This 1971 comedy stars Ruth Gordon, and the legendary comedic actor, Bud Cort. When twenty-year-old Harold meets seventy-nine-year-old, Maude at a stranger's funeral, Harold's life changes forever. Throughout the movie, Harold goes to great efforts to frighten his indifferent, egocentric, snobbish, wealthy mother (played by Vivian Pickles) by simulating wild suicide stunts around the mansion. He also spends his time going to strangers' funerals, he drives a black hearse, and finds an unlikely friendship with an elderly woman.
Bud Cort is hilarious as Harold in his own subtle, perfectly timed, muted manner; if you are not familiar with Bud Cort's work, you are in for a wonderful discovery! Cort's mannerisms and timing remind me of actors like funny-man, Steve Carrell, and the brooding talent, Johnny Depp. Harold's co-star, anarchist, Maude, will intrigue you, delight you, make you laugh, make you cry, cause you to re-evaluate your life, and, above all, Maude will inspire you!
Yes, Harold and Maude is hilarious; however, it also explores serious issues like ageism, love, death, depression, and the meaning of life. This wonderful film is full of random surprises, and unpredictable, bizarre circumstances; a great example of a spirited, eccentric piece. The fantastic folk singer, Cat Stevens, lends the perfect soundtrack for this upbeat, honest, classic comedy.
Even if you have never seen the movie, you may have heard of it as the media often alludes to Harold and Maude when citing the film's controversial romance. In fact, Harold and Maude is Mary's all-time-favorite film in the modern comedy, There's Something About Mary. Although this movie is legendary, many young people (like myself) have never seen it, which I think is a great shame. Please see this movie right away and fall in love with laughter, life, and the magic of awkward moments!
I am super curious to read your comments on this review and on the movie, so please come back to give your own review and I may post your quote on this page (please remember not to post anything that might spoil the movie for another reader). I hope that I have helped you find one of your new favorite movies, and I look forward to hearing from you!
"As a huge Bud Cort fan and the moderator of an unofficial fan site for him, I have to say you've done a very good job in your review of the film.For me, the acting is wonderful, and I am partial to Bud Cort's performance of course. I like how his Harold starts off all closed-in, emotionally, except for the pleasure he seems to get from upsetting his socially-conscious snob of a mother (wonderfully played by Vivian Pickles), and how he blossoms under the wild but sage tutelage of Ruth Gordon's Maude.I hope that you'll spread the word about this American classic to all who would listen." ~~Tiwanna (reader comment)
"The taboo relationship between Harold and Maude, created by screenwriter Colin Higgins, embodied the spirit of an experimental generation guided by the mantra "If it feels good, do it." The love affair between the film's two eccentrics remains one of Hollywood's most unexpected, but tender, romances. The soundtrack, with songs by Cat Stevens, provides an effective thematic bridge as Harold crosses from extended adolescence into manhood." -from RottenTomatoes.com
"I am a passionate Bud Cort/Harold and Maude fan, and being only 14, he has already changed my life. Harold and Maude inspired me to re-evaluate my existence, and Bud Cort is an absolutely phenomenal actor. He created the most tender, loving, compassionate, and symbolic character I've ever seen. Bud, as a person, has also inspired me, because he lives a life just as unconventional and interesting as portrayed in the film (Just not under the same circumstances, of course). I am very thankful to be blessed with having discovered my favorite film, and favorite actor." -classicfilmera, age 14 (reader comment)
"An eccentric to the core, Maude lives exactly as she pleases, with avid collecting and nude modeling among her many pursuits." -from Movies.msn.com"I was excited to see this review on your blog. I agree; this movie never gets old. There are so many great scenes. Which is your favorite? I don't know if I could pick a favorite, but I do love it when the "computer date" Sunshine meets Harold for the first time.
I remember watching Harold and Maude for the first time in my high school AP English course. In hindsight, that was a bold move on the teacher's part. I know that she got an earful from parents, but we thought she was terrific.
Cat Stevens's soundtrack is amazing--something that I can't say about all of his albums. Thanks for the review!" -From "Im" (reader comment)
(Information from imdb.com.)
- Listen to movie's poignant theme song by Cat Stevens (above right).
- Directed by Hal Ashby in 1971.
- Written by Colin Higgins.
- Among several other nominations, it was nominated for 2 Golden Globe awards in 1972.
- Won a National Film Registry Award from the Library of Congress in 1997.
- Rated PG.
- See filmography of Bud Cort.
- Watch movie for free.
- Available to rent from most video rental chains.
- Listen to the movie's theme song by Cat Stevens.
'If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out' -by Cat Stevens