With the idiosyncratic American fable Harold and Maude, countercultural director Hal Ashby fashioned what would become the cult classic of its era. Working from a script by Colin Higgins, Ashby tells the story of the emotional and romantic bond between a death-obsessed young man (Bud Cort) from a wealthy family and a devil-may-care, bohemian octogenarian (Ruth Gordon). Equal parts gallows humor and romantic innocence, Harold and Maude dissolves the line between darkness and light along with the ones that separate people by class, gender, and age, and it features indelible performances and a remarkable soundtrack by Cat Stevens. –The Criterion Collection
Hal Ashby was born the fourth and youngest child in a Mormon household in Ogden, Utah, on September 2, 1929. His father was a dairy farmer. After a rough childhood that included the divorce of his parents, his father’s suicide, his dropping out of high school, getting married and divorced all before he was 19, he decided to leave Utah for California. A Californian employment office found him a printing press job at Universal Studios. Within a few years, he was an assistant film editor at various other studios. One of his pals while at MGM was a young messenger named Jack Nicholson. He moved up to being a full fledged editor on The Loved One (1965) and started editing the films of director Norman Jewison.
A highlight of his film editing career was winning an Oscar for the landmark In the Heat of the Night (1967). Itching to become a director, Jewison gave him a script he was too busy to work on called The Landlord (1970). It became Ashby’s first film as a director. From there… read more
i want to start by saying i hate myself for waiting this long to watch this film. dark comedy, brilliant script and a beautiful soundtrack are everything i adore in cinema. this accomplished all that and so much more. it was effortlessly my favorite film in a really long time and definitely the re-experienceable kind (along with matilda and jumanji).
Here is possibly the most unusual, and in my opinion, the best comedy ever made. “Harold & Maude” begins with a heavy dose of black humor, with the death-obsessed Harold performing ‘suicides’ as… read review
Despite the prevalence of fake suicides and funerals, Harold and Maude is one of the happiest movies ever made. Its zest for life, its belief in the goodness of people, and its optimism are infectious… read review
To be perfectly frank, I LOVE everything about this movie. The quirky comedy, the unbelievably romantic leads, the perfect soundtrack, and even the unique style of cinematography. Not only does Hal… read review