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Neglected Films No.2: ‘Harold & Maude’

Take one disaffected young man. Add a spirited woman who challenges his views and forces him to try new things. The original cult film Harold and Maude followed this formula with a couple of twists; the dream girl was a year-old woman, and the young man, obsessed with staging gruesome suicides.

Posted: Aug 27,

Harold, the protagonist of his film, begins the movie in a state of ironic nihilism. And then she declares that it is time for him to get married. She too enjoys attending funerals, but we find out early in the film that while the pair has some common traits, they have wildly different worldviews. A traumatic incident happened to Harold in boarding school that led his mother to believe that he was dead … and Harold liked her outpouring of distant affection.

He reacted by seeking a return to that state of shocked loss over and over through the staged suicides. The movie tells us that even a rich white straight male can and should be liberated. It was, however, a perfect reflection of how the culture was adapting to the end of the s. Given the state of the world in , it might have seemed more appropriate to have Harold drive his hearse-guar over the cliff in the final scene.

The world seemed to be unraveling. War protesters were gunned down in Kent State, then turned to more radical alternatives afterwards, leading to a string of terror bombings across the nation. The Pentagon Papers were released, detailing how thoroughly Americans had been lied to throughout the war. Yet, on personal level, people were feeling a certain freedom in the early 70s that was unique, and in many respects extremely positive.

Women were entering the workforce at a pace that even exceeded the early 40s when so many men were enlisted for World War 2. Many gay men and women finally felt safe coming out of the closet.

Review on Harold and Maude: Analysis Through Five Principles of Film Form

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Harold’s emotion towards Maude is completely reasonable. that Harold’s mother practically answered the dating service questionnaire.

They “meet cute” at a funeral, which both of them attend despite no association with the deceased. While Maude plans her death, Harold learns to live. The highly influential movie ranks 21 on The Guardian’s list of the most romantic movies of all-time. It is a romance for the ages, and a testament to love’s ability to bring together people despite major differences in this case, age. And despite Tinder’s association towards hook-ups, Tinder users proclaim a greater motivation with finding love versus casual sex.

And here’s something we may have overlooked: Harold was using a computer dating service in Harold and Maude. Although online dating didn’t start until , with the launch of Match. It seems to me that as you do not get along with the daughters of my friends, this is the best way for you to find a prospective wife. Chasen : The Computer Dating Service offers you at least three dates on the initial investment.

They screen out the fat and ugly, so it is obviously a firm of high standards.

Unheralded Scene: HAROLD & MAUDE (1971)

These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. Harold shoots himself while his mother goes over a dating questionnaire. Ironically, she doesn’t bat an eye as she knows he isn’t dead as he has constantly pretended to kill himself for some time now. Harold’s mother wants him to get married and even sets him up with several women to date. Ironically, he chooses to marry Maude, a woman on the verge of turning 80, and this baffles and infuriates his mother.

Issue No “Tails from the Bookworm ” Harold and Maude signs him up for a computer dating service, the questionnaire she fills out herself.

By Robert Hurwitt. Music by Joseph Thalken. Directed by Robert Kelley. Through Aug. Two hours, 10 minutes. Call or visit www. That’s just one small example of the numerous minor and major alterations that make musical-theater success from the raw material of Hal Ashby’s cult- classic movie “Harold and Maude. Jones, the veteran librettist of “The Fantasticks” and many other lesser hits , has kept much of the dark comedy of Colin Higgins’ screenplay intact and added some sharp punch lines of his own in the book and lyrics.


From the opening strains of Cat Stevens’ “Where Do the Children Play,” this bucolic staging of the wondrous love affair between pixiesque year-old Maude Ellen Geer and her somber year-old swain Harold Aaron Angello strives to capture the fusion of dark humor and gentle romanticism that underscored the classic Hal Ashby-directed film, starring Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort in the title roles.

Directed by Heidi Helen Davis, Theatricum Botanicum’s stage adaptation successfully accentuates the growing bond between life-loving Maude and death-obsessed Harold but fails to energize the supposedly comical forces of conformity that constantly intrude on their courtship. By Julio Martinez. Angelo exhibits adroit comic timing, especially when she takes charge of a questionnaire that her son needs to fill out to join a computer dating service.

Unfortunately, Phillips and Kelly-Young appear to be searching for their characters rather than inhabiting them. It used to be my defense on picket lines and rallies and political meetings … being dragged off by the police or attacked by thugs … a long time ago.

Watch Harold And Maude movie trailers, exclusive videos, interviews from the cast, assists Harold (Bud Cort) in answering his computer dating questionnaire,​.

Instead, the film builds up an audience of outsiders, misfits, disaffected youths, and even senior citizens who grew up on the margins, stifled by a world built on the establishments and conventions of a dominant culture. Through its unorthodox romance between the death-obsessed youth, Harold, and the vivacious, indomitable Maude, who, approaching eighty, preaches the gospel of living life to the fullest, it blithely celebrates nonconformity and independence.

Nevertheless, Harold and Maude resists becoming an adversarial political statement or dialectical argument designed to reignite a movement. Its strength resides in a philosophy rooted in self-exploration through personal fulfillment, bodily acceptance and exploration, artistic creation, and spontaneity, endearingly represented through its eccentric humor and a love affair for the ages.

Ashby had one of the best careers of any filmmaker in the s. However, everything after Harold and Maude , his second film, became more cynical and confronting, even his comedies. The Last Detail exposed the senselessness of the Vietnam War and inhumanity of military law, offering a portrait of male bonding and innocence lost. And whereas these other films adopt a confrontational and polemical perspective against a well-defined mainstream system, which usually overcomes the individual and remains at odds with the sympathetic view, Harold and Maude offers a rare glimmer of hope and happiness from Ashby.

The pale-faced Harold Bud Cort , lives in an elaborate estate with his grating, English-accented, conservative mother Vivian Pickles. Maude practices what she preaches—she poses nude for an ice sculpture and lives in an old train car, transitory symbols of impermanence and movement that capture her way of looking at life. A few feet away, Harold loads a gun and, after pointing it at his mother, he turns it on himself until— BAM!

Except, Harold is some kind of magician, capable of faking his death with a series of tricks, usually accomplished between cuts. His fake suicides are less cries for help than a plea for someone to meet him on his terms. After he seemingly sets himself ablaze to bring an abrupt end to a date his mother has arranged, Harold turns to the camera and smiles—but not a perceptible grin, just a hint at something comically sinister that the knowing audience will recognize.

Harold And Maude – Dates From Hell

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Harold and Maude (2/8) Movie CLIP – Dating Questionnaire () HD. Harold and Maude movie clips: BUY THE MOVIE.

Higgins originally planned to direct it himself, but a test shoot left executives unimpressed, and Hal Ashby was hired to direct the film. Harold comes from a very wealthy family who expects him to settle down with a wife and create his own family. His socialite mother seems uninterested in getting to know her own son.

In one memorable and humorous scene, she fills out for Harold a dating questionnaire with answers that represent her views more than his own. She demands that he stop making horrible noises. In lieu of paying attention to a son desperate for her love and attention, she believes that a psychiatrist will solve all of his problems and conceal from society her unbecoming situation at home. Enter Maude: a lively elderly woman who lives every day fully and aims to die on her own terms, before she can no longer do the activities she finds invigorating.

Their friendship blossoms after she unknowingly steals his hearse, picks him up in it, then tells him to drive her home.

Harold and Maude (8/8) Movie CLIP – Maude’s 80th Birthday (1971) HD