From the opening strains of the “Aquarius” anthem, director Milos Forman’s (Amadeus) film adaptation of Hair proves that it is not only a masterful interpretation of the 1968 Broadway musical sensation, but that it is pure cinematic entertainment.
Based on the Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot stage musical, Hair stars John Savage (The Deer Hunter) as country boy Claude Hooper Bukowski, a Vietnam draftee who embarks on an adventure of a lifetime when he meets a group of counterculture hippies: Berger (Treat Williams, Smooth Talk), Jeannie (Annie Golden, TV’s Orange Is the New Black), Hud (Dorsey Wright, The Warriors) and Woof (Don Dacus). Introduced to a world of free love and hallucinogens, Claude’s eyes are also opened to the darker side of class, race and big city life when he becomes infatuated with a beautiful debutante, Sheila (Beverly D’Angelo, Coal Miner’s Daughter).
At turns both comic and dramatic, Hair boasts a catalog of adeptly performed musical numbers including the title tune along with “Good Morning Starshine,” “I Got Life,” “Where Do I Go,” “Let The Sun Shine In” and a heartbreaking rendition of “Easy to Be Hard,” a showstopper for performer Cheryl Barnes in her screen debut.
Directed by Milos Forman, two-time Academy Award® winner for Best Director (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – 1976, Amadeus – 1985), Hair is written for the screen by Michael Weller (based on the musical play by Gerome Ragni & James Rado and Galt MacDermot) with music composed, arranged and conducted by Galt MacDermot. Featured players include Charlotte Rae (TV’s The Facts of Life), Nell Carter (TV’s Gimme a Break), Melba Moore (Lost in the Stars) and a special cameo appearance by director Nicholas Ray (The Savage Innocents). Technical credits include cinematography by Miroslav Ondrícek (Amadeus, Ragtime); choreography by Twyla Tharp (Amadeus); vocal arrangements by Thomas Pierson (Manhattan); film editing by Stanley Warnow (Woodstock) and Alan Heim, A.C.E. (Academy Award® winner, Best Editing, All That Jazz – 1980) with costumes by Ann Roth (Academy Award® winner, Best Costume Design, The English Patient – 1997).