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Shag (1989)

Phoebe Cates , Bridget Fonda , Zelda Barron  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Phoebe Cates, Bridget Fonda, Scott Coffey, Annabeth Gish, Page Hannah
  • Directors: Zelda Barron
  • Writers: Lanier Laney, Robin Swicord, Terry Sweeney
  • Producers: Derek Gibson, Jeffrey Silver, John Daly, Julia Chasman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2001
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059TGD
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,307 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shag" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

It's not too surprising that Shag flopped on its 1989 release but found a devoted cult following on cable TV and home video. This featherweight comedy looked like a waste of space on the big screen, but it plays very cozily on the tube, where it lends itself to popcorn breaks and pajama parties. (The lousy title must have had something to do with the movie's initial failure, a problem worsened by the film being marketed as Shag: The Movie, a truly dumb idea.) Shag is in the tradition of Spring Break pictures, a thoroughly formulaic stroll through the conventions of the minigenre: beachside romance, a wild party, one tender deflowering, and lots of rock & roll. The time is 1963, as three gal friends trick their soon-to-be-married pal (Phoebe Cates) into one final all-girl fling in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Cates is engaged to a local well-bred stick (Tyrone Power Jr.), but soon she's tempted by a beach boy (Robert Rusler) bound for Yale (mm-hmm). The so-so material is buoyed by lovely Annabeth Gish, as the supposedly pudgy one in the group, and Bridget Fonda, as a prematurely sophisticated sexpot. After a while it's easy enough to relax and enjoy the girls' breezy adventures, which are served up without the soap opera melodrama of the similarly tooled Where the Boys Are. Oh, and Austin Powers notwithstanding, the title refers to the dance, not something else. --Robert Horton

Product Description

What do you get when you mix T-Birds, Bermuda shorts, bubble-flip dos and incredible dancing? You get Shag, The Movie a comic free-for-all (The New York Times) that Variety calls fun and breezy and you'll call a blast! Carson (Phoebe Cates, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) is all set to marry respectable but boring Harley (Tyrone Power, Jr., Cocoon) until her best friends Melaina (Bridget Fonda, Single White Female), Pudge (Annabeth Gish, MysticPizza), and Luanne (Page Hannah, TV's Fame ) whisk her off for a last-fling beach party where all the girls have the time of their lives! A charming bad boy throws Carson's marriage plans intothe spin cycle. His nerdy sidekick whirls Pudge through some dazzling dance steps. Sultry Melaina learns some sexy moves from an Elvis-like teen idol. And even straight-laced Luanne whips off her horn-rimmed glasses and tosses her innocence to the wind!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It is IMPORTANT that you get the ORIGINAL on VHS May 28, 2006
I love love love this movie, but you have to make sure you get the VHS version (where the VHS cover is the cast riding in the car.) Lucky for me, this is the one I own. By mistake, I purchased the "wrong" version for a friend and we sat down to watch it together. The music in the DVD version is TERRIBLE compared to the original (don't even get me started on the c.d. soundtrack.) Whoever made the blunder of re-doing this for DVD re-release needs to be fired!
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 star for the DVD, five stars for the VHS! October 1, 2006
I guess I was lucky enough to get my hands on a VHS copy of this movie with the original music, which did not include any Chris Isaak or K.D. Lang songs. If this is a period movie (and it should be), then period music should be used in all the versions. It sounds like they couldn't get legal clearance to use all of the original music for the movie, so they replaced songs like "Another Saturday Night" by Sam Cooke with a song by K.D. Lang, who was probably still in diapers in 1963. That's where the movie took a dive for me in a big way on the DVD version and it only got worse as the movie went on. Other songs were swapped out and music was added in scenes, like at the Carnival and the "Wild Night" scene, where the original version had no music.

Maybe if enough fans of this movie complain, MGM will blow the dust off their checkbook and pay the original artists (or their estates) to get the rights to use their music. Some bonus features would be nice too. The least they could do was to allow 60 Minute Man to finish playing in the credits, like it did on VHS. If you are lucky enough to own an original VHS copy, you'll notice MGM did not run the full credits like you would normally see in a movie, which would include the music credits.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What a brilliant movie, with the exception of the end where the girls sing together on the porchsteps of the sentator's summer home in Myrtle Beach. That little Dirty Dancing ripoff was really, really lame. But the rest of the movie was great! Robert Rustler, who didn't act in a billion other movies like I thought he would, gave the performance of his lifetime. Tyrone Power Jr looks like his daddy. You already know Phoebe Cates, Bridget Fonda, and Annabeth Gish. Great eye candy for a really, really fun movie. It's a beach movie without the stupidity.
I've probably watched this movie 50 times. Nothing like watching a summer vacation in Myrtle Beach to put you in a good mood. Hanging out at the Grand Strand...shaggin' and drinking bevos (oddly enough, a bevo was a non-alcoholic beverage in prohibition days...a fact that has nothing to do with this review)...that's the life!
Shag has great music, fun dialogue, famous speeches, some hot shaggin', Elvis impersonators, and great party scenes that make the movie flow really fast while a smile is on your face the entire time.
For the DVD, I didn't think the sound quality was very good. I have 50's movies that had better sound. I own Annette Funicello's Pajama Party on DVD. It has MUCH better sound. So that was disappointing, especially considering there's music throughout the entire movie. But even though the sound is a little disappointing and there's no special features in this movie (aside from a trailer), this movie is still one you should own.
After about 50 views, I finally picked up on something that I thought I'd share, since I feel a warm sense of accomplishment.
In the car ride, Melaina was giving Caroline (Pudge) her fortune. Caroline picked yellow. No idea why, since she wore a blue dress at the end of the movie.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT movie, TERRIBLE video edition! July 2, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
When I was in high school, my friends and I rented this movie over and over again from the local video store. It's got an amazing ensemble cast (including Darryl Hannah's younger sister, Paige, along with the better know Brigdet Fonda, Phoebe Cates and Annabeth Gish).
I was really excited when I ran across a copy of Shag for sale. Unfortunately, when I popped it in the VCR, expecting to relive my high school experience, I discovered that this version was *different* than the one I used to watch. Different soundtrack. Terrible sound quality. Quite the drag.
Hopefully some day they'll come out with a decent transfer someday, maybe even port it to DVD (I'm not holding my breath...). This movie is definitely worth seeing, but this version of it is not eveny worth the shipping cost.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great beach music on VHS March 1, 2008
This is a great movie but beware the differences in the soundtrack of the VHS, DVD, and CD Soundtrack>

While many of these tunes are from the 1963 era of the movie, they were popular in the late 70s at fraternity parties at the U. of Tenn. (and many other Southern schools). In fact, the band in the movie: Big Dan and the Sand Dollars is played by the Voltage Bros., who played at our Sigma Chi formal one year.

Some great lines from the movie:
When the black maid catches two couples (who are not "supposed" to be coupled) kissing, she exclaims "Y'all is the horniest bunch of white folks I ever seen!"

When Bridget Fonda's character snuggles up to a guy in the dance club, he says, "Where have I seen you before?" and she responds "Maybe in one of your better dreams!".

As others have noted, there are several versions of the soundtrack on the VHS, DVD and CD soundtrack. Here's what's on my VHS version, the one with large photos of Phoebe and Bridget on the front cover (not the cast in the car); these are not in chron. order:
* Momma said there'd be days like this - Shirelles
* Stay - M. Williams & Zodiacs
* Monkey Time - Major Lance
* Ooh Aah - Jakki 0
* It will stand - The Showmen (played several times in movie; some by the "house" band Big Dan and the Sand Dollars
* Stagger Lee - Lloyd Price? or tbd.
* Easier said than done - The Essex
* Baby work it out - Jackie Wilson
* Since I don't have you - the Skyliners
* Sixty-Minute Man - Billy Ward (and the Dominos?) "sung" by house band in the movie.
* Another Sat. Night - Sam Cooke
* He's so fine - Chiffons ?
* 39-21-40 Shape - Showmen
* Up on the roof & Under the Boardwalk - Drifters
* Blue Hawaii - Elvis
* He's the one (easier said than done) - TBD
* Alley Oop -- tbd
* You belong to me -- Tbd
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC 60s era via the 80s!!!
I LOVE 80s (and 90s) movies that portray an earlier 50s/60s time period... Esp. when they have a great soundtrack and involve DANCING!!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. Brame
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
OMG hits home since I was born & raised in the Carolina's...
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It
I can not tell you how many times I have watched this movie. The first time was with my daughter when she was in her teens. Read more
Published 2 months ago by MissMibbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Girls being Girls
I love cheesy chick flicks. Girls being girls and having one last getaway together. There's wild parties, meeting boys, and dancing Shag. Get on your Shagin shoes.
Published 2 months ago by Denise
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites!
Shag is one of my favorite movies, and this VHS is just as I remember it! All of the original music!
Published 5 months ago by happy2shop
5.0 out of 5 stars Myrtle Beach
If you love Myrtle Beach you will love this movie. We play this movie all the time. It is just cute and has scenes of the beach. In the winter makes you want the beach.
Published 5 months ago by Dreama Devincent
5.0 out of 5 stars Got the VHS and just love it...and I normally don't leave reviews.
What a high! I grew up in NC about two hours from Myrtle Beach so this movie was an absolute delight.
Published 6 months ago by workathometime
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I found it
My mother loves this movie, so glad I found it. Bought this for my mother for an early mothers day gift & nothing but smiles.
Published 6 months ago by Tracie
4.0 out of 5 stars Summer, Fun, Girlfreind Movie!
At the beginning of every summer, my girlfriends and I get together to watch this fun movie. Each will bring over a bottle of wine and an appetizer. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Vicki Wilkerson
5.0 out of 5 stars Price of the movie??
Why is this movie so expensive? I bought the DVD a few years ago and it was like $12 and the music was exactly the same as it always was. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Chrystal Mims
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