Harold and Maude

I had gone to Barnes & Noble to purchase Charlie Chaplin’s Gold Rush, the Criterion Collection edition. The sales clerk pleasantly upsold me on the Criterion Collection edition of Harold and Maude. I had seen this movie on basic cable and enjoyed it — it’s the right amount of absurdity for me and, bonus, stars Ruth Gordon. I like her voice. Not beautiful in a musical way, but nonetheless she speaks with this cadence, this resonance that just captivates. Maybe it’s just me. (ahem)

The basic story centers on Harold (Bud Cort), a young man living with his wealthy mother. When not being set up on dates by her, Harold fakes many theatrical suicides and attends strangers’ funerals. It is at one such funeral that he meets Maude (Gordon) — a woman 60 years his senior. They fall in love and steal cars while Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) music plays.

The Criterion Collection edition offers a lot material about the film. There are commentaries, interviews and a substantial booklet with more. I hadn’t known (or perhaps hadn’t remembered) that director Hal Ashby also directed another great movie, Being There, starring Peter Sellers.

Have you seen the movie? What did you think?