Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Movie and DVD Reviews: The best and not-so-best movies available on DVD, and whatever else catches my eye.

Mimsy Review: Hair

Reviewed by Jerry Stratton, May 24, 1999

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Special features

Poster Gallery8
Trailer7

A fun musical set in the sixties, during the Vietnam War. A young man comes to New York City from Oklahoma to be drafted. On arrival, he meets up with some vagrant hippies with great musical taste.

RecommendationPurchase Now!
DirectorMilos Forman
WritersGerome Ragni, James Rado, Galt MacDermot, Michael Weller
Movie Rating8
Transfer Quality8
Overall Rating7
Formats
  • Letterbox
  • Pan and Scan

Some minor scratches, especially towards the beginning, are noticeable. The movie itself is so vibrant, I can never remember to look for them once the music starts. The music is wonderful. You’ve already heard a number of the songs: “Let the Sunshine In”, “Age of Aquarius” for certain. Unless you’ve seen the movie, however, you almost certainly have not heard others: “Sodomy” for example. And then there’s the “Black Boys Are Delicious/White Boys are so Pretty” draft board scene. Absolutely unforgettable. And which could easily get you beaten and lying in a ditch if you start humming it in most parts of the United States.

One of the most amazing things to me in this movie is how little moralizing there is in any direction. It isn’t a bad thing that Claude is going into the army; Berger and the rest of the hippies aren’t better because they burn their draft cards. They just get to have more fun. Having a child and not knowing who the father is, is neither better nor worse than having a child and knowing who the father is. Things that in movies today would require a moral resolution are simply bits and pieces in the movie, irrelevant to the dawning of the age of Aquarius.

Treat Williams (1941) puts in one of his best performances ever, and (to me, at least) was completely unrecognizable until he cut his hair. He is the most natural of the performers; he ‘breaks into song’ almost seamlessly and maintains a natural, conversational facial expression as he sings his dialogue. All told, Hair is one of the best, if not the best, musicals on the screen for the naturalness of the singing.

One of the extras is a poster gallery: posters advertising various productions of the play around the United States. These are wild, sixties-style posters you’ll have lots of fun looking at. It was a great idea to include them. My graphic designer friends were in awe over what was able to be done pre-Photoshop!

Recommendation: Purchase Now!

DirectorMilos Forman
WritersGerome Ragni, James Rado, Galt MacDermot, Michael Weller
Spoken languagesEnglish, French
SubtitlesEnglish, French
Special FeaturesPoster Gallery, Trailer
More links

If you enjoyed Hair…

If you enjoy Milos Forman, you might also be interested in Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

If you enjoy musical, you might also be interested in A Star is Born, Almost Elvis, Amadeus, Cabaret, Going My Way/Holiday Inn, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The Blues Brothers, The Music Man, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Sound of Music, and The Wizard of Oz.

If you enjoy sixties, you might also be interested in Animal House.