mean to be hated? what does it mean to love? Hair the Movie doesn't ask anything. It shows us some stock characters, with easily identifiable clichéd qualities, and runs them through a predictable story.
At least one reviewer complained that Hair is about a bunch of drug taking hippies, etc. etc. Sadly, that is exactly what this movie is about - cheerful, vacuous, stereotyped characters. Hair the Movie is not about humans struggling with hate, death, love; struggling with their own values and those of their families, friends, and people who they may never know but who they are told to hate.
In fifty years, film critics may look back on Hair the Movie and be able to say something interesting about the fetish of the 60s, the shallowness of the late-70s, or something. For now, this movie sucks.
By the way,I still have this music in my mind:
When the moon is in the Seventh House And Jupiter aligns with Mars Then peace will guide the planets And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius The age of Aquarius Aquarius! Aquarius!
Harmony and understanding Sympathy and trust abounding No more falsehoods or decisions Golden living dreams of visions Mystic crystal revelation And the mind's true liberation Aquarius! Aquarius!
ps: I am surprised to see that the director of this movie is the same director of AMADEUS. I just love both movies!
All this does not mean that the film version of HAIR isn't interesting - obviously many people like it. But I thought you should know that it is a pale substitute for the original. For those who liked the film it might be worthwhile buying the play and discovering just how different the two versions are.
I would like to say one thing here that I found extraordinary. I live in Paris, and when this film opened I went to one of the largest cinemas in Paris to see it. At that time, the French were a very controlled people in general. Despite this, something quite extraordinary (for its time) happened in the cinema the day I was there. At the point in the film where Hud's wife is angry for having been deserted by him, she sings "How Can People Be So Heartless?"... and she did such a wonderful job of it that the entire theatre burst into spontaneous applause. In the middle of a movie theatre, this was unheard of behaviour for the French, So I guess Milos Forman did something right!
It is somehow a very simple and naive and moral look at things - but exactly because of that it is a very strong reminder of what makes life worth living.
Not to mention how beautiful some songs have been performed - it is such a shame that Cheryl Barnes never tried to develop a career worthy of her incredible talent!
This movie although the costumes are so very typical 70ig is timeless.
Also - every time I watch it I get excited and even happy!
A must see