Starring: John Savage, Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo
Release Date: Mar. 14, 1979
Running Time: 121 min
Genres: Musical, Comedy, Drama
Commentary Hair is a wonderful movie, based on the revolutionary 1960s play with the same title. While Hair contains most (but not all) of the songs from the play, the storyline is considerably different, better in fact in my opinion. Whereas the play is mainly an exposition of the hippie era and culture, the movie has much more of a story to it, with a very moving ending. I love both the play and the movie, mainly for their incredible soundtrack, written by Galt MacDermot. Songs from both versions include the following:
"The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)" (Company)
Plot Summary The movie begins in a small town in Oklahoma, where a young man named Claude Hooper Bukowski (John Savage) boards a bus for New York City, where he is to be drafted to fight in Vietnam. Once he arrives in New York, he encounters a tribe of hippies in Central Park who befriend him and share some dope with him. The five have some rather juvenile fun for the next couple days, then Claude goes to boot camp in Nevada. With a great deal of difficulty, the tribe manages to visit him there, but tragedy strikes at the end (I won't give away any details). At the very end of the movie, thousands of hippies gather around and sing "Let the Sunshine In".
The broadway musical version of Hair was highly influential during the late 1960s. The soundtrack album became a huge success, selling millions of copies and spawning four hit songs recorded by other artists. When the movie came out over ten years later, it was more of a period piece. Nevertheless, I think the movie was also highly influential. The antiwar and free-spirited tone of the movie is timeless, and few would deny that it has had an impact on our society.
Here's the performance of "Aquarius" at the beginning of the film.
Here's a clip of George singing "I Got Life" on the dinner table.
Here's the performance of the theme song, "Hair".
Here's a clip of The Tribe singing "Good Morning Starshine" on their way to visit Claude.
Here's the moving ending, including the performance of "The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)"