Shampoo. 1975. USA. Directed by Hal Ashby. 109 min.
Screenplay by Robert Towne, Warren Beatty. With Beatty, Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn, Lee Grant, Jack Warden. Presented in a brand-new 40th anniversary restoration, Shampoo has lost none of its bite. A wry and quintessentially American satire of swinging sexuality and social climbing from Hal Ashby, the director of The Landlord, Harold and Maude, and Being There, the film features a corrosive screenplay written by Robert Towne (Chinatown and Ashby’s The Last Detail) and the film’s star and producer, Warren Beatty. Against the carnivalesque backdrop of the 1968 presidential election—from a decidedly post-Watergate perspective—this modern-day Restoration comedy stars Beatty as the restless Beverly Hills hairdresser who gets romantically entangled with a series of lovers past and present, married and unmarried. Goldie Hawn, Julie Christie, and Oscar-winning Lee Grant are perfect comic foils to the film’s displays of brazen, compulsive (and ultimately spent) virility. Invoking Renoir, Bergman, and Ophüls, an ecstatic Pauline Kael called Shampoo “the most virtuoso example of sophisticated kaleidoscopic farce that American moviemakers have ever come up with.” Digitally restored in 4K by Sony Pictures Entertainment.