Harold & Maude (1971)
Harold & Maude – #4 on the Entertainment Weekly Top 50 Cult Classics list
Director: Hal Ashby
Writer: Colin Higgins
Starring: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort and Vivian Pickles
Favorite line: Priest: I would be remiss in my duty, if I did not tell you, that the idea of… intercourse – your firm, young… body… comingling with… withered flesh… sagging breasts… flabby b-b-buttocks… makes me want… to vomit.
This movie had it’s ups and downs. Mostly downs and usually involving the flips my stomach was doing as I tried to watch the spectacle of their romance. I wish I was a seasoned reviewer and I could sit here and logically construct a diatribe of reasons why I liked or didn’t like this movie that were more professional than those I’m going to give, more enlightened and sophisticated. But I am not and I won’t even try. You’ll get what my crazy warped mind can stand to provide, logical or illogical.
This movie is about a man (I use the term loosely because he’s still a boy in many ways) who is obsessed with death and meets someone (Maude) who is equally obsessed with it, only for very different reasons. Harold is 19 and Maude is 79, yet, they become instant friends and finally lovers (yuck).
I am haunted by Cat Stevens!!! Yikes! I actually loved Cat Stevens until I watched this movie which is entirely morbid. Now every time I hear “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out!” I cringe just a little inside. Yet, he did write it for the movie and it fit well with it. An interesting tidbit, that song was not available for purchase until 1984 when he included it on his ‘Footsteps in the Dark’ compilation album (which I totally have and love).
My fave part is when his Priest tries to explain to him how he’s heard and understands about boys being attracted to their mothers, “but you, you’re attracted to your grandmother!”
I also loved the mother-son dynamic here. You get to hear Harold tell his story on why he was obsessed with death and my heart reached out for him, just a little. I could totally understand his reasoning, yet, I felt he played out his scenario more than enough times and what he set out to accomplish with his fascination with death was diluted long before he met Maude. It had its moments and was definitely worth watching.
FILED UNDER :Chopped & Reviewed (SPOILER ALERT) , EW's Top 50 Cult Classics List
TAGGED WITH :bud cort , cat stevens , classics , comedy , Cult classics , Entertainment Weekly , films , friends , harold and maude , love , mother , romance , ruth gordon , son , the 70s , vivian pickles