Film Series : Spotlight: Hal Ashby

Harold and Maude

1971, Hal Ashby, USA, 91 min. With Bud Cort, Ruth Gordon

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Show Times

  • Sat, Nov 10th 3:00pm
  • Thu, Nov 15th 8:15pm

"One of cinema's most endearing relationships…The Cat Stevens soundtrack [is] unquestionably one of the greatest in the history of the medium." - Jordan Cronk, Slant

Mixing morbid black comedy with transgressive February-December romance, Ashby's breakthrough film started out as a too-weird-for-words flop before blossoming into a beloved cult film. Cort plays a filthy-rich young geek who works out his hostility toward his unflappable mother by staging grisly mock-suicides. Nearly plotless, the film centers on the chemistry between the morbid Harold and the life-force Maude, a convention-confounding 79-year-old who combines Gracie Allen ditziness with Yodaesque wisdom. Ashby views this potentially grotesque material with a compassionate calm that evokes Renoir and Buñuel. Cat Stevens's soundtrack (including "If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out") ranks with THE GRADUATE and McCABE & MRS. MILLER as one of the best single-source song scores in movie history. DCP digital. (MR)

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