Harold and Maude (Criterion Collection)
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But before I go on ...
NOTE: It has been been pointed out to me that since some would consider this review to contain spoilers that I ought to warn people ahead of time. However, I'll add that it's hard to say how much spoilers actually spoil this movie; spoilers may help to make the movie's wisdom more readily apparent on a first viewing. In any case, there are several ahead.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: Some Amazonites have complained that they encountered spoilers in my review despite presumably reading my disclaimer and warning (above) that there are spoilers in my review. I find this odder than some of Harold's mother's behavior, and it makes me want to ask, without at all intending sarcasm, "If you didn't appreciate the disclaimer when you read it, how will reading spoilers harm your appreciation of the film?" ... To paraphrase Maude: "Ah people ...." (They're my species.) ... Meanwhile, back at the review:
Filling out a dating questionnaire for her son, in response to the question "Do you find the idea of wife-swapping offensive?" his mother answers, "I find the question offensive.Read more ›
What is so great about this show is that it was written so beautifully and sensitively. I don't know of any other movie that talks about life and death in such a sensitive, but yet lighthearted manner.
My favorite scene is when Harold and Maude are in a daisy field and Maude says: "You know Harold, I'd like to come back as a sunflower most of all. They're so big and hearty. What would you like to come back as?" Harold responds by saying "One of these" (meaning one of the daisies). Maude says "How come" and he replies, "Because they're all alike."
Then comes the Kleenex box when she replies "Oh no, Harold, They're not all alike! You see, some grow to the left, some to the right, some have even lost petals, all SORTS of observer able differences . . . You see, Harold, I feel that much of the world's sadness comes from someone who is this" (she picks a daisy from the field) -- "but yet ALLOWS themselves to be treated as that" (gesturing to the entire field of daisies).
You can't beat this show for its marvelous acting by Ruth Gordon, especially. You will also never find another movie that can portray all of these intense subjects in such a carefree way that they seem commonplace.
Get this movie and watch it several times to really enjoy it. I've seen it at least 30 times, myself and have enjoyed it more and more each time.
The interesting part is how this film will likely find you. In most societies, an older man will likely fall for a woman years his junior. Here though, Harold (Bud Cort) -- a shy teenager with an affinity for death -- meets his 80-year-old true love Maude (Ruth Gordon), not at a dance or social event, but at funerals.
I guess 'Harold and Maude' plays on '60s-esque themes of turning maverick, challenging societal moulds, denouncing materialism. The story is strewn with delectable humor, and thankfully is not of your average garden variety. Cat Stevens' open-air, acoustic-driven rock 'n' roll makes for a cherishable soundtrack giving the film an authentic organic sound indicative of its demeanor.
A great movie with a warm heart -- required collective for every self-respecting library!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favorite movies of all time. Deep and insightful Ruth Gordon teaches the true meaning of life......just to LIVE.Published 10 days ago by Shelley
This is a strange but must watch movie, Mrs. Robinson on steroids. Why did they only make one car and destroy it?Published 17 days ago by Bryan W. Hunlock
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