Director: Hal Ashby
Cast includes: Bud Cort, Ruth Gordon, Cyril Cusack
Annie's Staff Pick
91 Mins / 1971 / USA

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With the idiosyncratic American fable Harold and Maude, countercultural director Hal Ashby fashioned what would become the cult classic of its era. Working from a script by Colin Higgins, Ashby tells the story of the emotional and romantic bond between a death-obsessed young man (Bud Cort) from a wealthy family and a devil-may-care, bohemian octogenarian (Ruth Gordon).

Equal parts gallows humour and romantic innocence, Harold and Maude dissolves the line between darkness and light along with the ones that separate people by class, gender, and age. As Maude shows Harold how to truly live, Harold falls in love with her as Maude shows him only not how to live well, but die well.

This film is Annie's Staff Pick and starts by drawing you in for the storyline, but it keeps you there for its beating heart. It’s a film unapologetically of its time – the wardrobe, cinematography and a remarkable Cat Stevens soundtrack place it firmly in the 70s – but now over fifty years later, its themes of joy and redemption resonate more than ever.

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