There was no musical quite like HAIR when it hit Broadway in 1968. Anti-war, counter culture and rock based, it alienated the establishment while becoming a huge hit on stage.
As the seventies came to a close, director Milos Forman (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Ragtime, Amadeus) brought this interesting, well cast version to the screen, where it made very little noise at the box office and faded away.
It's a shame, as its strangely fascinating and still powerful.
John Savage (The Deer Hunter) is Claude Bukowski, a cowboy from Oklahoma who has rarely left the farm but is now heading for NYC as the film begins to report for the Vietnam draft.
As Claude arrives in the city, he meets two different groups in Central Park that will change the course of his life.
The first group is a band of classic 60's hippies led by Berger (Treat Williams showing off some great acting & singing chops) Lafayette and Woof. Anti-war, pro free love and drugs, Claude falls in with their carefree lifestyle during his few days before he has to report.
Claude also shows off his cowboy skills in grabbing the runaway horse belonging to rich young woman Sheila (Beverly D'Angelo) and her wealthy riding friends.
Soon, the cultures clash, all to the now classic tunes of HAIR, including "Let The Sun Shine In", "The Age of Aquarius" and "Easy To Be Hard", made famous in the seventies thanks to Three Dog Night's timeless version.
The film wanders a bit, but the last half hour still packs a hell of an emotional punch and the conclusion is sad & powerful.
Very much "of its time", HAIR stands as an interesting view of the Vietnam War, its human cost and earns a B.