Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Forgotten Movies: SHAMPOO

Forty years later, this film seems like a bit of a mess. George (Beatty, a Hollywood hairdresser and Lothario) is more pathetic than I remember him. The women (Hawn, Christie, Grant, Fisher) seem vacuous and sad. Maybe they are supposed to be. Maybe with the election of Nixon, everyone is supposed to seem lost. Directed by Hal Ashby, it does connect with the frenzy of the era-or perhaps the frenzy of youth. Jack Ward, (did he play in every movie over this period?) captures it best being well past the age when frolicking at pot parties seems appropriate. I expected to like it more--I think I did at the time--but it reminded me oh, so much of the despair we are experiencing now. How trivial we all can look when are pursuits are so superficial. And George seems more than a little like our p****grabbing President-elect.

Beatty huimself seems a lot like a flash in the pan now too. I caught part of HEAVEN CAN WAIT a night later and felt much the same way. Sluggish scenes, too much talking, too in love with his own face.Maybe REDS. Any Beatty apologists out there?

12 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, my goodness, hadn't thought of that film in absolutely years, Patti! It was such a breakout role for Warren Beatty, too.

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pattinase (abbott) said...

And I am not sure it would get made now. I think his behavior has lost all charm.

George said...

Never was much of a fan of Warren Beatty.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

No. I always thought HEAVEN CAN WAIT was a weak remake of HERE COMES MR. JORDAN. I liked some of SHAMPOO at the time (maybe Lee Grant?) but thought it was overrated, the Carrie Fisher stuff made me uncomfortable, and Warren seemed a vacuous airhead.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Always love Jack Warden, however. He played basically the same role in SO FINE ("I used to f*** like that" he told Ryan O'Neal, admiringly) and so many other roles.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Always loved The Parralax View and Bonnie and Clyde.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

If a movie didn't have Jack Warden it had Robert Loggia.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I actually thought Warden was in BIG.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Robert Loggia

Anders E said...

MCCABE & MRS. MILLER is great, and so is BULWORTH. At least as I recall (it's been a while for both of them). I recall BUGSY being fine, too.

By coincidence, I happened to watch SHAMPOO only a short while ago, and I really liked it. I believe all that shallowness and vacuousness was intentional. The movie may have been set in 1968, but in a sense it was really set in the early/mid 70s. The party was certainly over.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

McCabe is great. Probably Altman's best film. Beatty made a career out of playing characters that were not as smart as they thought they were.