1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

‘Harold and Maude’ (1971) Not Quite Sure What To Make Of It

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Edwin Pereyra, Jul 23, 2001.

  1. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 1998
    Messages:
    3,501
    Likes Received:
    0
    **SPOILERS**
    Okay, I got what the film was all about – life affirmation, living life to the fullest, anti-establishment, nonconformity, etc., etc.
    But what I don’t understand is why the two had to fall in love with each other as lovers instead of just friends? I think that situation was a little bit of a stretch. For me, it probably would have worked better had they just remained friends.
    In addition, in regards to Harold’s Mom’s reaction about supposedly being dead when told by the cops of the lab incident, why was Harold so disappointed about his Mom’s reaction and wanted to die right there and then? Certainly there was nothing wrong about her reaction as she just fainted into the arms of the cops? What was he expecting?
    Furthermore, Maude’s actions did not resonate with me, as it was contrary to everything she stood for. For me, “living life to the fullest” certainly does not mean breaking laws, stealing cars and being reckless.
    For a film that was supposed to have a serious message, its too bad that we cannot take its eccentric characters (Harold and his suicide gags, which after a while got tiring; and carefree Maude and her antics, which were funny, but almost to the point of absurdity) more seriously to drive its themes home.
    ~Edwin
    ------------------
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/Forum9/HTML/005780.html#8
    [Edited last by Edwin Pereyra on July 23, 2001 at 12:22 PM]
     
  2. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,745
    Likes Received:
    0
    I love Harold & Maude.
    Regarding your points, I think that first of all, the film is a comedy. As such, there is going to be an element of going over the top. Also, Harold is not trying to kill himself, he is trying to get attention. His various suicide attempts are gags which his mother promptly ignores, like everything else about him.
    While Harold is young and obsessed with gloom, Maude who is old, shows Harold how to act his age: have some fun, and indulge in some youthful mischief (I'm not condoning grand-theft auto). She also sees him in every way his mother does not, an anti-mom perhaps.
    Maude is extreme in some ways because she represents an extreme, just as Harold's mother represents the other extreme. One of the funniest moments, for me, is when a "normal" girl, whom Harold's mom is trying to set up with Harold, watches him go through the act of setting himself on fire. Naturally, she panics but mom doesn't budge.
    How that makes some sense to you.
    Todd.
    ------------------
    "He'll flip you, flip you for real."
     
  3. Thi Them

    Thi Them Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 1999
    Messages:
    3,650
    Likes Received:
    0
    I saw this movie a few weeks ago and I really liked it. My favorite moment was Harold's meeting with the priest. [​IMG]
    ~T
     
  4. Darren H

    Darren H Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2000
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0
    Edwin, I saw Harold & Maude for the first time three or four months ago, and it has quickly become one of my all-time favorites. In fact, I popped it in again this weekend just to watch the opening sequence, and ended up watching nearly half of it. I'm not sure if I can logically argue against your points (and don't think I'll even try). For me, H&M plays like a fable in the same way that Rushmore does. It's strange: the characters themselves are timeless -- and the story works at that level (learning to love life at any age) -- but the film itself is very much grounded in its time, particularly in its dark, DARK satire of Vietnam-era politics.
    As I've mentioned here several times lately, because of H&M I've fallen in love with Hal Ashby's direction. I think he's a wonderful story-teller, who paces his films with great precision. Of all the directors I respect, Ashby is the only one who makes me want to get a movie camera and to write a script.
    I'm just curious, Edwin, what did you think of Rushmore? These two films seem to generate similar responses.
    ------------------
    "I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity." -- g.W.b.
     
  5. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 1998
    Messages:
    3,501
    Likes Received:
    0
    Darren, Rushmore is a movie that didn’t do anything for me. While I may owe it another viewing, for now, I share the comments previously made by both Ebert and Bernardinelli on this 2 ½ star movie.
    ~Edwin
     
  6. Gregory H

    Gregory H Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2001
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Heheheheheheheheh
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Loved it !
     
  7. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 1998
    Messages:
    3,501
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay, this question was never answered when I posted this a couple of weeks ago but hopefully a fresh set of eyes will take notice and answer it as it appears, no one at the moment has an explanation for it. So, if anyone can explain this plot point, which has been bugging me about this movie, I'd appreciate it:
     
  8. Tom Rhea

    Tom Rhea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    >>In regards to Harold’s Mom’s reaction about supposedly being dead when told by the cops of the lab incident, why was Harold so disappointed about his Mom’s reaction and wanted to die right there and then? Certainly there was nothing wrong about her reaction as she just fainted into the arms of the cops? What was he expecting?
     
  9. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 1998
    Messages:
    3,501
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tom, thanks for that perspective. That was a critical turning point in the film and certainly one that should not be misinterpreted.
    ~Edwin
     
  10. Margo

    Margo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 1999
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  11. Anthony_D

    Anthony_D Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know what to make of it...it sucked! Sorry to offend those that did like it, but I didn't find it comedic, artistic, engaging, or anything else that compromises a good movie.
    again...sorry to those that didn't like it, but I couldn't even finish watching the film because it was so bad!!!
     
  12. Tino

    Tino Premium
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 1999
    Messages:
    7,306
    Likes Received:
    1,205
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    Real Name:
    Valentino
    *sniff*...what's that smell? [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus.
     
  13. DonaldB

    DonaldB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2000
    Messages:
    765
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trollus interruptus!
     
  14. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,547
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    Margo,
    The film always makes me feel nostalgic too. My brother's college roommate was a guy named Steve Silver, later of "Beach Blanket Babylon" fame. Steve did the set direction of Maude's railway car home, so I have seen a lot of the props close up. What a character Steve was, now sadly deceased from AIDS.
    ------------------
    Feline audience members Katie, Susie, and the one and only Fluffy Pumpkin
     
  15. Janna S

    Janna S Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2001
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have been a fan of 'Harold and Maude' ever since it came out. (God, has it been that long? Yikes!) While I agree with many of the clarifications and discussion points in these posts, I would like to point out that while it may or may not bear up well under modern analytical scrutiny, it was one of those films that hit the spot for its time, and it was quite perversely profound and significant (and was one of the first major midnight-showing cult films).
    So, for that matter, was "Easy Rider" which blew me away (no pun intended) when it came out, but which I find nearly unwatchable now. Maybe you just had to be there . . .
    'H & M' was also impacted by one of the great rumors of the era - "Cat Stevens is dead," which, while not as big as "Paul is dead," was still pretty widely spread in those pre-internet days. Of course, Cat did nearly succumb to addiction, and then went on to be rather significantly transformed, but that's another story.
     
  16. Josh Shapero

    Josh Shapero Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am eager to see this "cult" film. The soundtrack by Cat Stevens is one of the greatest sets of songs ever!. I need some imput....should I go and buy the film?.....is it worth repeated viewings?.....i loved rushmore, and i am a fan of quirky left of centre films. Inquiring minds need to know........
     
  17. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'd heard about this movie for many years and remember seeing that yellow poster artwork for it but I never even saw a clip of it until fairly recently, I think about 2 years ago, when I first saw it. Ironically at the time I was involved in a relationship with an older women, but she was no where near Maude's age. In my case the woman was about 10 years older than me. I told her that I saw Harold and Maude and that I thought the movie reminded me of us in an extremely exaggerated way and she got mad, I had to remind her that I used the word "exaggerated". [​IMG] I can't blame her too much.
    Anyway this cult classic is a hoot. It reminded me very much of Rushmore. I think if you combined Harold and Maude and The Graduate you'd get Rushmore, or at least without those earlier movies there wouldn't be a brilliant movie like Rushmore.
     
  18. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,174
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ah nuts. And I thought Edwin was back with his movie reviews. [​IMG]
     
  19. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2001
    Messages:
    982
    Likes Received:
    0
    >>I know what to make of it...it sucked! Sorry to offend those that did like it, but I didn't find it comedic, artistic, engaging, or anything else that compromises a good movie.
     

Share This Page