Anybody else think the film version of "HAIR" is an overpraised turd?
I don't see what's so great about the choreography by Twyla Tharp, it looks like they're making it up as they go along.
Why cut Annie Golden's one song?
And the film, coming ten years too late and about 15 years too early, just drains all the politics out and makes the hippies seem to have no reason to be how they are. Even Ragni and Rado didn't like it.
I loved it but agree they need to restore Annie's song.
I think it's one of the best movies ever made. Seriously. Perfection from beginning to end, and Treat Williams was amazing and SEXY.
Even Ms. Beverly D'Angelo was excellent.
I met a boy named Frank Mills....
Yet another fan. If anything, it's underrated. It is true about the timing, but that only goes to it's box office at the time, not the quality of the movie.
Like "Dreamgirls" (dare I say "Chicago" too?), it's one of those occasions where the movie works better than the show.
D ‘Angelo riding the horse with her hair flying through the air and with a sense of entitlement and privilege was absolute perfection.
Great film--one of the best filmed musicals ever.
Love Cheryl Barnes going all out on "Easy to be Hard"
Didn't like it.
Pretty much flat, needed volumizing shampoo and conditioner.
"Hair" - the play or movie - is only for eldergays (and others) who were never really hippies in the first place.
Another one here who loves it...is it really overpraised? It wasn't a hit, and not may people seem to know about it.
I agree about missing Frank Mills. Was it filmed, and then cut? Or was it never filmed?
r9, speaking of old, isn't it time you gave "eldergays" a rest? It's so worn out you're beginning to date yourself...
Didn't we already do this thread?
I want Charlotte Rae's "My Conviction" restored.
I don't know who Ms. R11 thinks she's fooling.
Another massive fan. And loved seeing Treat in the buff! Swoon.
I don't see why the film being released too late should effect how good the film is now seen to be. It's not like Forman updated it to the late 70's with orchestrations by Moroder.
I read a lot of film reviews back then, and the general consensus was "meh". No stars, and people thought it was filmed too late- there was no '60's nostalgia yet.
Punks hated hippies (still do) and sneered at the release
Yeah, I remember this movie getting bad reviews when it was released.
D'Angelo was too nice for the spoiled rich girl although Miles Chapin was great.
John Savage thought he was filming Billy Jack or something, they should have had someone with actual emotions and facial expressions.
Dorsey Wright was more like Bill Cosby than Eldridge Cleaver.
Hate it and hate what Forman did to Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus too.
This film enchanted me when it first came out, largely because Treat Williams was so damn sexy.
I've seen it several times over the years, and while it's not a great musical film, it can be very effective if you're in the right mood. But it's not good enough to rise above its own defects, or to be included on any list of classics.
Amazingly, not only had Cheryl Barnes never done any previous film work but she was uninterested in moving back to NYC although Milos Forman was so impressed with her talent he tried to get her to move back there so he could promote her. She stayed in Barstow (where they filmed the desert scenes) and taught piano there for years.
They did get her down to LA to record that song for "American Gigolo," but she felt she was mostly done trying to make it as an entertainer. When she auditioned for Forman in NYC, she had been working at a hotel in Maine after doing some work for the NYC stage.
There's got to be more to that story R23. Drugs? Trouble with alcohol?
Annie Golden told me that "Frank Mills" was not actually filmed, thought it was initially planned to be included, and (if I recall correctly) she said they were going to film her singing it on the Roosevelt Island tram.
The orchestrations and filming style now seem so 1970s. If it had a more 1960s sound it would have been better. But I think it was made so close to the 60s that there was no perspective of what gave the music of 6 years earlier a unique sound.
No drugs on Cheryl Barnes' part, just a lack of ambition. Whenever she did anything, she made an impression. She won "Star Search" and was Michael Bennett's original choice for Effie, which she did in workshops. Bennett simply could not see Obba with Holliday. Barnes later did Effie in Long Beach to great acclaim.
She later said that fame scared her and when she was on the verge, she had to run away.
Why don't you talk about something that was made in the last 50 years grandpa
I love that Cheryl Barnes song "Love and Passion" used for the disco scene in AMERICAN GIGOLO - she could have been a real diva if she was ambitious enough.
I like it when they walk around NYC and one of the members sings "Day By Day." That was a great song
That's "Godspell," R30.
I think too many of the songs were orchestrated and filmed poorly.
"Black Boys" looks like they cast rejects from a NAIR commercial (their disco hair totally takes you out of the moment) and "White Boys" is even worse. It could have been funny with the guys singing but it all looks flat.
The jailhouse fight during the title number is clumsy.
The only scene that really has the power of the stage play (which I love) is "The Flesh Failures/Let the Sunshine In" but it's a long wait for that final scene.
"I don't see what's so great about the choreography by Twyla Tharp, it looks like they're making it up as they go along."
Uh...that's the whole idea.
The singing and dancing in the film for the most part has an improvised, slightly ragged feel. It, by design, lacks polish. If you saw a bunch of hippies dancing in Central Park, chances are they WOULD be making it up as they go along.
"Why cut Annie Golden's one song?"
"And the film, coming ten years too late and about 15 years too early, just drains all the politics out and makes the hippies seem to have no reason to be how they are."
I'm not sure if you realise this, but the film, despite being released in 1979, was set in the late 1960s. It existed in its own little retro galaxy. It's perfectly clear why the hippies "are how they are". Drains all the politics out of it? Hardly. It's all pretty damn obvious to anybody with at least half a brain.
A lot of people use the argument "ten years too late" (I don't agree with the argument but I can see why some make it), but 15 years too early? I'm not certain why you would've wanted this film to be made in the year 1994. I don't see the logic in that at all.
1979 was probably the best time for the movie to reach cinemas. It was wedged between the last days of disco and the dawn of the 1980s, the "greed is good" decade. Its appearance must have been like a wake-up call: "the Age of Aquarius is drifting deeper back into the past, and we can recapture it before it's too late. This is what can fill the void left behind by disco culture".
Of course, along came the 1980s and that hardly ushered in a revival of the Woodstock era. But there has never been a golden rule that a film adaptation of a stageplay must be made in "this" period or "that" period. Anyway, it's been such a long time since the 1979 movie was first released, the difference between "the late seventies" and "the late sixties-early seventies" period is marginal at most.
"Even Ragni and Rado didn't like it."
I'm tired of all these people who complain about how the movie is so vastly different from the stage musical. Cinema allows one to do things that would be totally impractical on stage. Milos Forman had the ability to do things on celluloid not permitted to Ragni and Rado, and the fact is that if Rado and Ragni were filmmakers rather than playwrights, they would've done things very differently themselves. Whole scenes and characters would've been rearranged to better fit a narrative designed especially for cinema.
(They may even have cut a few songs).
If you want to watched a filmed play, go watch a filmed play. Don't rag on Milos Forman for exercising his cinematic capital and showing some imagination.
By the way, the film is not "overrated". From all of the "great film lists" that I've read in books and mainstream press and various websites (you know, those Top 100 Film lists and the flicks that you must see before you die, etc), it's never once been mentioned. Dozens of musicals are ranked ahead of it by the big critics. The film is miles away from being in the IMDB Top 250, plus it didn't win a single Oscar.
So I don't know what colour the sky is in your world, but if you think that "Hair" is overpraised, you need to lay off the hard stuff. If anything, it's relatively obscure as a film ("relatively" considering the popular nature of its stage origins) and is discussed/praised/revived nowhere nearly as often as films such as "West Side Story" and "Singin' in the Rain".
"Hair" is a great motion picture, one of my all-time favourites, a treasure on the big screen.
Twyla Fart is a self-aggrandizing and self-centered bitch. If you don't believe me, read her autobiography.
They should have filmed the movie like 1970, 1971 or 1972.
[quote] I love that Cheryl Barnes song "Love and Passion" used for the disco scene in AMERICAN GIGOLO
Really? I hated it, and Giorgio Moroder had a far more talented diva, also a Hair alumni, just not from the crappy movie.
I'm not a fan but never realized it was praised, let alone overpraised.
It's dishearteningly sanitized, has that airbrushed look so common to Forman's American films, and has no soul.
But to be fair a decent film version of HAIR would be an impossibility.
R33, it sucks.
People like r33 defending Hair as if they're defending the 60s hippie culture are ridiculous. Actually hippies know what a fraud the musical is, a square's idea of what the 60s were all about. It's fake hippie lyrics set to Rogers & Hammerstein type music, get a clue.
"Its appearance must have been like a wake-up call: "the Age of Aquarius is drifting deeper back into the past, and we can recapture it before it's too late. This is what can fill the void left behind by disco culture".
Must have been? But it wasn't, Blanche. It wasn't.
R5, you've clearly never seen Dreamgirls or Chicago OM stage if you think the film versions are better. Sorry.
Loved it when it came out but it hasn't aged well. The arrangements sound too electronic and overproduced.
Still a fun movie that has its moments. The way the camera pans in Aquarius is pretty amazing.
Also fun hearing Betty Buckley's voice coming out of the mouth of an Asian woman in Walking in Space. Cool to see cameos by Nell Carter and Ellen Foley too.
[quote]It's fake hippie lyrics set to Rogers & Hammerstein type music, get a clue.
You are the clueless one if you think the music of HAIR was the same kind of music Richard Rodgers composed. HAIR was camped up when it transfered to Broadway to make it more audience friendly. And yes, it did become a handy way for tourists to see "hippies" without having to risk getting mugged in Washington Square. But it was universally recognized as containing authentic rock music.
No it wasn't r43, you're a clueless cornball.
I've seen three different versions of HAIR produced- one thing that gets me is that the play itself seems to be a sly indictment of the hippies as lazy, sexist dropouts. They aren't really portrayed in all that positive a light.
The music is great but not Rodgers and Hammerstein at all.
Who could not like a film where you get to see Treat Williams' bare ass?
I'm a little at a loss here. When I saw the film when it first came out, "Frank Mills" was in it. It is also on the soundtrack.
It was never in the film, R47.
Yes, this was a huge disappointment. Somehow it manages to make no sense in any way, when the stage show does. Plus it's boring, when the stage show isn't (or the version I have seen wasn't).
I saw Hair many years ago on cable one night and thought it was just ok. Compared to the shit Hollywood cranks out now, however, it would look like a masterpiece.
Treat Williams talks about his nude audition and a lot more in this recent interview.
I remember seeing it as a teen because of all the good reviews.
It's not overrated, it's underrated. Not nearly as bad as some said it was when released. Yes some songs are cut. But the remaining score is well performed (music by the great and VERY UNDERRATED Galt McDermot). Also, Treat Williams it hot as hell in this.
I'm also wondering where all this supposed "praise" is coming from. I didn't see the film version until relatively recently (within the past decade) specifically *because* I'd heard it was a hot mess. While it certainly wasn't as bad as I was expecting, and I thought the rejiggering of the ending (starting with the whole desert sequence) was refreshing, it's not a *great* filmed musical by any means. That said, I did think it had impressive production values in terms of authentically recreating NYC circa 1969 instead of 1979, and also filming over a broad-enough span of time to encompass both summer and winter in Central Park.
I disagree with most of R34's assessment, but agree about the complaints about the film coming "too early or too late" are stupid. The late '70s also saw some of the best films to date about the same era ("Apocalypse Now," "The Deer Hunter," etc.) -- none of *those* was criticized for "coming out too early." Ditto "All the President's Men," which came out a mere four years after Watergate started.
Siskel and Ebert. That's where many people got their movie reviews from and they both praised the film to the heavens. I think Gene Siskel might have even named it the Best Picture of the Year, which, in retrospect, is quite the joke.
Well, I absolutely love it. Never have seen stage version (litle before my time - the original.) I understand that the "story" of the film was invented and doesn't exist in the stage version. I thought it was great; thought Treat Willliams very affecting, John Savage too (WEHT his career? after this, "Deer Hunter" - what much else?)
But I'm cheerfully willing to believe the stage musical is better...
Ebert loved it too. And I have read several reviews that said Tharp's choreography was great.
It was just dirty people who looked like cavemen (not even hippies) taking big leaps.