Harold and Maude

1971

Comedy / Drama / Romance

8
IMDb Rating 8 10 65339

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Tom Skerritt as Motorcycle Officer
Cyril Cusack as Glaucus
Bud Cort as Harold
Ruth Gordon as Maude
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
763.82 MB
1280*682
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 31 min
P/S 3 / 14
1.45 GB
1920*1024
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 31 min
P/S 1 / 14

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by susy-7 8 / 10

A classic.

This art house favorite is a timeless classic and recommended viewing for all post-Catcher In the Rye teenagers. To modern viewers, the Ruth Gordon creation of Maude probably seems trite, but her Maude was fresh, original and daring in 1970 and the pre-Sophie's Choice twist in her history that Harold discovers was likewise unanticipated by early viewers. Unfortunately, Ruth Gordon went on to recreate this character in lesser films throughout that decade and the character of the eccentric old lady has become rather shopworn.

The Cat Stevens soundtrack is probably one of the most effective use of pop music in film ever.

Reviewed by superjaneyjane 10 / 10

Possibly the most unusual, and best, comedy ever made

Here is possibly the most unusual, and in my opinion, the best comedy ever made. "Harold & Maude" begins with a heavy dose of black humor, with the death-obsessed Harold performing 'suicides' as a way of rebelling against his domineering mother. His vehicle of choice is a hearse, and when he's not explaining his pitch-black fantasies to his shrink, he's crashing funerals. The film takes an unexpected turn with the introduction of Maude, a vivacious octogenarian who shares Harold's penchant for attending the funerals of strangers, but instead of being obsessed with death, she is obsessed with life. Her unique outlook and interesting activities, which include grand theft auto, endear her to Harold, and the two kindred spirits form a close relationship, which eventually blossoms into romance.

This may seem quite unbelievable (and frankly, disgusting) for a twenty-something to fall for an eighty-year-old, but through Ashby's beautiful, skilled direction and Bud Cort's and Ruth Gordon's wonderful performances, the love story is entirely convincing and quite beautifully handled.

The humor, is as I said, to begin with, very black, but there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, particularly with Harold's methods of scaring of dates picked for him by his mother, and the reaction of Harold's family and friends to the news of his infatuation with Maude. Cat Stevens' beautiful soundtrack makes this film even more beautiful. While this may be not for everyone, those who can appreciate it will enjoy it immensely.

Reviewed by tomgillespie2002 10 / 10

A film that conjured up many emotions

When Cameron Diaz's character in the Farrelly brothers' 1998 comedy There's Something About Mary describes Harold And Maude as the 'greatest love story of our time', she's not far wrong. While it may not be a conventional love story by any means, it is engaging, passionate, and oddly believable. It was a very brave step to take to make a film about a young boy who falls in love with an old woman, and to tell it in such a dreamlike manner. In a society that generally accept older men falling for younger women, to reverse that trend was extremely daring, especially back in 1971.

Harold (Bud Cort) is a 20-something who feels isolated and disconnected with his life living with his rich mother who seems to only be concerned with finding her strange son a wife. Obsessed with death, he regularly stages fake suicides in front of his unresponsive and unimpressed mother. He seems doomed to life of morbidity until he meets 80-year old Maude (Ruth Gordon) who seems to share his passion of attending funerals. Maude has a completely different outlook on life, and indulges in her passions for art and culture, and 'making the most of her time on Earth'. The two become equally infatuated with each other, as Maude shows Harold the delights of life, and begins to teach him how to play the banjo. As Harold falls deeply in love with Maude, his mother persists with quest to find Harold a wife, and after one fake suicide too many, she decides to send him into the military.

This is the kind of nihilistic and existential that could have only be produced in the 70's, amidst the madness and folly of the Vietnam war. Harold is a child of this generation, and seems to embody the anger, loss and early loss of innocence that the children of this generation felt. Harold is born into a life lacking in meaning and direction, while Maude has lived a life full of purpose, and having been a prisoner in Auschwitz (in a moving blink-or-you'll-miss-it revelation) has endured the hardships and extremities of life. Harold, with his persistent fake suicides, seems to long for this.

All this sounds extremely heavy, but the film explores these themes with a feisty sense of humour, and an air of quirkiness found commonly these days in the films of Wes Anderson. The black comedy seems way ahead of its time. In one scene, Harold finds another potential wife at his home chatting to his mother. He greets the young lady with a very mature and pleasant manner, only to excuse himself and walk outside carrying a jug of petrol. As his mother and the young lady exchange pleasantries, Harold can be scene in the background through the window dousing himself in petrol and then seemingly set himself on wife. The young girl screams in horror as Harold's mother sits embarrassed, only for Harold to appear next to her as if nothing happened.

The relationship between Harold and Maude would probably be uncomfortable and strange in another director's hands, but with a fantastic script by Colin Higgins and a heartfelt soundtrack by Cat Stevens, the whole things is moving, profound and sweet. The film conjured up so many emotions in me as the credits rolled after the poignant final scene. Harold And Maude is in equal measures touching, intelligent, insightful, beautiful and extremely vicious.

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