Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Overlooked Movies: Shampoo

Shampoo was hit the screen in 1974, but it's set in 1968 on the day Nixon is about to be elected.  It's a sex farce, supposedly based (loosely) on a Restoration comedy.  Warren Beatty (sporting one of the best hairdos ever) plays George, a hairdresser that men assume to be gay. The women all know better, especially Jackie (Julie Christie), Jill (Goldie Hawn), and Felicia (Lee Grant).  So, apparently, does a quite young Carrie Fisher.  Felicia is the wife of Lester (Jack Warden), from whom George hopes to get some money to set up his own hairdressing business.  Jackie is George's former girlfriend and now Lester's mistress.  Jill is George's current steady, not that he's loyal to anybody, as he makes it with all three of them in the course of the movie.  I hope I have the relationships right.

Women want George.  All of them.  Carrie Fisher's comment is bleeped out of the trailer below, but I'll bet you know what it is.  George wants them, too, but what about true love?  Will George ever find it?  Will he grow up?  If you think you know the answers, you must have seen the movie, because this isn't like any current romantic comedy.  I don't want to say too much more.  It's very funny, and the cast is great.  I believe Lee Grant won an Oscar for her performance, and the movie was nominated in a lot of categories.  The script by Robert Towne's very good.  Hal Ashby directed.  It was a big hit when it was released, but now it appears to be pretty much forgotten.  If you haven't seen it, check it out.

7 comments:

Deb said...

Great movie--quintessentially seventies, although set in 1968. Coincidently, I just finished Lee Grant's autobiography, I Said Yes to Everything, and she says Warren was exactly the character he played and he did have relationships with all of the women (including a brief one with her) who acted in the movie (except, possibly, Carrie Fisher who was underage). I suspect he's more of an interesting guy to admire from afar than to try to get to know--and he's basically become a recluse in the last decade.

Bill Crider said...

Marriage must have slowed him down.

Anonymous said...

Not overlooked by me. One of the great, underrated movies of all time. Everything about it is great. Yes, there was a period where I wanted to be Warren Beatty. I got over it. Sort of.

stilwell

Bill Crider said...

I thought you were Warren Beatty.

Anonymous said...

Only in my fantasies. Usually (well, always) with Natalie Wood. I was so jealous.

sas

Kelly Robinson said...

I was too young to be allowed to see this when it came out, and I had no idea it had Restoration comedy as a basis. I took a class in Restoration-era acting back when I was a theatre major). I'll bet this is a hoot. Can't wait to track it down.

Bill Crider said...

I suspect the connection is very loose. I think Congreve wrote the play.