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4.3 out of 5 stars55
4.3 out of 5 stars
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It is a great surprise to discover that a musical can celebrate 'Hippy' beliefs and still maintain a dark shadow. A draft-card is burned at the beginning of the film; the spectre of Vietnam is ever-present.

'Hair' is at once a study of class, individuality, 'Counter-culture' beliefs, gender-equality and anti-war activism. Added to this potent mixture is the symbolism of growing one's hair; alluding to personal assertiveness, freedom, natural beauty and individuality. Near the end of the film there is a touching scene of one of the hippies getting his hair cut. The mood is tense and a portent of tragedy looms.

The music is fabulous: percolating rhythms and tunes that stick in your head. Sometimes the lyrics are rattled off fast ('Donna') and the tumbling syncopated harmonies make it hard to catch everything ('Hair'), but you get quite swept up in the passion and energy. Treat Williams is phenomenal as the lead hippy, with a great voice to boot. In the middle of all the high-octane songs such as 'Black Boys/White Boys', 'Let the sun shine in', 'Good Morning Starshine', 'Aquarius' and 'Manchester England' there is a lovely soulful ballad, 'Easy to be Hard', that I had never heard before. Absolutely beautiful.

This is a thrilling film of an underrated musical. Within all the 'Hippy'-versus-'Straight' posturing, there is a deep well of meaning and truth. I wouldn't call myself a hippy, but I was enthralled and moved. Hair is great - Grow it! Show it!
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on 1 September 2001
When I first went to see Hair in the early eighties I knew it would stay with me for a long time. And indeed, it did! I used to have a tape of the original soundtrack that I listened until it eventually literally disintegrated, but the music stayed in my mind until this day. When I purchased the DVD I thought that maybe I would be disappointed; I had enjoyed Hair so much when I was younger and as it was twenty years ago... Would the magic operate again ? Well, Hair is still as good now as it was then... It is a refreshing two hours of flower power and freedom of spirit. It is mind blowing; Milos Forman is a great director and each sequence or choregraphy is perfectly timed and detailed. The tunes will have you signing along in no time. Each main character is likeable. Treat Williams is an adorable hippy; he is funny, sexy and true to his principles until the end. John Savage, as the young shy country boy who believes in patriotism, is sweet and innocent. Berverly d'Angelo, the New York socialite who falls for Savage, but is not immune to a bit of flirting with Williams, is torn between what she wants and what she knows. A film in which there is no violence, no gore and no gratuitous sex; if you feel that you are in need of a refreshing experience then go for it; Hair is the word.
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on 27 January 2004
I had a cassette tape of Hair when I was a teenager back in the 70's, when I listened to it often - every day probably. I haven't heard it for year so when I was given the DVD for Christmas I was kind of cock-a-hoop and slightly nervous about playing it. When you're as old as I am, you cherish those memories of when you were young, innocent, naive - just growing up, and don't want them damaged. I've just watched the DVD and was pleasantly surprised ... even shed a tear or two. There's a story on the DVD that wasn't obvious on the music tape - or if it was, I was unaware of it. A young man leaves home to join the army and fight in Vietnam. He stops off in New York intending to see a few sights before signing up. There he encounters a group of friendly hippies and briefly drops out, turns on and tunes in to their way of life. They have a few small adventures then he leaves them to start his training. A short while later the hippies decide to drive to his camp, some 2,000 miles away, to visit him but aren't allowed in by the MPs. One of them, disguised as a sergeant, manages to drive in and swaps places with him so he can visit the rest of the group of friends who are waiting a few miles away. While he's visiting his hippie friends, the call comes to move out and the friend who is taking his place at the camp is forced to go along with the rest of the soldiers - to a war he hasn't been trained to fight. For some reason I was reminded of Forrest Gump, despite all the singing and dancing.
The acting is good and the dancing is okay. The most important thing for me was that the music should be as I remembered it, and it was close enough to satisfy me. So I'm pleased to give this DVD my stamp of approval.
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on 9 August 2001
A fantastic, wonderful, hippy-dippy song-a-thon! A musical that summed up an era of the summer of love. The cast are all great travelling down their journey to find themselves and each other.
The music is good, the dancing spectacular with a wonderful piece choreographed by the american choreographer-meistress Twyla Tharp (who has had work performed by the Royal Ballet dance fans).
If you're into modern musicals with a message and are fed up with the Lloyd-Webber style stuff this is well worth a look. Those who haven't seen it before WATCH IT! If only to wonder at the hair and get a sideways slant on the pop culture of the late 60's/early 70's.
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on 31 March 2008
This is a cult film for many reasons. First because of the phenomenal success as a musical both in Broadway and London, then as a musical film. The film is close to the play and some of the provocation of the play is no longer provocative twelve years later. The discourse against the Vietnam war is no longer a protest song against the war itself, but a strong song demonstrating how the young people of these late 60s managed to bring the political establishment down.

Milos Forman play with some situations at the end of the 70s like the narrow minded justice, the self-centered umbilical righteousness of the rich or of the little ones who have just one rank of power more than the powerless. He also heavily plays with the racial element and the sexual ambiguity he builds all the time. The film remains pleasant and thoughtful. And of course it is a tremendous thrill to remember these years when we have had the privilege, and that was not a chance, to live them.

November 11, 1969, Nixon ordering mass celebration for the 1918 armistice, which became the order for teachers at all levels to take their students to the celebration and the march, supporting thus the invasion of Cambodia that was in full swing. And some dare give lessons in democracy to foreign countries. I also remember the long campaign for the impeachment of Nixon in 1973-1974 that will eventually lead to his resignation and the swearing in of Gerald Ford, the first Vice President, and eventually President, of the US who had not been elected, since he was appointed Vice President by the Senate after Spiro Agnew had to resign to face trial, conviction and sentence for embezzlement.

Of course that makes us think of today when in 2000 a president of the US was not elected by the people but by the Supreme Court, or of a war that was rejected by millions world wide from the very start, and even before the start, and was started against the better judgment of the United Nations and of three permanent members of the Security Council. And some speak of a new world order based on the respect of others. Modern Western man seems to have some problems understanding that the world is changing and has already widely and wisely changed.

Modern Western man seems to be kind of out of sync and to need special evening classes to learn that democracy wants the majority in the world to be the majority, and the West is far from that majority, and that if the Soviet block had been able to understand that market economy is not capitalism but that market economy can be either socialist or capitalist the Berlin Wall would have fallen, but the other way round, and that China has learned that lesson marvelously well and is at the foot of the wall they have to climb over to learn that their socialist market economy has to lead to political democracy, but they will, just like Vietnam was able to reconstruct itself after thirty years of vicious war aggression and damage.

In other words, Hair is perfect food for thought.

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on 18 May 2005
Excellent movie with excellent songs performed by excellent artists.
A great musical film here we're talking about. As a fan of the musical, the film didn't once dissapointed me.
Highly recommended... The only point is: extra featurettes are not enough.
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on 26 December 2010
OK, not a BluRay picture - it's more like a recording of an old VCR Tape. Sound is certainly not anything special, which is a shame but at least it still exists. I suspect unless it is digitally remastered, you are not going to get any better for this product. (More likey it will be remade entirely with all an all new cast instead of remastered.)

But if you are looking specifically for this version of the musical and truly love this version of HAIR, this is as good as you are going to get right now. I thoroughly loved it and am pleased I own it.
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on 22 May 2011
The film was made in 1979, some years after the events underlying the plot (the Vietnam War) had finished, so it was already slightly dated when it came out. Thirty years on many people will barely even have heard of that war and of the tensions to which it gave rise in the US, so most of the references and the tension familiar to those of us who lived through those times will be lost. Nevertheless it remains an entertaining and colourful film with some very good songs and lively performances. Treat Williams is particularly good.
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on 27 June 2013
By 1979, the Vietnam War and the Hippie movement were in the past.
This film, in plot, lyrics and images encapsulates a sanitized version
of the 1960'S social upheaval, yet the unbounded exuberance and optimism,
and the hopeless naivety of that young generation comes through.
More than 40 years after the musical which inspired the film, everything
has changed-in order to remain the same: The "specter" of global Communism,
has been banished to the dustbin of History, but millions of people are
still bombed, in crusades against multifarious tyrants.
Sex and Drugs have been "liberated" into billion-dollar industries.
"New Age" has become a big business. America has twice elected
a President of African-American descent. Yet the common man is as controlled,
and insecure and unhappy as in the 1960's, possibly even more so.
In this respect, the anti-establishment, anti-war significance of the film
is undiminished. Other than that, I feel that "Woodstock" captures more
truthfully the 1960's zeitgeist:
Woodstock [DVD] [2009]
This DVD's image quality is mediocre.
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on 8 November 2012
The first musical scene with Ren Woods singing Aquarius was captivating, and the rest of the movie fell into step, a wonderful look back to the spirit of the late 60's and early 1970's, showing resistance to the Vietnam war and the optimism that we can make a better world. I could listen to Ren Woods singing Aquarius again and again. Hair brought back memories of draft dodgers and army deserters moving to Canada and becoming part of our communities. These were interesting years to be a teen or young adult.
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