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Shag: The Movie

4.5 out of 5 stars 210 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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!

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

Special Features


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 (210 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059TGD
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,067 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shag: The Movie" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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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.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
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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Topic From this Discussion
I guess the DVD is no longer in production. I love this movie, but I wish they would do a DVD/Blue-Ray re-release with the correct, original soundtrack. This has always been one of my very favorites!
Jul 24, 2015 by Sarah Brown |  See all 2 posts
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