Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Friday, March 21, 2008


HAIR (1979). Director: Milos Forman.

By the time this film version of the sixties "hippie" musical was released in 1979 it was already dated, and today it comes off less as a document of its time than as mind-numbing rot. A storyline was fashioned in which Claude (John Savage), a farm boy heading for Vietnam, runs into the hairy crew in Manhattan and becomes involved in their pretty stupid adventures, such as crashing a wedding reception and turning up on an Army base. The production numbers aren't very impressive and while some of the songs are snappy, only one -- "Easy to Be Hard" -- is really memorable. Sung with real panache by a young woman (Cheryl Barnes) who discovers that the father of her little boy may have made somebody else pregnant, the song not only looks at the underside of free love but deals with the interesting fact that there are people who care more about strangers -- the "bleeding" masses -- than they do about the people in their lives that they may have hurt. Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo, and Nell Carter are some of the others in the cast. Based on the musical by Gerome Ragni and James Rado.

Verdict: Forgettable but for the "Easy to be Hard" number. *1/2.

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