AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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Shampoo
Director: Hal Ashby (Dir)
Release Date:   Feb 1975
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 11 Feb 1975
Production Date:   11 Mar--late Jun 1974
Duration (in mins):   112
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Cast:   Warren Beatty (George [Roundy])  
    Julie Christie (Jackie [Shawn])  
    Goldie Hawn (Jill)  
    Lee Grant (Felicia [Carr])  
    Jack Warden (Lester [Carr])  
    Tony Bill (Johnny Pope)  
    George Furth (Mr. [R. J.] Pettis)  
    Jay Robinson (Norman)  
    Ann Weldon (Mary)  
    Luanna Anders (Devra)  
    Randy Scheer (Dennis)  
    Susanna Moore (Gloria)  
    Carrie Fisher (Lorna [Carr])  
    Mike Olton (Ricci)  
    Richard E. Kalk (Detective Younger)  
    Ronald Dunas (Nate)  
    Hal Buckley (Kenneth)  
    Jack Bernardi (Izzy)  
    William Castle (Sid Roth)  
    Brad Dexter (Senator East)  
    Doris Packer (Rozalind)  
    Faye Nuell (Norma)  
    Howard Hesseman (Red Dog)  
    Cheri Latimer (Girl in car)  
    George Justin (Producer)  
    Lesley Evans (Secretary)  
    Brunetta Barnett (Mona)  
    Joan Marshall (Mrs. Schumann)  
    Kathleen Miller (Anjanette)  
    Janice Baker (Model #1)  
    April Ross (Model #2)  
    Paula Warner (Model #3)  
    Luis Delgado (Waiter at bistro)  
    Dina Ousley (Hairdresser)  
    Mack Eden (Hairdresser)  
    Daryl Roach (Boy at party)  
    Melinda Smith (Twin #1)  
    Constance Smith (Twin #2)  
    Sean Walsh (Boy with twins)  
    Gary Marsh (Boy #1)  
    Andrew Stevens (Boy #2)  
    Sharon Kelly (Painted lady)  
    Larry Bischof (Guest)  
    Don Ames (Guest)  
    Wally Crowder (Malone's delivery boy)  
    Cynthia Wood (Beauty shop customer)  
    Jimmie Cannon (Beauty shop customer)  
    Susan McIver (Beauty shop customer)  
    Kimberly McGowen (Beauty shop customer)  
    Gail Landry (Beauty shop customer)  
    Annalee Coyle (Beauty shop customer)  
    Robert Towne (Party guest)  

Summary: In 1968 Los Angeles, hair stylist George Roundy’s late night romantic tryst with wealthy Felicia Carr is interrupted by a telephone call from George’s actress girlfriend, Jill. Telling Felicia he must visit a sick friend, George hastens to Jill’s house, where she is in the midst of a panic attack after having heard gunshots. George cooks Jill a late night snack and confides that he is nervous about his appointment at the bank for a loan to start his own salon. Jill reflects that she is nearing thirty when it will be too late to have children, then adds that her best friend, Jackie Shawn, does not believe in adding to an over populated world. After spending the rest of the night with Jill, George drives his motorcycle to the bank where he is baffled by vice president R. J. Pettis’s discussion of loan rates. When Pettis asks George for references, he replies that he does the hair of actress Barbara Rush. Realizing that George has no financial references at all, Pettis becomes officious and George departs in anger realizing he will not get the loan. Later, Jill meets with her agent, and film director Johnny Pope about a part. Initially excited about the role, Jill hesitates when Johnny reveals that the film will be shot over several weeks in Egypt. Later, Jill lunches with Jackie, who sympathizes about George. Jackie, who used to date George, reflects that he is too irresponsible and she is more comfortable being involved with Felicia’s older husband, Lester. That afternoon George goes to the salon where he puts off Felicia’s inquiries about the night before. Distracted by the numerous clients around him, George barely acknowledges Jill when she arrives to inquire about the bank interview and to ask if he would mind her taking a job for several weeks in Egypt. Salon owner Norman scolds George for his careless attitude and, frustrated by George’s inattentiveness, Jill leaves. Having overheard their conversation, Felicia asks George about the bank visit and advises him to see Lester for a loan. Although surprised, George agrees and soon after meets Lester in his office. Uncomfortable with a man being a hairdresser, Lester admits that he does not usually invest in small businesses. Moments later, Jackie bursts into the office demanding the key to Lester’s Bel Air house. Although taken aback to see George, Jackie assures Lester that George is a great stylist. Moments later in private, Jackie complains that Lester treats her like a prisoner and he agrees to take her to a party that night to watch the presidential election returns. Lester then asks George to the party and asks if he can escort Jackie as he must go directly from work. In the garage, George confronts Jackie about being with Lester and reproaches her for not having told Lester about their earlier relationship. When Jackie wonders who George has been sleeping with in order to rate an introduction to Lester, he angrily insists that he does not have sex for money but only for fun. When Jackie remains silent, George offers to style her hair. Later that afternoon, George leaves a client at the salon with assistant Ricci when Jackie telephones. At Lester’s Bel Air house, Jackie insists she must look stunning that evening as it is the first time she will be at a party attended by Felicia. Although George refuses to admit it, Jackie quickly deduces that he has slept with Felicia, but is surprised by the resumption of her attraction to George. The couple kisses only to be interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Lester. George pretends to be gay, confirming an earlier suspicion of Lester’s. Meanwhile, still angry with George, Jill agrees to dine with Johnny Pope when he calls. Hastily leaving Jackie’s, George hurries to Felicia’s home to complete her hairstyle for the evening, but finding her absent, chats with her seventeen year-old daughter, Lorna. Suspecting that her mother is having an affair with George, Lorna blatantly asks him if he would like to have sex and George agrees. When Felicia arrives, she ignores the situation and drags George off to her bedroom. Later, at Jill’s, when George reveals that he did not get the bank loan and is unsure if Lester will help, Jill criticizes him for refusing to behave like an adult. Minutes later, George leaves the room and Jill finds an unfamiliar earring where he was sitting. That evening as George and Jackie drive to the party, George admits that he is annoyed that Jill has invited Johnny to the event. Arriving at the party simultaneously, Jill and Johnny, George and Jackie are greeted by Lester, but in his anxiety to act normal around Felicia, he forgets that Jill is Jackie’s best friend. Seeing Felicia approaching, Lester quickly whispers to George to take care of Jackie and to see that she does not drink. After Felicia greets George with a sensuous kiss, he introduces Jackie, prompting Felicia to retreat, overwhelmed by Jackie’s beauty. Disturbed by Lester’s coolness to her and Felicia’s possessiveness of George, Jackie begins drinking while both Jill and Lester advise George to intercede. When the tipsy Jackie makes a scene with George, he decides they should leave. As Lester watches them anxiously, Felicia surprises him by declaring that she has realized he is having an affair with Jackie and warns that she will be expensive. Still assuming that George is gay, Lester is puzzled when Felicia further observes that George will surely try to seduce Jackie. George takes Jackie to a hip party at a wealthy private home filled with young people drinking and taking drugs. Gradually sobering, Jackie admits to George that what annoyed her most about him was not his inability to commit or take care of her, but his constant state of happiness which she found unrealistic. Undaunted George admits that she is the only woman he has ever felt completely comfortable with and can see himself growing old with her, but not Jill. Meanwhile, Lester’s restaurant party is broken up when a small fire forces an evacuation of the building. Abandoned by Felicia who has taken his car, Lester asks for a ride with Jill and Johnny who head to the same private party George and Jackie are attending. While George and Jackie disappear into an empty club house to make love, Jill, Johnny and Lester stroll about the grounds. Invited to a hot tub by a young couple, Lester is directed to the clubhouse for a towel and arrives at the same time as Jill and Johnny. Seeing a couple having sex in the darkness of the clubhouse, all three stare until a refrigerator door pops open, sending a beam of light onto George and Jackie. Outraged, Jill hurls a lawn chair through the double doors and storms away. George rushes after her, then back to Jackie but both women drive away in opposite directions. George then returns to Jill’s house, where he tries in vain to contact Jackie. The following morning, Johnny drops Jill at her home and she tells George that she does not wish to fight. Handing him the earring she discovered the previous day, Jill demands to know how many other women he has been seeing. Uncomfortable, then angry, George admits that he sleeps with women constantly, and admits that being surrounded by women was the motivating force for becoming a hairdresser. After declaring there is no need for him to apologize, George is nevertheless surprised when Jill thanks him for his honesty and asks him to leave. Moments later Johnny telephones to check on Jill. George returns to his small cottage to find Lester and two private security men waiting. Unconcerned, George tells Lester that if he ever listened to Felicia or Jackie he would discover that, like most women, all they are concerned about is how men use them. Feigning indifference to Jackie, Lester calls her a whore, but George insists that she really cares for Lester. The men share a drink and Lester promises to provide George with the money for his shop. Later at the salon, George is unexpectedly shaken when Norman receives news that his son has died in a car accident. Impulsively, George hastens to see Jackie and finds her packed and preparing to go away with Lester. When George refuses to leave, Jackie flees in her car and George chases her to the top of the canyon. As the couple stands overlooking Jackie’s house, they see Lester’s car approaching and George proposes to Jackie. Admitting that Lester has left Felicia and asked her to marry him, Jackie tells George that it is too late. Despite his pleas, Jackie drives back down the hill to Lester and George watches them drive away together. 

Production Company: Rubeeker Productions, Inc.  
Production Text: A Perskey-Bright/Vista Feature
Distribution Company: Columbia Pictures  
Director: Hal Ashby (Dir)
  Art Levinson (1st asst dir)
  Cliff Coleman (1st asst dir)
  Ron Wright (2d asst dir)
Producer: Warren Beatty (Prod)
  Charles H. Maguire (Assoc prod)
Writer: Robert Towne (Wrt)
  Warren Beatty (Wrt)
Photography: Laszlo Kovacs (Dir of photog)
  Robert C. Thomas (Cam op)
  Rich Aguilar (Gaffer)
  Len Lookabaugh (Key grip)
  Ray Delamotte (1st asst cam)
  Mike Nakamura (2d asst cam)
  romeo Di Santis (Best boy)
  Pete Papanickolas (2d grip)
  Rich Borchardt (Dolly grip)
  Ron Mertus (Extra grip)
  Peter Sorrel (Still photog)
Art Direction: Richard Sylbert (Prod des)
  W. Stewart Campbell (Art dir)
Film Editor: Robert C. Jones (Film ed)
  Don Zimmerman (Asst film ed)
  Robert Barrére (Asst film ed)
Set Decoration: George Gaines (Set dec)
  Allan Levine (Prop master)
  William Parks (Construction coord)
  Joe Acord (Construction foreman)
  Cliff Bernay (Lead man)
  James Resh (Set des)
  Robert Resh (Set des)
  Gene Acker (Paint foreman)
Costumes: Anthea Sylbert (Cost des)
  Thalia Phillips (Women's ward)
  Laurie Riley (Men's ward)
Music: Paul Simon (Orig mus)
  Ken Johnson (Mus ed)
  Pat Williams (Orig mus orch by)
  Phil Ramone (Mus adv)
Sound: Tom Overton (Prod sd)
  Robert Knudson (Sd rec)
  Robert Glass (Sd rec)
  Dan Wallin (Sd rec)
  Frank Warner (Sd ed)
  Dennis Jones (Boom man)
Special Effects: Pacific Title (Titles)
Make Up: Tom Case (Makeup)
  Kathryn Blondell (Hairdressing)
Production Misc: Charles H. Maguire (Prod mgr)
  Robert Jiras (Asst to the prod)
  Helen L. Feibelmann (Prod asst)
  Meta Wilde (Continuity)
  Barbara Spitz (Prod secy)
  Sheila Woodland (Prod secy)
  James W. Thornsberry (Transportation)
  Gene Clinesmith (Transportation capt)
  Ralph M. Leo (Controller)
  Joel Schwartz (Research)
  Doe Mayer (Research)
  Carrie White (Tech consultant)
  Gene Shacove (Tech consultant)
  Mike Fenton (Casting)
  Jane Feinberg (Casting)
  Gene Clinesmith (Transportation co-capt)
  Ron Webber (Craft service)
  Dave Miller (First aid)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: United States
Language: English

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Vista Company 11/2/1975 dd/mm/yyyy LP44349
Persky-Bright 11/2/1975 dd/mm/yyyy LP44349

PCA NO: 24193
Physical Properties: Sd:
  col: Technicolor
  Lenses/Prints: Panavision

 
Genre: Romantic comedy
 
Subjects (Major): Beauty shops and hair salons
  Infidelity
  Sex
 
Subjects (Minor): Actors and actresses
  Automobiles
  Banks
  Dogs
  Drunkenness
  Duplicity
  Husbands
  Idle rich
  Loans
  Los Angeles (CA)--Bel Air
  Mothers and daughters
  Motorcycles
  Parties
  Politicians
  Wives

Note: According to a 21 Feb 1974 DV news item, Shampoo was turned down by several studios before producer-co-writer and star Warren Beatty negotiated successfully with Columbia. The item, as well as an 8 Mar 1974 HR item, noted that Beatty had already signed co-stars Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn and director Hal Ashby at the time of the deal with Columbia. A 12 Apr 1974 HR news item stated that Jaye P. Morgan had been signed for a “non-singing” role in Shampoo and several modern sources list her in off-screen credits, however her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Shampoo marked the feature film debut of Carrie Fisher. Co-writer Robert Towne makes a cameo appearance in the film as a guest at the private party.
       A 28 Feb 1975 LAT article on the film speculated that “George Roundy” was based on various well known Beverly Hills hair stylists, including Gene Shacove, who served as a technical consultant on the film. Other stylists mentioned were Richard Alcala, whose wife Carrie White also served as a technical adviser, Paul McGregor, George Masters and the late Jay Sebring. In the article, Shacove states that co-writer Robert Towne lived with him for a period of time and he believed that George was a composite of Sebring, Masters and himself as the three men were at their peak popularity in 1968, the year in which Shampoo is set.
       A 19 Jun 1976 HR article revealed that former manicurist Bernice Mann had filed a plagiarism suit against the producers and writers of Shampoo for five million dollars and a share of the picture’s profits. According to the article, Mann had “registered a script called Woman—Plus with the WGA West in Oct 1969.” According to a 5 Jun 1979 DV article, after a fourteen day trial and three days of deliberation, a jury ruled in favor of Mann, declaring that portions of her script had been incorporated into the Shampoo script. Mann was awarded $185,000. A little more than a month later, a 12 Jul 1979 LAHE reported that a Superior Court judge had overturned the decision, declaring that “Towne’s 1970 version of the movie script was an independent effort” and that “Mann had failed to prove any implied contract between herself and the filmmakers.” Mann’s attorney immediately appealed the reversal. A 10 Aug 1981 HR article revealed that Mann’s appeal had reached an appellate court. The article stated that testimony presented in court revealed that Mann had submitted a script and a separate treatment to a Columbia script reader in 1973. The script had no connections to Shampoo , but Mann’s attorney insisted the treatment had a “similarity of characters (and) events.” The article noted that the suit had been watched with great interest in Hollywood because of the copyright infringement implications. A 4 Dec 1981 DV article noted that a California Court of Appeal had upheld the reversal in “an important decision that will make it much tougher to prove creative ideas have been stolen.” The article also clarified that, “Though often popularly referred to as a ‘plagiarism’ case, the Shampoo case never really was since Mann had only submitted an idea for a film and plagiarism laws only protect specific creative expressions and not ideas.” A key element in the court’s consideration was “the plaintiff’s failure to prove that Columbia had ever accepted her work.” The case was viewed as a victory which defense attorneys defined as “(a) decision that leaves plaintiffs in future suits ‘an awful lot to prove.’”
       A 24 Aug 1978 HR news item reported that director Ashby had been sued by International Creative Management for $100,000 for refusing to pay their full commission for his directorial services on Shampoo . An outcome to the suit has not been determined.
       A 2 Jun 1975 Box news item noted that in three months after it’s release Shampoo had grossed over twenty million dollars and was one of the biggest hits in the fifty year history of Columbia Pictures. Lee Grant received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Shampoo . The film also received Academy Award nominations for Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Jack Warden) and Art Direction. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   3 Mar 1975   p. 4759.
Box Office   2 Jun 1975.   
Daily Variety   21 Feb 1974.   
Daily Variety   27 Mar 1974.   
Daily Variety   7 Feb 1975.   
Daily Variety   5 Jun 1979.   
Daily Variety   4 Dec 1981   p. 1, 40.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Mar 1974.   
Hollywood Reporter   15 Mar 1974   p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Mar 1974.   
Hollywood Reporter   12 Apr 1974.   
Hollywood Reporter   28 Jun 1974   p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Feb 1975   p. 3, 27.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Jan 1976.   
Hollywood Reporter   24 Aug 1978.   
Hollywood Reporter   10 Aug 1981   p. 1, 4.
Los Angeles Herald Express   17 Apr 1974.   
Los Angeles Herald Express   20 Feb 1975.   
Los Angeles Herald Express   12 Jul 1979.   
Los Angeles Times   28 Feb 1975   Part IV, p. 1, 4.
Los Angeles Times   16 Jun 1979.   
New York Times   12 Feb 1975   p. 47.
Newsweek   10 Feb 1975   p. 51.
Variety   12 Feb 1975   p. 28.
Variety   30 Aug 1978.   

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