Robert Towne and Warren Beatty were nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay.Lee Grant won an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress.

In Shampoo, Warren Beatty plays George Roundy, one of the genius hairdressers in Los Angeles and a man who is thinking of opening his own salon. The ladies like him – and not just because of what he can do with their hair. And George surely likes the ladies. In the brief period in which we see him, he is ‘going with’ Goldie Hawn, and he is very vulnerable to an old flame, Julie Christie, the mistress of Jack Warden, whose wife, Lee Grant, is also determined to have George’s dryer on her hair.

Shampoo grew out of the friendship between Beatty and his house writer, Robert Towne. It takes place on election day in 1968 (the first Nixon victory), and it is not just a portrait of sexual promiscuity and of having one’s life ruled by one’s dryer, but a panorama of LA too.

Shampoo is very funny when it is most urgent, as with Julie Christie under the table and Warren trying to keep his aplomb. This may be as close as we have come to a modern screwball classic – we can only marvel that it doesn’t stimulate imitation.

David Thomson