If you've always wanted to marry a girl just like your dear old grandma, don't check yourself into the psych ward; curl up with this cult classic love story instead. A death-obsessed teenager spends his time attending random funerals and avoiding the opposite sex-a plan that backfires beautifully when he stumbles upon the woman destined to be his soul mate. The only problem? She's 79. Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon turn in career-defining performances in a black comedy for the ages.
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Top 10 Fun Facts
- If Mrs. Chasen's butler seems exceptionally good at his job, that's because he's the real deal. When he wasn't getting ready for his close-up, Henry Dieckoff earned his paycheck as the butler of Rose Court Mansion in Hillsborough, California-the location used as the Chasen estate.
- Bud Cort turned down the role of Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, worried he might be forever typecast as a nut job. And yet many years later, he would accept a part in Coyote Ugly. The man is an enigma.
- Pssst, fellas-we can see you: when Maude retrieves her banjo from the cabinet, keep your eyes peeled for the crew and lights reflected in the glass.
- Screenwriter Colin Higgins based the script on his thesis for the UCLA screenwriting MFA program. See, kids? Study hard and someday you could be the creator of a cult classic!
- Goodbye, yellow brick Maude? Before Bud Cort signed on as Harold, director Hal Ashby offered the role to-wait for it-Elton John.
- Even though Cat Stevens' song "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out" might make you want to buy a new cell phone these days, it wasn't always a catchy commercial jingle. Stevens wrote that one and "Don't Be Shy" especially for the film.
- Where's Morgan Freeman when you need him? Actress Ruth Gordon never learned how to drive, so any time you see Maude behind the wheel in the movie, the car is actually being towed.
- Continuity crazies: as Maude hot dogs in the stolen truck doing donuts around a police officer, her driver's side window is sometimes up, sometimes down. Hey, we know Ruth Gordon wasn't worried about steering the car, so maybe she had some free time to tinker with the windows.
- Harold drives a 1959 Cadillac Superior 3-way hearse-which at the time was merely an old used car worth a few hundred bucks. These days it's a highly sought after collectors' item, so check Grandpa's garage! The pack rat in your life just might be sitting on a gold mine.
- If you lived in Edina, Minnesota during the early '70s, you have no excuse for never having seen Harold and Maude. The film ran for a total of 1,957 showings at the Westgate Theater from mid-1972 until June 1974.