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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical")

 

Directed by Milos Forman
USA 1979

 

The film, loosely based on the 1968 Broadway musical Hair: An American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, centres on two men, Claude (John Savage, The Deer Hunter, a naïve young man from America's 'Bible Belt' and Berger (Treat Williams), the leader of a hippie tribe in New York. Drafted into the army and soon to ship out to Vietnam, Claude spends his last time as a civilian with Berger, learning for the first time about race and class issues in 60s America. He soon meets and falls for Shelia, a rich debutante with a rebellious soul. Welcome to the Age of Aquarius.

The film marked Milos Forman's return to directing after winning an Oscar® for One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest in 1975 and was nominated for two Golden Globes in 1980.

***

Milos Forman's adaptation of the tribal rock musical Hair stars John Savage as Claude, a quiet young man from the Midwest who becomes friendly with a group of New York hippies on his way to begin basic training in the military. The repressed Claude is quite taken with Berger (Treat Williams) and the group of freedom seekers who reside in Central Park. The group encourages Claude to go after a debutante named Sheila (Beverly D'Angelo). Legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp masterminded the dances, which attempt to flow from the natural settings of the film. The film includes most of the more famous songs from the original play, including "Donna," "Aquarius," "Easy to Be Hard," "Let the Sunshine In," "Good Morning Starshine," and the title number.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 14th, 1979

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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There is also an MGM Blu-ray available in North America:

    

Distribution BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:00:59.919         
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,345,572,909 bytes

Feature: 33,200,111,616 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2140 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2140 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Ray Interview:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
BFI

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,345,572,909 bytes

Feature: 33,200,111,616 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Aquarius (1966, 7:39): the Age of Aquarius arrives in Nancy Hanna's jazzy psychedelic animation
• San Francisco (1968, 15:56): Anthony Stern's award-winning impressionistic documentary shot on the streets of San Fran, stunningly soundtracked with a rare early version of Pink Floyd's 'Interstellar Overdrive'
• Indian Pop Instrumental (c1970, 3:01): enigmatic English musos look east with this marvellously mysterious music film
• Discomania (1979, 25:14): Oscar Riesel's star-spangled British disc-dancing extravaganza from the glory days of glitterballs, lurex, sequins and rollerskates
• Nicholas Ray in Conversation (1969, audio only): the legendary filmmaker memorably concluding his screen career in Hair - reflects upon his legacy with film critic VF Perkins at London's NFT (55:37)
• Image Gallery (15:13)
• Trailer (2:50)
***FIRST PRESSING ONLY*** Fully illustrated booklet with new writing on the film by Ellen Cheshire, new interview with the film's screenwriter Michael Weller and an essay on director Milos Forman by Kieron McCormack

DVD


Blu-ray Release Date:
October 28th, 2019
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 16

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: BFI Blu-ray (October 2019): BFI have transferred Milos Forman's Hair to a dual-layered Blu-ray as a '40th Anniversary Edition'. It starts with the MGM logo and looks very passable with some marks, speckles, dirt and light surface damage. I suspect that the North American Blu-ray looks similar. Colors can show some impressive depth and vibrancy - there is a heaviness at times but solid detail in the few close-ups. The screen captures below should give you a good idea of the 1080P video quality. It varies as Forman's intent - sometimes looking grittier (the beginning) than others that can look quite pristine.

On their Blu-ray, BFI give the option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track or a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (both 24-bit in the original English language.) It has the iconic music of Galt MacDermot from the title song 'Hair' to "Aquarius," "Easy to Be Hard," "Let the Sunshine In," "Good Morning Starshine etc. often sung by the cast; Beverly D'Angelo, Treat Williams, Don Dacus, Dorsey Wright, Annie Golden, Cheryl Barnes and/or a chorus. I found some buoyancy in the musical numbers via the surround but to be honest both tracks sounded amazing with these memorable 'standards' still playing in my head. BFI offer optional English subtitles (song lyrics too) on their Region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.

BFI add plenty of extras starting with a 55-minute 1969 audio recording (running to the film) of Nicholas Ray in Conversation. Some may recall him as "The General" in Hair. In this interview he discusses concluding his screen career in Hair - reflecting upon his legacy with film critic VF Perkins at London's NFT. We get the 1966 short film Aquarius with the Age of Aquarius arriving in Nancy Hanna's jazzy psychedelic animation. Companion to that is the 1968 1/4 hour short entitled San Francisco. Anthony Stern's award-winning impressionistic documentary shot on the streets of San Fran, stunningly soundtracked with a rare early version of Pink Floyd's 'Interstellar Overdrive'. There is 3-minutes of an Indian Pop Instrumental from circa 1970 - as the camera rotates around a flower. Discomania is Oscar Riesel's star-spangled British disc-dancing extravaganza from the glory days of glitterballs, lurex, sequins and rollerskates produced in 1979, running 25-minutes. There is an image gallery, trailer and second disc DVD plus for the first pressing fully illustrated booklet with new writing on the film by Ellen Cheshire, new interview with the film's screenwriter Michael Weller and an essay on director Milos Forman by Kieron McCormack is included.

This frequently reminded me of Julie Taymor's Across the Universe of which Hair was surely an inspiration. It's a film that is great to pull out for friends to showcase a few of the musical numbers and impressive dance choreography. The BFI Blu-ray has done a good job with the HD presentation while including a bevy of extras. An easy recommendation to anyone keen! 

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

There is also an MGM Blu-ray available in North America:

    

Distribution BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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