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Harold and Maude

  • Directed by Hal Ashby
  • United States, 1971, 91 mins.

A classic of the much-mythologized New American Cinema of the 1970s, Harold and Maude follows Harold (Bud Cort), a moneyed yet death-obsessed 19-year-old, and Maude (Ruth Gordon), a lively 79-year-old, who fall in love after meeting at a stranger’s funeral. Harold can’t enjoy life; his mother (Vivian Pickles) forces him into dates with women his own age, but he finds increasingly creative ways to shrug them off. Through a series of off-the-wall teachings, Maude shows Harold what it means to be happy and how to make the most of life. But as this unconventional relationship blooms and Harold announces his intention to marry Maude, one of her firmly held beliefs threatens to cut short their time together.

Genres: Black Comedy, Comedy, Drama, Romance

Other Films by Hal Ashby

Being There

In one of his most memorable roles, Peter Sellers plays Chance, a hermetic housekeeper at a wealthy man’s sprawling, lavish residence in Washington, DC. Apparently having not left the estate in some time, he is unceremoniously flung into the world when his patron unexpectedly dies. The problem is that Chance’s only knowledge of the world

The Last Detail

With an unconventional script by Robert Towne (Chinatown) and understated performances by Jack Nicholson and Randy Quaid, Ashby’s whimsical film is an exemplar of the freeform cinematic aesthetic of the 1970s. Billy “Bad Ass” Budduskey (Nicholson) and Mule Mulhall (Otis Young) are two sailors given a week to escort a young prisoner (Randy Quaid) from