Young adult Harold Chasen, solitary and friendless by choice, is obsessed with death, this fascination manifesting itself in he staging his own fake suicides, driving a hearse and attending funerals, even of people he doesn't know, all to the chagrin of his exasperated wealthy mother with who he lives. Mrs. Chasen is determined for Harold to be "normal", including she sending him into therapy to deal with his issues and finding him a girlfriend through a computer dating service. It is at a series of funerals that Harold meets Maude, on the cusp of her eightieth birthday, she who too attends funerals of strangers. Unlike Harold, Maude is obsessed with life - her own life to be more precise - she doing whatever she wants to please herself, damned what others may think or how they may be affected. Since she can't take material possessions with her, she is more interested in experiences, with whatever material possessions she has - often "borrowed" without asking - only to further those ...Written by
The scenes in which Harold turns to look at the camera after successfully scaring off his first date, and when he does "the finger" behind his mother's back after she sees the Jaguar turned into a Hearse, were not in the script, rather, they were improvised by Bud Cort. See more »
About 50 minutes into the film, when Maude is doing donuts around the officer, the driver-side window of the truck is alternately up/down between shots. See more »
[after spotting Harold hanging from a noose in the living room]
I suppose you think that's very funny, Harold... Oh, dinner at eight, Harold. And do try and be a little more vivacious.
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A 'tour de force' of a film and one of Hal Ashby's best films
'Harold & Maude' is one of those 'sleeper' films that just seems to resonate that bit more with every passing year. Harold, played by the criminally under-utilized Bud Cort, is the quintessential disaffected rich kid wanting to find some meaning in a vacuous life who hooks up with the devil-may-care Maude through their mutual love of attending funerals (Joyce's word 'fun-for-all' springs readily to mind in those scenes). There is plenty to love about this film, the slower pace and the lampooning of easy targets, the 'gung-ho' military uncle and the fetishist priest for example. Here is a film that really stands up well to repeated viewings.
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