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Blu-Ray Review: HAROLD AND MAUDE Features A Manic Pixie Dream Grandmother - Movies In Focus
Harold and Maude is a certified cult classic. It’s a film that has stood the test of time and gained a following since its unsuccessful release in 1971. Hal Ashley’s film is a glorious black comedy that plays by its own rules, creating an oddball tale of friendship which you must root for. Harold (Bud Cort) is a suicidal young man who spends his time plotting ways to kill himself and visiting funerals. At one of these funerals he meets Maude (Ruth Gordon), a 79 year old kook who helps him find new meaning in life. They’re unlikely friendship soon turns into a full blown love affair, all of which is set to the musical strains of Cat Stevens. On paper Harold and Maude shouldn’t work but it does, thanks to Colin Higgins’ bleak comic script and Hal Ashby’s freewheeling filmmaking sensibilities. The film plays like the bizarre cousin to Mike Nichols’ The Graduate, while it is also very clear that Ashby’s film had a direct influence on director Wes Anderson (nearly every one of Anderson’s films is inspired by this). Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon make an impressive pairing. The former’s dour and depressed youth, a great counterpoint to [...]