CLASSIC: A poster for Hair, the 1979 film by Milos Forman.
CLASSIC: A poster for Hair, the 1979 film by Milos Forman.

Let the sunshine in with Hair

IN THIS 1979 film by Milos Forman, Claude Bukowski leaves the family ranch in Oklahoma for New York where he is rapidly embraced into the hippie group of youngsters led by Berger, yet he's already been drafted.

He soon falls in love with Sheila Franklin, a rich girl but still a rebel inside.

Although the film is based on the theatrical stage musical as well as sharing some of the songs and character names, the two versions are drastically different in most respects including plot, which songs are sung, the order in which they are performed and which character performs them, and also how the characters are portrayed.

The original Broadway production of Hair opened at the Biltmore Theater on April 20, 1968, and ran for 1750 performances before it closed in 1972.

The popular production was nominated for the 1969 Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical.

Forman originally wanted Brad Dourif for the role of Claude Hooper Bukowski who in the end was cast with actor John Savage.

The movie screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1979 where the picture was the opening night film.

Forman attended the first off-Broadway performance of Hair in 1967 in New York.

Backstage after the show, Forman told the musical's creators James Rado, Gerome Ragni and Galt MacDermot that he was interested in making a filmed version of the stage musical and to please consider him for directing its production.

Forman's most recent film at the time had been the Best Picture Academy Award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975).


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