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
Maude's picture frames are empty. In Colin Higgins's book, Harold asks why she removed the photographs (the scene was not used in the movie). Maude tells him they mocked her by their images remaining sharp even as her memories were fading, implying that she is suffering from Alzheimer's or a similar form of dementia. 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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Ashby was Ashby from the word go. Pristine without being precious, intelligently beautiful without being french, funny, funny, funny, bitter, provoking and sad. You can mix all of that and quite simply call it Ashby. What a delight! Elizabeth Bergner was suppose to play the part, marvelously written by Colin Higgins. Hal Ashby flew to London for a meeting with her, she didn't quite get it, she said aloud she couldn't work with a director who looked like Jesus Christ. Well sorry for her, but lucky for Ruth Gordon and lucky for us. As I saw the film after Rosemary's Baby I was kind of worried for Bud Cort for a little while. Ruth Gordon made her name as Dolly Levy in Thornton Wilder's "The Matchmaker" got an Oscar for Rosemary's Baby, wrote Adam's Rib with husband Garson Kanin. She was a woman for the ages and "Harold and Maude" is her present, her own tribute to an extraordinary life. I've shown the film to kids, 10, 12 years old and they fall in love with her. Bud Cort is the perfect foil for her designs. Cat Stevens and a scrumptious performance by Vivian Pickles, the unforgettable Isadora of Ken Russell's film of Duncan's life, wrap up this exquisite Hal Ashby masterpiece.
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