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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful transfer!
Cheers to Johnny Depp, Sandra Bernhard, and Julianne Moore for citing this almost forgotten '70's classic as one of their all time favorites. To most, Shampoo is looked at as a Beatty vanity project, a dated box-office hit, or just dull and not worth your time. It's a shame because it's one of the best films of its time and is probably the last example of a sex comedy...
Published on January 24, 2003 by cinephile

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Never understood Warren Beatty 's appeal
A pretty dull dumb and condenscending flick . Maybe if I thought Warren was the least bit attractive I might change my mind. His frilly white blouses and little neck ties and tight pants- cannot be taken seriously . He is unmanly, smug and almost craven , but that would only be true if he was slightly more shrewd, he seems like a dull oaf and even though he is seen to be...
Published on November 26, 2010 by kooky Kid


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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful transfer!, January 24, 2003
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This review is from: Shampoo (DVD)
Cheers to Johnny Depp, Sandra Bernhard, and Julianne Moore for citing this almost forgotten '70's classic as one of their all time favorites. To most, Shampoo is looked at as a Beatty vanity project, a dated box-office hit, or just dull and not worth your time. It's a shame because it's one of the best films of its time and is probably the last example of a sex comedy having any sly wit, sophistication, or style. The character of George (Warren Beatty) is based on Manson family victim Jay Sebring -a close friend of Beatty's- and his quest for maturity and respect cuts through the dozens of meaningless, in-your-face type comedies of today. No, it's not an overbearingly gross, laugh-'til-your-side-aches ride with lots of gratuitous nudity and forgettable one-note characters; the film builds at a carefully constructed pace and -using humor as an undercurrent and beautifully soft neutral colors as its visual look -packs a slight emotional wallop at the end. It's as close to an American art film comedy as you're going to come.
The collaboration of screenwriter Robert Towne (Chinatown) and director Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Coming Home) is a small dream and together they create some beautiful magic: the subtlety of Towne's very funny dialogue never becomes monotonous like a bad Broadway farce and Ashby's camera allows a viewer to discover hidden depths in Goldie Hawn, Carrie Fisher, Jack Warden (Oscar nominated), and Lee Grant (Oscar winner). All the performances are first rate but Julie Christie as George's true love interest steals the movie with those wonderfully expressive eyes and her classic drunk scene. (One of the best visual jokes in the movie is the backside of the black cocktail dress she wears at the election dinner.)

I owned the Criterion laserdisc version of Shampoo and saw a great print on the big screen but this digitally remastered DVD treatment is nothing short of fabulous. The visual look of Shampoo is very important since as the story gets deeper so do the colors (watch the scene where George cuts Jackie's hair in her bathroom while they both glow in the fading afternoon light) but you could never tell from the VHS tape copies or even on its scatter-shot television appearances. This transfer does the film justice but unfortunately there are no special features whatsoever. A making-of documentary or even a commentary track (with the exception of Jack Warden all the principal actors are still alive) would have made this edition a great feature in your library. It's still worth buying but also just a bit of a letdown. Regardless, you can view Shampoo as either a lumbering, relic-like snapshot of its time or a morality tale with depth, humor, and some class. A richly rewarding viewing experience awaits the viewer who sees the latter. Enjoy!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shining, Gleaming, Streaming, Flaxen, Waxen, October 20, 2005
By 
Kevin Killian (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shampoo (DVD)
SHAMPOO harks back to the glory days of Hollywood to the famous incident at Ciro's (the night club) when Paulette Goddard added spice to her career by slipping under a table to give an evening's worth of excitement to director Anatole Litvak, thereby sealing her reputation as a party girl who really didn't care what anyone thought. (In another version of the story, Goddard and Litvak both vanished under the table simultaneously and had sex on the nightclub floor on the feet of their friends.) In any case, SHAMPOO recalls this incident by having Julie Christie slide out of her banquette to take care of the hairdresser, George Roundy (played by Warren Beatty) even though her "boyfriend" (Jack Warden) is hovering dangerously close by.

SHAMPOO also takes its cues from British Restoration comedy like Wycherley and Congreve, a world of cuckolded gentlemen, odious bourgeoisie, discontented wives, and boys on the make, re-locating the center of the gilded universe from London to Los Angeles in the late 1960s. As in Congreve, the husbands believe it's safe to leave their wives and daughters alone with George because he's a dandy/aesthete/hairdresser. That suits him down to the ground, for on the bodies of these ignorant women he can have his revenge on the men who treat him as a tradesman, a social inferior. The picture has a slightly dated air, as if to say, we're different now than when the action of this film is laid, which might be difficult to apprehend today.

Beatty is fine, though his haircut doesn't recall the 1960s as much as the mid 70s when the film was produced. As the typically 60s sex objects George dallies with, Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn are perfectly cast, almost too perfectly, they hardly seem to be acting at all; their haircuts and their clothes set the scene and call "cut" at the end of each take. Kathryn Blondell, the insanely talented Hollywood hairdresser, did the real hair work here, at the beginning of a long career which has included just about every movie Goldie Hawn has done since (Kate Hudson too!), as well as such period pieces as APOLLO 13 and BIRD. She is the master at making women look great on screen, and not just leading ladies, but supporting players and extras too. But this might be her best work-other than the futuristic styles she gave to Paul Verhoeven's STARSHIP TROOPERS.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's just a boy who can't say no., July 8, 2006
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This review is from: Shampoo (DVD)
"Shampoo" is probably the most sophisticated sex comedy ever made in this country. It's a very clear-eyed (and very funny) look at how love and lust get inextricably mixed up with up with power, money, position, and politics. Of course, contrary to almost every critique posted here, George (Warren Beatty), the philandering Beverly Hills hairdresser, is the primary victim of the rules of the game, late-60s Southern California-style. Unlike the protagonist of the great Renoir movie, George doesn't end up dead, but he's left alone, abandoned by all the women he's bedded, looking like a naive fool. And that's George's sin--he's an uncynical romantic in a world that doesn't know the difference between felt emotion and deliberate calculation. He sleeps with women because he genuinely likes them. For him, taking a woman to bed is an extension of doing her hair--it's an intimate act in which he makes her look and feel better. All the other characters in the movie use sex as part of a larger plan--they each have some separate goal on their mind, which they achieve in one way or another, and George is left behind with his silly emotional and sexual vulnerabiliy. He's Don Giovanni in reverse--the boy who can't say no because he actually gives a damn--and he pays a steep price for his availability. Playing a slightly out of it dupe, Beatty has never been better or more dazzlingly glamorous. And he's surrounded by a flawless ensemble cast--Lee Grant is simply astonishing as a deceived and deceiving Beverly Hills matron, and Julie Christie, in her flared pants and mini skirts, is peerlessy sexy as the 1968 version of a Rodeo Drive courtesan. Thanks to Robert Towne, "Shampoo" also has some of the most natural, unforced, yet revealing dialog ever heard in an American movie--nothing is stylized or italicized, but every nonchalant remark hits target like a polished Wilde epigram. Delectable.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't It Be Nice?, January 4, 2003
By 
Hillary (Brooklyn, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shampoo [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Yes it would if we could get Hollywood to produce films that are timelessly fresh as the great "Shampoo".

Warren Beatty is unforgettable as George, a shameless womanizing cad of a hairdresser, who effortlessly beds every woman that crosses his path. They usually do that at his salon, as they all wait for George to "Do" them, in more ways than one!

George naturally has several girlfriends who he tries to keep from knowing about the others, but of course they all find out. Goldie Hawn is just adorable here in her little velvet brown baby doll dress, and exudes a helpless little girl type charm from every pore. She lives with George, when he's not with various others. Lee Grant is his married lover, whose husband Jack Warden is the patsy. He plays his role quite sympathetically. There is Julie Christie as the girl who George really wants, and the only one who doesn't want him. Now that IS realistic cinema. There are other quickies of course. A not to be missed young Carrie Fisher scores some real "Love" between tennis lessons before her mom gets "done" by George when she arrives home, and finds her daughter took her appointment! George goes about his day to day activities, without a hair out of place, no matter how often, or how many women try to seduce him. A drunken Lee Grant creates a memorable scene when she visits George under a table they are seated at with several other people. For more, YOU need to watch!

What is interesting here, besides the wonderful flavor and mood of the late sixties captured in the music, free love attitudes, fashions and mod ambience, is that it took place in 1968 and was released in 1975. It covers the election eve of 1968, the whole start of the Nixon era, released at the end of the Watergate era. Maybe that can be called dated now, but it gives you a real flavor of what the world of politics and attitudes were. It is interesting and very unusual to see a film that is set in a time period, so close to the actual era that just preceded it. There is less than a decade between the 1968 era theme, and the films release in 1975. For this reason, it was perfect for it's day, and in my opinion remains so today.

There are way too many wonderful moments to list here. If you haven't seen this film, you are truly missing a classic piece of what made the late sixties and mid seventies so special. If you didn't live it, here is a film that will give you a great vcarious feeling that you did.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars screwball drama, April 30, 2007
This review is from: Shampoo (DVD)
This film is a modern time libertine drama with a satirical/screwball tone - its somewhere in the continuum between Paul Morissey's screwball dramas Heat/Trash and the comedy Flirting with Disaster.

The acting and directing is very believable and well done. I thought the plot was tight and well crafted; they did an excellent job of dramatizing the theme, and articulating the main characters psyche. This film is obviously based on life experience.

WHile much is said about the historical place of this film; its worth noting that the film has a timeless quality - it does a brilliant job of dealing with love, lust, realtionships, overlapping relationships, trust, human nature, the meaning of life etc. In the same way classic greek and roman comedies show that as things change things stay the same.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars why don't more people love shampoo?, May 1, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Shampoo [VHS] (VHS Tape)
In a recent interview in Cineaste magazine, celeb film critic Pauline Kael described the 1970's as the greatest decade of American movies. She then laid claim by listing her seven favorite films from that period. One of the films mentioned was Shampoo.
I couldn't agree more with Pauline. Aside from the lighting and some of the camerawork, everything in the film is about as good as it gets---Robert Towne's ear for common parlance, Beatty's understated charisma, and Ashby's whirlwind direction.
It's strange (and I notice another reviewer made the same comment) that more people haven't written about this movie. In many ways, Shampoo seems to have been forgotten, floating somewhere in film history heaven. I live in Los Angeles and have never heard about it being screened anywhere. Dave Kehr and the critical establishment in general have all written it off as a film that hasn't aged well. And I've never seen a book written about either Shampoo or Ashby. Am I living in a vault or is this really the legacy of Shampoo?
If you don't like this movie, I urge you to write or contact me. My e-mail address is listed above. I simply don't understand why more people don't love Shampoo.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shampoo, A Great Satire, March 6, 2001
By 
This review is from: Shampoo [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Hal Ashby's Shampoo is a wickedly funny satire of the hedoism of the sexual revolution of the 1960's and 70's and the big hangover our nation experienced when the party finally ended.Warren Beatty is wonderful as George, the bed hopping hair dresser who seems to do his thinking with something other then his brain.Kudos, also for Goldie Hawn and Julie Christie in supporting roles that really matter.Look for a teenage Carrie Fisher in a hilarious one on one with Beatty.This movie is best summed up in a line of dialogue from the Hawn character, who tells the itinerant hair dresser, "you know your always running around to someplace, but you never seem to get anywhere".
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another movie I can watch over and over, March 20, 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: Shampoo [VHS] (VHS Tape)
maybe because it takes place during the best years of my life. Jack Warden is soooo under-rated and the best scene was when Julie Christie met up with Lee Grant at the dinner. Or maybe it was Warren in the bathroom with Julie. My VHS copy is wearing out. Where is the DVD? This is a classic along with Pretty Maids all in a Row and they should both be released on DVD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shampoo great movie what else can you say, November 4, 2013
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This review is from: Shampoo (DVD)
its a movie that was close to the heart and the acting and soundtrack songs were memorable and amazing. one of the last true movies with great acting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better with age, August 9, 2008
This review is from: Shampoo (DVD)
I always wonder, when I look at old films that I once liked a lot, whether they will hold up in time. I really don't remember any strong my reaction to Shampoo, which I saw shortly after it came out. I think I enjoyed it but dismissed it as kind of silly.

Now I think I enjoyed it a lot more. The script is very smart and manages to be both hilarious and serious. The cast is stellar in every sense of the word: Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn, both at the height of their physical beauty (although they have both aged remarkably well) are a sheer delight just to look at. Warren is awesome, as always, despite the most ridiculous hairdo ever to be plopped on the head of a leading man. (With the possible exception of Sean Penn in Dead Man Walking.) Lee Grant gives one of her many sensational performances, Jack Gilbert takes what could have been a stock character and gives an added dimension to it, and Carrie Fisher shows her intelligence and presence in her first film appearance.

Others here have likened the film to French sex farces and there is certainly an aspect of that, which gives us the hilarity. It is so much more, though...a comment on the times, a perceptive picture of an obsessed Casanova (without dwelling too much on the psychological wierdness of it). It's greatly entertaining, with the costumes, the parties and the many, many great scenes. The scene with Warren and Julie in the bathroom, as he does her hair, is hot, hot, hot. There were certainly sparks flying between them in those days. It looked like they had all they could do to keep in character. The scene where she disappears under the table in the restaurant is also hilarious.

Yes, it's definitely a film of its time. I recently saw Blow Up again, Antonioni's film which portrayed the London version of the same swinging 60's. It captivated me the time it came out, but bored me now. But Shampoo, which was not as highly regarded as BlowUp strikes me as a film which will endure for a long time. Warren Beatty is one of those people whose glamour and great looks hides the fact from many that he is one highly perception and intelligent person. He knows how to make a smart social commentary that is also great fun.
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Shampoo
Shampoo by Hal Ashby
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