Harold and Maude

Harold and Maude

4.6 28
Director: Hal Ashby

Cast: Hal Ashby, Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles

     
 

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A young man with a death wish and a 79-year-old high on life find love in Hal Ashby's cult black comedy. Deadpan rich boy Harold (Bud Cort) keeps staging elaborate suicide tableaux to get the attention of his mother (Vivian Pickles), but she keeps planning his brilliant future for him instead. Obsessed with the trappings of death, Harold freaks out his blind dates,… See more details below

Overview

A young man with a death wish and a 79-year-old high on life find love in Hal Ashby's cult black comedy. Deadpan rich boy Harold (Bud Cort) keeps staging elaborate suicide tableaux to get the attention of his mother (Vivian Pickles), but she keeps planning his brilliant future for him instead. Obsessed with the trappings of death, Harold freaks out his blind dates, modifies his new sports car to look like a mini-hearse, and attends funerals, where he meets the spirited Maude (Ruth Gordon). An eccentric to the core, Maude lives exactly as she pleases, with avid collecting and nude modeling among her many pursuits. To the disgust of Harold's relatives and the befuddlement of Harold's shrink, Harold falls in love with her. As lilting Cat Stevens tunes play on the soundtrack, Maude teaches Harold a valuable lesson about making the most of his time on earth.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
"Harold and Maude has all the fun and gaiety of a burning orphanage" declared one critic in 1972 when this beloved cult favorite was first released. He and the other reviewers who dismissed the film didn't know what to make of a low-key black comedy about the oddball romance between a 20-year-old man (Bud Cort) and a 79-year-old woman (Ruth Gordon). Cort plays a self-absorbed rich kid obsessed with death; Gordon is an eccentric swinger exhilarated by life. She accompanies him to funerals; he becomes inspired by her joie de vivre. Director Hal Ashby (Being There) coaxed marvelous performances from goggle-eyed Cort, then a virtual unknown, and geriatric Gordon, a distinguished stage actress still basking in the afterglow of her Oscar win for a supporting role in 1968's Rosemary's Baby. Moviegoers fell in love with the film, which became a fixture on the midnight-movie circuit, then picked up new fans via TV syndication and video release. Harold and Maude continues to warm viewers' hearts and tickle their funny bones with its offbeat, life-affirming love story.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
In his second feature as a director after his Oscar-winning success as an editor, Hal Ashby complements Colin Higgins' script (adapted by Higgins from his own student short) with an affectionately non-judgmental view of quirky behavior and a distaste for institutions of authority. In their deft hands, Harold Chasen may be weird -- but his mother and army general uncle are plain nuts. Paramount appeared nonplussed as to how to market the film, and it opened to scathing reviews and died a rapid first-run death, as few viewers seemed to care for the idea of a youth lusting after a grandmother. But, caught up in a generational revolt of their own, college audiences responded passionately to the message of doing your own thing regardless of what church, state, and Mom say. Harold and Maude became the cult hit of the 1970s, reportedly playing in one Minneapolis theater for three straight years, with fans who claimed to have seen it 100 or more times. With Harold's humorously creative suicides and a screen romance that defines "unique," Harold and Maude was not only a cult sensation but also the kind of innovative, idiosyncratic early-'70s filmmaking briefly made possible in the wake of out-there hits like Easy Rider (1969) and MASH (1970).

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/10/2009
UPC:
0032429059215
Original Release:
1971
Rating:
PG
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
1:31:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ruth Gordon Maude
Bud Cort Harold Chasen
Vivian Pickles Mrs. Chasen
Cyril Cusack Sculptor
Charles Tyner Uncle Victor
Ellen Geer Sunshine
Ray K. Goman Actor
Bill Lucking Motorcycle Policeman
Susan Madigan Actor
Jerry Randall Actor
Gordon Devol Police Officer
Eric Christmas Priest
G. Wood Psychiatrist
Judy Engles Candy
Shari Summers Edith
M. Borman Motorcycle Cop

Technical Credits
Hal Ashby Director
John A. Alonzo Cinematographer
James Cane Set Decoration/Design
Michael Dmytryk Asst. Director
A.D. Flowers Special Effects
Michael Haller Production Designer
Colin Higgins Producer,Screenwriter
Mildred Lewis Executive Producer
Charles B. Mulvehill Producer
Richard Portman Sound/Sound Designer
William Randall Sound/Sound Designer
William A. Sawyer Editor
Lynn Stalmaster Casting
Bob Stein Makeup
William Theiss Costumes/Costume Designer
Frank Warner Sound Editor
Edward Warschilka Editor

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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Scene Selection
1. Death By Hanging [:06]
2. A Different Sense of Enjoyment [3:44]
3. Uncle Victor [2:38]
4. Drowning [4:58]
5. Maude [:05]
6. The Personality Interview [:51]
7. "Ever drive a hearse Harold?" [1:56]
8. Memorabilia [4:06]
9. Computer Date #1-Candy Gulf [2:24]
10. Snowfall on 42nd Street [:09]
11. Sunflowers and Daisies [4:05]
12. A Tree in Trouble [2:12]
13. "No more revolts?" [2:44]
14. "If You Wat To Sing Out" [:42]
15. A Little Jaguar [5:47]
16. The Curse of a Government Job [3:01]
17. Backing Away From Life [1:45]
18. Computer Date #2-Edith Phern [2:31]
19. "Kill! Kill!" [2:47]
20. Fire Breathing and Somersaults [:22]
21. Glorious Birds [1:13]
22. The Last Date-Sunshine Doré [6:04]
23. Harold Loves Maude [4:15]
24. 80th Birthday [1:55]
25. "Trouble" [1:30]
26. Farewell [4:33]

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