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Hair

By Doug Thomas

The Age of Aquarius is brought to life by the filmmaker who made Amadeus a household word. Milos Forman directed this version of James Rado, Gerome Ragni, and Galt MacDermot's landmark musical in 1979 between his Oscar-winning films One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus. With mixed reviews (Gene Siskel named it that year's best film) and lukewarm box-office grosses, the film all but disappeared from the collective consciousness. Yet the film beautifully delivers on its promise to bring the '60s back to life. Hair re-creates a colorful world of counterculture finding an anvil to pound on: the Vietnam War. Forman and his design team allow the film to wash over you, starting at the free-flowing opening in which masses of hippies, police, and even their horses eagerly groove to the familiar beat of "Aquarius." In the best work of his career, Treat Williams makes his leading- man debut as Berger, the leader of the Central Park troop who takes draftee Claude (John Savage) under his wing on his trip through New York City and the apex of what the '60s was. The new recording of the music is quite fine, with Chicago band member Don Dacus's rendition of the title song a highlight. As Berger's pièce de résistance number says, "I've Got Life"; so does the film, right down to its poignant declaration to "let the sunshine in."

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Milos Forman

Stars: John Savage, Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo

Released: March 14, 1979

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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