Shampoo (1975) - Rotten Tomatoes

Shampoo (1975)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Shampoo is set the day after Nixon's election in 1968. Our hero is George, a trendy Beverly Hills hairdresser (Warren Beatty), whose services to his female clients sometimes extend beyond a mere snip or finger-wave (it is said that Beatty's character was based on Jon Peters, who later forsook hairdressing for movie producing). Among Beatty's more ardent lovers is Felicia (Lee Grant), the wife of Lester (Jack Warden), who is having an affair with Jackie (Julie Christie), who is one of George's ex-lovers.....In attempting to set up his own business, George uses his influence over Felicia to borrow money from Lester; he in turns requests that George escort Jackie to an election night party. The right and wrong people all converge after the hall where the party is being held is evacuated because of a bomb threat; characters vital to the film's denouement are Jill (Goldie Hawn), still another of Beatty's amours, and film producer Johnny Pope (Tony Bill, who really was a film producer when he wasn't acting). Everything clicks in this savage satire of lack of commitment among the rich and famous: the acting, the direction of Hal Ashby, the script by Ashby and Robert Towne, the evocative sixties-style Paul Simon musical score. Since everyone in the film behaves in a thoroughly amoral fashion, we can never feel sorry for anyone long enough so as to spoil our fun in watching their lascivious shenanigans. Lee Grant won an Academy Award for her work while Jack Warden received a best supporting actor nomination. Watch for Carrie Fisher in her film debut as still another of Beatty's conquests.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Robert Towne, Warren Beatty
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 21, 2003
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Lee Grant
as Felicia
Jack Warden
as Lester Carr
Tony Bill
as Johnny Pope
Carrie Fisher
as Lorna Carr
George Furth
as Mr. Pettis
Brad Dexter
as Sen. Joe East
Sue Moore
as Gloria
Doris Packer
as Rosalind
Hal Buckley
as Kenneth
Cherie Latimer
as Girl in Car
Richard E. Kalk
as Younger Detective
Sean Walsh
as Boy with Twins
Michelle Phillips
as Girl at Party
Daryl Roach
as Boy at Party
Don Ames
as Guest
Kathleen Miller
as Anjanette
Susan McIver
as Beauty Shop Customer
Cynthia Wood
as Beauty Shop Customer
Jamie Cannon
as Beauty Shop Customer
Kimberly McGowen
as Beauty Shop Customer
Gail Landrey
as Beauty Shop Customer
Howard Culver
as Newscaster
Annalee Coyle
as Beauty Shop Customer
George Justin
as Producer
Lesley Evans
as Secretary
Joan Marshall
as Mrs. Schumann
Janice Baker
as Model No.1
April Ross
as Model No.2
Paula Warner
as Model No.3
Luis Delgado
as Waiter at Bistro
Dina Ousley
as Hairdresser
Mack Eden
as Hairdresser
Gary Marsh
as Boy No.1
Sharon Kelly
as Painted Lady
Wally Crowder
as Delivery Boy
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Shampoo

Critic Reviews for Shampoo

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (7)

There's a self-awareness to Shampoo that gives the movie a cleansing sadness and, oddly, makes Beatty an affectingly amoral roue.

Full Review… | April 17, 2012
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Shampoo, made in 1975 but set in 1968, the night before Richard Nixon's election to the presidency, was directed by Hal Ashby and written by Robert Towne and Warren Beatty, who may have produced one of the best scripts in the last three decades.

Full Review… | June 20, 2008
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

All the excellent creative components do not add up to a whole.

Full Review… | October 31, 2007
Top Critic

The laughs are tempered by bleakness and the film ends up saddened by its characters' waywardness.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Disappointment comes in all weights and flavors, but the brand that's generated by Hal Ashby's Shampoo is a bit harder to swallow than some.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Shampoo never quite connects its images of national mediocrity and personal self-deception.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Shampoo


Pouffy little sex comedy aspires to be something more. Beatty is funny in his self-absorbed confusion. Actually everone is. Julie Christie is spot on as the kept woman - but the other characters are not as well written.

Shampoo is the Paul's Boutique of soundtracks - no way you could get all those great tunes in one movie today.

Trivia: Beatty's character loosely based on Hollywood stylist Jay Sebring who was killed in the Manson murders. Lee Grant somehow bagged a best supporting actress Oscar for her performance. Fourth highest grossing film of 1975.

Geeks: Carrie Fisher with baby fat and a potty mouth. But no action-figures!

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer


Taking place on the eve of Richard Nixon's taking of the presidency, but released in the aftermath of Watergate, this film provides a nice commentary about the Nixon years, made more potent by the fact that the audience (but not the characters) are aware of how things would turn out with Nixon.

This isn't a film about presidential politics though. Rather, it is about sexual ploitics. I just mentioned all of the above since the film places things within a certain context, which also gives more weight and depth to the satire it is presenting about what was going on at the time. SImply put, if one wanted a historically rooted film that commented on the sexual revolution, this would be one to watch.

Warren Beatty plays George- a successful hairdresser on the verge of financial ruin who gets in way over his head when the man who might loan him some money just happens to be with an ex of his, as well as the father and husband of two other woman (among others) that he is sleeping around with. This makes for both some fun satirical laughs, as well as some poignant drama that ties in with the death of 60s idealism and the terrible hangover that hits when the party ends.

Robert Towne (who also wrote Chinatown) penned the script, and apparently Beatty had a hand of some sort in the writing process as well. Hal Ashby directs, and it is one of several 1970s masterpieces he was responsible for helming. I really like that guy, and it is good to see thast others are starting to feel the same way (on a broader scale).

Beatty and the rest of the cast (including a young Carrie FIsher) are all excellent, and somehow, we actually sympathize with some of these characters, and kind of care for them, even if we really shouldn't. Give this one a watch. It's a great film with a strong ending, and a great look at the times it both portrays and came about during.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Although there are a lot of outrageous scenes, they aren't as funny as they think they are. The story isn't all that interesting either, but it does have a good cast.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

Shampoo Quotes

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