Harold and Maude by Colin HigginsNineteen-year-old Harold Chasen is obsessed with death. He fakes suicides to shock his self-obsessed mother, drives a customized Jaguar hearse, and attends funerals of complete strangers. Seventy-nine-year-old Maude Chardin, on the other hand, adores life. She liberates trees from city sidewalks and transplants them to the forest, paints smiles on the faces of church statues, and “borrows” cars to remind their owners that life is fleeting—here today, gone tomorrow! A chance meeting between the two turns into a madcap, whirlwind romance, and Harold learns that life is worth living. Harold and Maude started as Colin Higgins’ master’s thesis at UCLA Film School, and the script was purchased by Paramount. The film, directed by Hal Ashby, was released in 1971 and it bombed. But soon this quirky, dark comedy began being shown on college campuses and at midnight-movie theaters, and it gained a loyal cult following. This novelization was written by Higgins and published shortly after the film’s release but has been out of print for more than 30 years. Even fans who have seen the movie dozens of times will find this companion valuable, as it gives fresh elements to watch for and answers many of the film’s unresolved questions.
Unheralded Scene: HAROLD & MAUDE (1971)
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Harold is the proverbial poor little rich kid. His alienation has caused him to…. No account yet? Create one. Paul Foster.
Harold and Maude. by Colin Higgins. Full Length Play, Comedy / 9m, 8f. "Offbeat upbeat comedy." - Christian Science Monitor. This is a stage adaptation of the.
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The plot: Harold is a young man obsessed with death who hangs out at funerals to sate his curiosity about what happens when you die. The scene: Perhaps the greatest obstacle for Harold to overcome in the story is his relationship with his overbearing and domineering mother, Mrs Chasen Vivian Pickles , and this scene brilliantly articulates both his inability to stand up to her and the deleterious effect she has on him. In her desperation to find him a girlfriend, Mrs Chasen decides to sign Harold up to a dating agency, for which he needs to fill in a questionnaire. There are also some incredibly moving moments, not least the brief glimpse Harold sees of Maude, late on in the film, that silently and elegantly reveals the root of her determination to live life to the full. But what really makes the picture is the accumulation of brilliantly visual black comedy — and this scene encapsulates this to a tee. At the same time, even at this heightened level, the scene is rooted in a recognisable emotional reality, that of a son and his overbearing mother who refuses to listen to him or even notice when he shoots himself in the head. This combination of the real and the unreal, built upon a credible emotional foundation, allows for enormous wit and invention, and makes both this beautifully constructed, slow-build scene and the film as a whole a true pleasure.
Harold and Maude is a American romantic dark comedy drama directed by Hal Ashby and released by Paramount Pictures. It incorporates elements of dark humor and existentialist drama. The plot revolves around the exploits of a young man named Harold Chasen Bud Cort who is intrigued with death. Harold drifts away from the life that his detached mother Vivian Pickles prescribes for him, and slowly develops a strong friendship , and eventually a romantic relationship , with a year-old woman named Maude Ruth Gordon who teaches Harold about living life to its fullest and that life is the most precious gift of all. The film was based on a screenplay written by Colin Higgins and published as a novel in Critically and commercially unsuccessful when originally released, the film developed a cult following and in began making a profit. Harold Chasen is a young man obsessed with death.