An antisocial young man, obsessed with death, finds himself drawn to a free-spirited and much, much older woman. With this idiosyncratic and dreamy American fable, director Hal Ashby fashioned what would become a cult classic of its era.
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With its foot in the Summer of Love-era as well as forward to the censor-breaking films after its time, Harold and Maude is one of the most heartwarming and uplifting dark comedies ever made about death... because it's instead about embracing life. The humor in its boundary-pushing albeit honest and sentimental concept is immaculate, as is the casting. It does follow predictable story mechanics but it's a classic.
"Harold! That was your last date!" This is a brilliant movie! It wasnt at all what Id expected. You can notice a lot of movies that probably were inspired by this one. Sweet and deeply about life and death, and all in between. "And if you want to be free, be free. 'Cause theres a milion things to be, you know that there are" And I never knew how much I wanted Cat Stevens in a soundtrack of my life!
Wonderful cinematography, awesome Technicolor colours ;) Great acting. The film flows nicely, the romance is masterfully balanced by dark humour. It's early 70's, so expect political and social allusions. It's a warm, romantic, unfortunately somewhat simplified story, characters 2-dimensional, a bit silly at times. Good soundtrack.
A freewheeling outrageously original mix of blossoming romance, macabre black-comedy and antisocial angst. Tender and belligerently heartwarming, punctuated with an abundance of quirky set pieces and odd-ball characters. An unassuming, overlooked masterpiece of indie cinema.
Harold's deliquency is a comic delight - a vulgar blend of morbid and rose-tinted. Ashby's satirical edge finds its sweet spot with this subversive classic. 'Being There' is good, 'Harold and Maude' is great.
"If you wanna be free be free, cause there's a million things to be, you know that there are. If you wanna be high be high, if you wanna be low be low, there's a million ways to go, you know that there are" this literally summarizes the whole film.
One of my favourite films of all time!
Ashby is one of my cinematic heroes. He took chances like no other, never for the spectacularity or controversy, but for the exploration of the human condition. There is always a fundamental kindness that appeals to love and kindness. And in H&M, using Cat Stevens' spiritual writings to underline this particularly story is one of the most genius choices in filmmaking history.
That sly Hal Ashby! I've seen this movie many time and I'm still not completely in love with this movie due to some poor directing choices (underdeveloped mother and son relationship) but god damn, this is a beautiful movie to look at! Real emotional imagery. The soundtrack is cool too.