Hair Movie Review - Starring John Savage - Treat Williams - and Beverly D'Angelo

David Terr
 


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"Hair" is the incredible film adaptation of the long-running Broadway play of the same name from the ‘60s. The music in both the play and the movie is wonderful. The movie has much more of a story to it than the play, which is mainly an exhibition of the hippie era. In addition to the music, the film is quite entertaining.

The movie begins in a small town in Oklahoma, where Claude Bukowski (Savage) boards a bus for New York City, where he is to be drafted to fight in Vietnam. Once Claude arrives, he is surprised to see a large group of hippies in Central Park. A tribe of four hippies ask him for money and he gives them a quarter. He also sees a beautiful blonde riding a horse and goes after her, encouraged by the tribe. The Tribe then befriend him and share some dope with him.

Claude wakes up in the park the following morning and is ready to go off on his own, when George Berger, the leader of the tribe, notices a photo of Sheila Franklin, the girl they'd seen earlier riding the horse, announcing her debutante ball. George asks Claude if he wants to crash the ball along with the tribe. Reluctantly at first, he agrees.

They arrive at the ball during some lawn activities, while Sheila is secretly smoking marijuana in her room with her friends. Shortly thereafter, The Tribe show up uninvited for dinner. George bluntly announces to all the guests that Claude is in love with Sheila and wants to look at her for a few minutes so he can have a clear picture of her in his mind when he goes off to fight in Vietnam. Sheila's father and the butler try to get George and his friends to leave, but they refuse to go, so the butler calls the police, who arrive while George is dancing on the table.

Claude and the tribe are arrested and sentenced to 30 days in prison or to pay $50 bail each to get out. Only Claude has the money, but George insists that he use it to get out so that he can obtain the money to get them all out. Reluctantly, Claude and the rest of the tribe agree. George's mother agrees to give him the money and they all get out the following day.

Once out of jail, Claude and the tribe go back to Central Park, where thousands of hippies are demonstrating. They meet up with Sheila there. Claude and several others get high from LSD. Claude experiences some unusual hallucinations.

Later that night, after the demonstration, The Tribe encounter Claude by himself, still high. George, Hud, and Woof, the three men in the tribe, take off their clothes and jump into a reservoir, while Jeannie, the remaining member, watches. Claude wants to take Sheila home, but she gets nervous and decides to go home by herself. Insulted, Claude takes off his clothes and jumps into the reservoir. Sheila soon does the same and joins him. Then George, Hud, and Woof decide to play a prank. They take Claude and Sheila's clothes and hide behind the bushes. When Sheila discovers that everyone is gone except Jeannie and their clothes are missing, she becomes upset. Still naked, she hails a cab and returns home without any money. Then The Tribe come out from the bushes with their clothes. Claude becomes upset at them. They want him to return Sheila's clothes the next day, but Claude tells them that he won't be there since he's going to the induction center to begin his Army training.

Nervously, Claude goes to the induction center the next morning. He is then sent to Nevada for his boot camp training. Once there, he writes a letter to Sheila, who shows it to The Tribe. George then decides to take a road trip to Nevada along with Sheila and the rest of The Tribe. To get there, they end up stealing Sheila's fathers Lincoln Town Car.

The Tribe tries to get into the base to see Claude, but the guard won't let them in. In order to visit him, Sheila seduces a soldier and steals his car and uniform. They then cut George's hair and he puts on the uniform, disguising himself as a soldier in order to get in. George meets Claude at the base, who is delighted to see him. George tells Claude that Sheila and the rest of the tribe are also there. In order for Claude to visit them, George exchanges uniforms with Claude and sneaks into the barracks, taking Cluade's place. Claude then drives off to meet the tribe, spending an hour or so with him. Before he returns, however, Claude's unit receives orders to be shipped out to Vietnam. Not knowing what to do, George ends up going out with the rest of the unit.

Upon returning to his barracks, Claude is shocked to find that his unit is missing. Berger ends up boarding a plane for Vietnam along with a long line of soldiers. Shortly thereafter, he gets killed in combat. Claude, Sheila, and The Tribe go to Arlington Cemetary and stand by his tombstone. The movie ends with a huge group of hippies gathering around Washington DC singing the final song, “Let the Sunshine In".

Hair - Dave's Top Movies

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