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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Zelda Barron|
|Produced by||Julia Chasman
|Screenplay by||Lanier Laney
|Story by||Lanier Laney
|Edited by||Laurence Méry-Clark|
|Distributed by||Hemdale Film Corporation
|Release date(s)||April 14, 1989 (Sweden)
July 21, 1989 (United States)
|Running time||98 mins.|
|Box office||$6,957,975 (US)|
Shag (also known as Shag: The Movie) is a 1989 British-American comedy film starring Bridget Fonda, Phoebe Cates, Annabeth Gish, Page Hannah, Jeff Yagher and Scott Coffey. The film features Carolina shag dancing and was produced in cooperation with the South Carolina Film Commission. The soundtrack album was on Sire/Warner Bros. Records.
The film is a lighthearted story of four teenage girlfriends of various temperaments who escape from their parents for a few days in 1963 for an adventure in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where the big spring festival promises a dance contest, beer blasts and lots of cute boys. Phoebe Cates (Carson) is engaged to a rich but square young man, Bridget Fonda (Melaina) fancies herself as a Hollywood sexpot, Page Hannah (Luanne) wears glasses and is a prim and proper senator's daughter, and Annabeth Gish ("Pudge") has recently lost weight but has always been called "Pudge" and suffers from low self-esteem.
The trip is spurred by the upcoming marriage of Carson. During their busy weekend at Myrtle Beach, the four find romance, dance up a storm, and make serious life decisions. Their story chronicles their final farewell to girlhood, and entree into womanhood and focuses on both the girls' moral quandaries and their budding sexualities.
- Phoebe Cates as Carson McBride, the beautiful socialite who is set to marry a tobacco executive's son
- Bridget Fonda as Melaina Buller, the promiscuous preacher's daughter with bigger dreams
- Annabeth Gish as Caroline "Pudge" Carmichael, the formerly overweight, hometown cutie
- Page Hannah as Luanne Clatterbuck, the uptight senator's daughter
- Robert Rusler as Buzz Ravenel, the townie boy whose come-ons snare Carson
- Scott Coffey as Chip Guillyard, a future service member and excellent shagger
- Tyrone Power, Jr. as Harley Ralston, a tobacco executive's son- as straight-laced as they come
- Jeff Yagher as Jimmy Valentine, a semi-famous Elvis Presley wanna-be
- Carrie Hamilton as Nadine, a white-trash townie who is jealous of the girls
- Leilani Sarelle as Suette
The film grossed approximately $6.9 million at the US Box Office. It was not a big hit when initially released, and commercially was considered a flop. Despite the film's box office failure, the film received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reports that, out of 15 critics in total, 64% gave the film a positive review.
Roger Ebert, who gave the film 3 stars, praised the actors of the film, calling them "best of the younger generation in Hollywood, and they treat their material with the humor and delicacy it deserves." TV Guide also enjoyed the actors, who called them "uniformly attractive and energetic, and deliver performances that range from likable to delicious."
- The movie was filmed between July 9 and September 15, 1987 and released initially in Europe in April 1989. It was not released in the United States until July 21, 1989.
- While filmed primarily in Wilmington, North Carolina and North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a sequence was filmed at the late Skyview Drive-In located in Florence, South Carolina (which operated until it burned down in 2007).
- The Myrtle Beach Pavilion was not used in the film. A building in the Cherry Grove section of North Myrtle Beach was dressed by the producers as a stand-in.
- The Atlantic Beach Pavilion, in North Myrtle Beach was used for the final dance contest. Not long after the movie was completed, it burned down.
The original soundtrack album was released by Sire/Warner Bros Records on August 2, 1989. It was available on vinyl, cassette and CD.
- Tracks on the original soundtrack album.
- The Shag - Tommy Page
- I'm In Love Again - Randy Newman
- Our Day Will Come - k.d. lang and The Reclines
- Ready To Go Steady - The Charmettes
- Shaggin' On The Grand Strand - Hank Ballard
- Oh What A Night - The Moonlighters
- Saved - La Vern Baker
- I'm Leaving It All Up to You - La Vern Baker, Ben E. King
- Surrender - Louise Gaffin
- Diddley Daddy - Chris Isaak
- Songs in the film, not on the soundtrack
- Songs in the original theatrically released film, (Not on the copyright compliant home video}
- * The Shirelles – Mama Said
- * Sam Cooke – Another Saturday Night
- * The Chiffons – He's So Fine
- * The Duprees – You Belong to Me
- Songs added on the copyright-compliant home video (Not in the original film)
- * The Tams – What Kind of Fool
- * k.d. lang and The Reclines – Seven Lonely Days
Home media releases
Despite failing at the box office when first released, Shag became a cult classic and later came out on VHS and DVD in 1997, 1998 and 2001. The initial VHS home video version was released on June 3, 1997. However, legal copyright infringements led to a second VHS release on January 13, 1998 that features different songs, or no music at all in some scenes compared to the original theatrical release. The 1997 home video version has a box cover almost identical to the theatrical poster; the modified copyright-compliant version has different cover artwork.
Between 1999-2002, This became one of the Best Selling MGM Movie Time VHS Releases in North America, With About 1 million Copies Sold in Rental/Retail Chains Including Blockbuster Video. The VHS also became one of the most rented Tapes at Blockbuster Video. The 1997 VHS by HBO Home Video is Now Currently Out-Of-Print as of 2013.
Shag was released on Region 1 DVD on May 22, 2001 in two versions: The MGM Movie Time DVD Release and the DVD without the MGM Movie Time Logo on the Top of the case. Both DVDs are currently Out-of-print.