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A 19-year-old man with a death wish and a 79-year-old woman high on life find love, much to the shock of the rest of the world, in Hal Ashby’s beloved black comedy, Harold and Maude. Deadpan rich boy Harold (Bud Cort) stages elaborate (and increasingly hilarious) fake suicide attempts in order to gain the attention of his exasperated mother, who ignores her son’s morbid shenanigans and blithely plans his brilliant future for him.
“One of the oddest romantic comedies to ever hit the screen … touching and hilarious. Harold and Maude is one of those films you just don’t want to end.” – efilmcritic.com
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 for fun. But when Harold meets the irrepressible, anything-for-a-thrill septuagenarian Maude (the amazing Ruth Gordon), everything changes. An eccentric to the core, Maude lives exactly as she pleases, with avid collecting, nude modeling and car theft among her many pursuits. Much to the horror of Harold’s relatives and the befuddlement of his shrink, Harold and Maude fall in love, and as lilting Cat Stevens tunes play on the soundtrack, Maude teaches Harold a few things about making the most of his time on earth. Mixing equal parts gallows humor and offbeat romance, Harold and Maude, one of the biggest cult classics of the ‘70s, is a delightfully twisted comedy for those who think young … and old. (Dir. by Hal Ashby, 1971, USA, 91 mins., Rated PG)