Young adult Harold Chasen, solitary and friendless by choice, is obsessed with death, this fascination manifesting itself in he staging his own fake suicides, driving a hearse and attending funerals, even of people he doesn't know, all to the chagrin of his exasperated wealthy mother with who he lives. Mrs. Chasen is determined for Harold to be "normal", including she sending him into therapy to deal with his issues and finding him a girlfriend through a computer dating service. It is at a series of funerals that Harold meets Maude, on the cusp of her eightieth birthday, she who too attends funerals of strangers. Unlike Harold, Maude is obsessed with life - her own life to be more precise - she doing whatever she wants to please herself, damned what others may think or how they may be affected. Since she can't take material possessions with her, she is more interested in experiences, with whatever material possessions she has - often "borrowed" without asking - only to further those ... Written by
There is a deleted scene in which Maude paints smiles on the statues in the church. A still from this scene can be found on one of the original lobby cards, and it is described in detail in the book-adaptation. In the movie, the priest from the graveside service at the cemetery refers to a similar incident when he asks Maude, "Are you also the one who painted the saint?" (Referring to the Saint on the dashboard of his VW Bug which Maude steals.) See more »
When Maude pulls the banjo out of a cabinet, you see the reflection of crew and lights. See more »
[after spotting Harold hanging from a noose in the living room]
I suppose you think that's very funny, Harold... Oh, dinner at eight, Harold. And do try and be a little more vivacious.
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I only saw this film quite recently but it hopped straight to my number one film of all time. It is beautiful. Bud Cort is charming as Harold and Ruth Gordon - dare I say cute? As Maude. If I look like her when I'm eighty I'll be out there nicking cars and fluttering my eyelashes at policemen too! Maude wrenches Harold free from his morbid and lonely existence to show him how lush and amazing the world can be and he emerges from his experiences a happy man. This is definitely one of the films that (along with say, Fight Club, American Beauty and The Rocky Horror Picture Show) show you can be who you want to be, and you needn't let anyone oppress you. It's brilliant. Everyone should know a Maude. It has inspired me to buy a banjo and play Cat Stevens songs.
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