Harold and Maude

Hal Ashby's eccentric dark comedy. A classic of early 70s American cinema, with a superlative Cat Stevens' soundtrack.

Part of our ongoing Cult Cinema series.

“To call Harold (Bud Cort) a strange and troubled soul would be an understatement. He’s faked his own gruesome death more than a dozen times and spends his spare time hanging out at strangers’ funerals. Maude (Ruth Gordon) is a free-spirit entering the twilight of her life. A few days less than 80, Maude also spends lots of time at the cemetery watching other people’s sorrow. The two make the ultimate odd couple as the straight-faced Maude shows the lonely Harold a thing or two about living life with a personality and not giving a damn about it.

“Just coming of age, Harold has spent his life as a loner. He’s trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life and the only answer he’s got is to get away from his superficial mother (Vivian Pickles) and not fall into the shallow life of upper-crust society like she has. Harold is an observer. He tries to blend in with the rest of the world that passes him and ignores his very existence. That is until he meets Maude, the old lady who shares his fascination with death and walks out ahead of the funeral procession with a big, yellow umbrella as opposed to the more polite and boring blacks.

“Maude has lived her life doing what she feels led to do. She has a habit of stealing cars, different ones all the time so she can always try something new. In her youth Maude was an avid protestor and even broke into pet stores to free the birds. Her carefree attitude makes Maude a symbol of freedom and a mentor for Harold.

“Harold and Maude argues that the world takes itself too seriously. It’s a treasure that’s as applicable today as it was more than three decades ago.” - Movieviews.ca

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