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Harold and Maude (1971)

Ruth Gordon , Bud Cort , Hal Ashby  |  PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (805 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack, Charles Tyner
  • Directors: Hal Ashby
  • Writers: Colin Higgins
  • Producers: Charles Mulvehill, Colin Higgins, Mildred Lewis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 27, 2000
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (805 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305882592
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,760 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Harold and Maude" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

The self-destructive and needy wealthy teenager Harold is obsessed by death and spends his leisure time attending funerals, watching the demolishing of buildings, visiting junkyards, simulating suicides trying to get attention from his indifferent, snobbish and egocentric mother, and having sessions with his psychologist. When Harold meets the anarchist seventy-nine-year-old Maude at a funeral, they become friends and the old lady discloses other perspectives of the cycle of life for him. Meanwhile, his mother enlists him in a dating service and tries to force Harold to join the army. On the day of Maude's eightieth birthday, Harold proposes to her but he finds the truth about life at the end of hers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
361 of 384 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In my All-Time Top Ten January 19, 2003
Format:DVD
The editor's review of this film is a fair enough description of the plot. One should add that, despite being made in 1971, the movie manages not to look dated, precisely because it makes such fun of the early 70s style, and that the acting by the three main characters (Harold, Maude and Harold's mother) is simply inspired. Ruth Gordon is splendid of course, while Bud Cort gives a lifetime performance, but it is the portrayal of Harold's mother by Vivian Pickles (what a splendid name for someone in the role) that has to be the most undercelebrated aspect of this film. Her breezy blitheness, outraged exasperation, and British sensibility are all just too wonderful.

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.
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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb DVD production July 19, 2000
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A lot of great movies have been poorly digitized or otherwise transfered to DVD without sufficient care and attention, but I was pleasantl surprised by the quality of this one. They found (or restored) a very clean and clear original print of the film and then digitally captured it beautifully. The soundtrack has also been enhanced with a remix of the Cat Stevens songs to take advantage of the stereo front speakers and the subwoofer. A wonderful movie, well presented.
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my TOP 3 Favorites! August 12, 2000
Format:DVD
Harold and Maude is just a delight to see. Somehow, the wonderful acting of Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort seem to get away with their relationship (which at the time, was QUITE a scandal!)
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.
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85 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic November 20, 2005
Format:DVD
I had heard about this movie through friends but was never impressed by the story. A reclusive anti social kid who befriends and falls in love with an elderly (though young at heart) eccentric. I wrote it off completely til I saw a bit of it on television and thought it was hilarious and as it turns out I rented the movie and was extremely hooked. Harold is a rich kid with a high strung, selfish mother who tries anything to find a suitor for him, in turn Harold escapes from his home to overshadow funeral processions and memorials. At a number of these events, Maude is in attendence and she lights up the scene with her off the wall,and positively upbeat personality that horrifies and amuses Harold. After a while they become unlikely friends. Maude helps Harold live a little and in turn he develops true affection to Maude. With Ruth Gordon's charm and incredible acting abilites, and Cat Steven's classy soundtrack, its not hard to find yourself feeling happy and free after the movie is over. It really teaches you a message about being your own person and enjoying life.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SWEET! October 16, 2003
Format:DVD
If such an irreverently offbeat film were to be made today, I wonder how the putative audiences would react. As was probably the case when the film was released, people would probably find the theme edgy, if not inappropriate. This anti-establishment cult classic quite openly explores themes of suicide, love, death and life with a fresh perspective.
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!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Must-See
Uplifting and inspiring!
Published 12 hours ago by Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my favorite movie of all time
This is my favorite movie of all time. It's a timeless classic, even though it's decades old. Usually I despise movies with a sad or bitter ending, but this is definitely an... Read more
Published 3 days ago by C Dorsey
5.0 out of 5 stars laughter and tears make this a wonderful movie.
How two people can find in their views of life, so strong a friendship. Life and death, laughter and tears make this a wonderful movie.
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars great condition!
Fast shipment, great condition!
Published 7 days ago by Jennifer Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars The Counterculture with Heart
I purchased this movie years ago when it first came out because I saw it at the theater and loved it. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Beowolf Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars funny and sad
wacky, funny and sad. worthy of it's cult following.
Published 8 days ago by patricia mccommas
5.0 out of 5 stars exellent character development as well as wonderful changes from the...
exellent character development as well as wonderful changes from the beginning of the movie to the end. so quirky you don't know what to expect.
Published 9 days ago by veronica
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic!
Published 9 days ago by Domenico S. Petrillo
5.0 out of 5 stars you cannot help but fall in love with these two
one of the top 10 movies of all time, a must see, {not for young kids} ...you cannot help but fall in love with these two, all they represent, and the cat stevens music is to die... Read more
Published 10 days ago by ladyfawn
5.0 out of 5 stars 11/10 my favorite movie
Such a lovely movie
Published 13 days ago by jasmine sherman
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