Robert Harris

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I've always loved the theatrical presentations of Hair.

The 1979 film, not so much.

Of course, it's a filmed record, less or more, of the musical play, but seemingly shorn of spirit. And possibly that spirit had more to do with the the time in which it arrived - off-Broadway in 1967, moving uptown in '68.

It was alive, in an era of sexual revolution and political unrest.

Not so much by 1979.

The film seems like a bland representation, although a representation is better than nothing.

The original Blu-ray, which arrived in 2011, with the exception of negative some built-in dirt, was fine. Nice grain structure, good color, etc.

Olive, which I'm pleased to see active has released a new Blu-ray, seemingly based upon the same transfer, but possibly not. The major difference is that it's now clean. The dirt is gone, and that's a nice thing.

If one already has the earlier edition, and unless you're a huge fan of the film, the reason to pick up the Olive release is the extras, and there are quite a few nice ones.

So, cleaner image, extras, and I'll add, support of Olive.

Image - 5

Audio - 5

Pass / Fail - Pass

Upgrade from Earlier Blu-ray - Not necessary except for extras

Recommended

RAH
 
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atcolomb

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I went to Olive's website and clicked on Coming Soon and there is only one Blu-ray...Hair. I hope they will release more Blu-rays in the future and i did like and buy a few of their Signature series.
 
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Garysb

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The book of the musical was completely different from the film. The character names were the same but the story was completely different. The film is not a representation of the musical play. Just the songs are represented.
 
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Mark B

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This is one of my all-time favorite films and I am very much looking forward to seeing these extras.
The soundtrack album used completely different mixes to what is heard in the film, with added instruments and a richness of sound the film has never had on home video. It would be nice if the soundtrack popped this time, though I don't expect it.
 
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Ken Koc

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The book of the musical was completely different from the film. The character names were the same but the story was completely different. The film is not a representation of the musical play. Just the songs are represented.
The ending was totally different which diminished it’s impact.
 
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Robert Harris

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This is one of my all-time favorite films and I am very much looking forward to seeing these extras.
The soundtrack album used completely different mixes to what is heard in the film, with added instruments and a richness of sound the film has never had on home video. It would be nice if the soundtrack popped this time, though I don't expect it.
There was a 6-track 70mm mix.
 
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lark144

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One of my all time favorite films Lack of spirit? Really. I think there is a ton of it. Maybe I need to see it on stage.
I think it's great that the film worked for you, and I'm certainly not disparaging your experience. I only wish it had for me.

I saw "Hair" when it was still at the Public Theater. Amazing, interactive & inspirational. It made one want to change one's life. The songs and the performers were all new and fresh. What happened seemed to be mostly improvised, predicated on what was happening outside in the streets, which it very well may have been, as this was a workshop production and still in flux. The intimacy and the "realness" of the performers is what counted. Being so close to these people for such an extended period of time added to that sense of uniqueness. What we were going through and what the performers on the stage were going through seemed one and the same. I doubt if a performance today could recapture that.

Also, the virtues of "Hair" as a stage experience; intimacy and apparent spontaneity in an extended, time-specific setting, were completely negated by the film. All that frantic editing and obsessive-compulive choreography basically killed anything life-like or charming that remained. It continually pulled me away from the characters and out of the film. I also found the actors playing the hippies, especially Treat Williams, whom I generally admire, arch and self-conscious. He was acting spirited but didn't seem to really embody it, as the original cast members did. Of course, they weren't famous movie actors. They seemed like people who had just bounded in off the street. They weren't virtuosos and they weren't that pretty. It was their enthusiasm and being in the moment that counted.

For me, the film had very little to do with the play, other than documenting some of the songs and a bit of the character interactions. It was probably a pretty good film, well-crated, photographed and acted, but it wasn't "Hair", so I was very disappointed. What really made "Hair" work as a musical wasn't the songs or the characters or the story but a spontaneity and energy that emanated from the performers and took you over. It seemed joyous. The film, on the other hand, (from my perspective, of course) made everything mannered and studied. There was no sense of community, like there was on stage. When there was "spirit", it was individuals, not as a group. The way it was shot and performed, in tiny little bits that looked overly rehearsed and controlled, necessitated that. No one seemed to interact with anyone else. That's my take, but remember I saw and loved the play.
 
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A very much PG-13 version of "Hair" without the nudity (OK - a little bit), profanity and at least one very politically incorrect song omitted.
I saw this first run at the Boyd in Philadelphia (by then the Sameric) and my favorite memory of the experience was seeing it shown along with "What's Opera, Doc?" That was quite an experience on the Boyd's huge screen.
 
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BobO'Link

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When I finally saw the movie (mid 80s IIRC) I was quite disappointed. It was nothing like the book of the script I'd read. The music wasn't done well at all (I'd been listening to the original Broadway soundtrack for almost two decades at the time). I'd read the script several times by that point and would stop to play the associated musical number when appropriate. IMHO the movie played like what someone *thought* the play was about with enough original dialog to make it sound somewhat convincing with the music supporting that process. I've seen it 3 or 4 times and always come away with the same, hollow, feeling that it just doesn't capture the magic I read in the book and listened to on that soundtrack. Total bummer...
 
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ahollis

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Alas I never saw the musical on stage though I had two different OC albums. So my first experience of any performance was the movie. While I knew the screenplay was completely different from the play, I enjoyed it very much. Treat Williams, John Savage and Beverly D’Angelo were, well, just a treat in it for me.
 
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Bill Fisher

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Very excited about this release. My favorite film musical after WEST SIDE STORY. I saw the original production of HAIR in the 60s and the more recent Tony winning revival. Both were good, but I love what Michael Weller and Milos Forman did with the film--and especially Twila Tharp. Glad they brought in Galt McDermot to arrange his own score. Some of the numbers are so well done, particularly the title tune, "I Got Life," "Aint Got No," "Easy to Be Hard," "White/Black Boys," and the finale. Granted, the wrap up with Berger was a bit convoluted, but the emotional impact was strong. Forman was incredible. Wish he'd done another musical.
 

compson

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I saw the movie eight to ten times when it was first released. Loved the music, loved the Twyla Tharp choreography, loved the whole thing. I saw the show on Broadway several years ago. It was fine, kind of loud, not the movie. Yes, I’m intentionally being contrarian, but the movie and show are two very different things that share some great songs. I loved the movie.
 

bugsy-pal

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This has always been a favourite of mine. I think Milos Forman did a great job turning this into a film. Sure, I've never seen a stage version, but it works as a film for me. The Twyla Tharpe dancers are great. The music is impeccably performed. The ending is incredibly moving.

Do we know of this cleaned up version is also on the recent BFI release of the film?
 

Johnny Angell

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I was sin the army when I saw a live production in Germany. My memory tells me it was a multi-lingual cast. The matinee we saw was in English and that night would be German.

I remember the energy...oh the energy. Can’t remember anything else specific after all these years.
 
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KPmusmag

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The film of Hair came out when I was a sophomore in high school. Believe it or not, the teacher of my Music Appreciation class (they still had classes like that then) arranged for the class to go see the film as an evening field trip. Prior to the outing, the teacher had played the stage and soundtrack albums in class and discussed the show and the music. I suspect he had some nostalgia for the 60s. Anyway, someone in the theater was smoking marijuana, which I had never smelled before. I was sitting next to my best friend, and I whispered, "Is there a skunk in here?" and he just laughed and never let me forget my naivete.
 

trajan007

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If you are a fan of this film you are in for a real treat. It has never looked better. My eyes see improvement in color---detail---black levels--- and print is in perfect shape. The sound is also very strong. .Very happy with this release. .
 
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Big Gay Andy

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I never saw the play, but I saw the movie when it first came out. I was 16 and I saw it with my family at the one and only Cinerama Dome. We all loved it without reservation, and I've seen it about a gazillion times since then. I've owned it on home video in every format -- VHS, laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray. Can't wait to receive this new special edition as it's never had any extras before.
 

noel aguirre

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I saw this opening day at the Ziegfeld theater after smoking a doobie with friends waiting in line to get in which was wrapped around the block. The music kicked in and it was great. A total cinematic experience that the great Milos Forman gave us. Loved it.
 

Hollywoodaholic

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I saw the play at the Coconut Grove theater back in the day, loved the original soundtrack from the Broadway version, and fall on the half who enjoyed the film trying to tackle the impossible. Some of the sequences really stand out with the music and choreography, others not so much. But the ending was quite powerful as someone who had a lottery number for Vietnam briefly, before the end of the draft.
 
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