A young couple moves in to an apartment only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
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 whom he lives. Mrs. Chasen is determined for Harold to be "normal", including her 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 does 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
Cat Stevens came to Ashby's attention through Elton John, who was being considered for the part of Harold. Stevens was hired to compose the films score but could not complete his contract for scheduling reasons. Ashby had already been using Cat's song catalog as mood enhancers and scratch tracks during production, so a deal was made to finalize the score using them in place of all originals. See more »
When Maude pulls the banjo out of a cabinet, you see the reflection of crew and lights. 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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