On a Summer Weekend in 1963 in 1990 – A Tribute to Shag

By Brandon Adamson

Shag 1989

The 1989 movie “Shag” was one of those likely forgettable films that always seemed to be on HBO when I was a kid in middle school sitting around waiting for my mom to drive me to basketball practice. Despite being a bit of a throwaway “chick flick”(a phrase I find to be kind of cringeworthy after seeing it used on so many girls’ dating profiles,) I always had a weird appreciation for it. It’s kind of an obscure gem illustrating the beauty and innocence of 1960s Southern teen culture. In many ways my nostalgia for nostalgic films of this era is a longing to recapture my own innocence from this time period(late 80’s-early 90s.)

I haven’t seen Shag in a long time, perhaps over 20 years. A couple of years ago I saw it and Half Priced Books in the used dvd section for 5 dollars but ended up not buying it. Apparently I really missed an opportunity. The “Shag” dvd seems to be quite rare now. Copies of it range from 40 to 80 dollars, quite a lot to cough up for a movie that I recall as being fairly mediocre. Still, the chance to see Phoebe Cates and Bridget Fonda in their prime within the context of an early 1960’s, southern belle/Jackie Onassis aesthetic might be worth the trip down memory lane.

Shag had a decent soundtrack as well, which was available on vinyl.

Brandon Adamson is the author of “Beatnik Fascism