Winter is Dark: Harold and Maude
One of the all time greats, Harold and Maude is a black comedy about romance and acceptance above all odds from cult director Hal Ashby (Shampoo, Coming Home). Hearse-driving Harold (Bud Cort) — the ultimate existential outsider in his early 20s — is obsessed with the idea of death, taking great pleasure in pretending to kill himself in a variety of amusingly dramatic ways whenever his wealthy, distant mother tries to set him up with straight-laced girls she deems worthy. His interest in women is only piqued when he attends one of his regular funeral beats and catches the eye of Maude, a 79-year-old woman and true bohemian who greets each day with intense chutzpah. Together they break the law, play the banjo and make love to a Cat Stevens soundtrack. It’s just beautiful.
Why You Should See This Film
This film is for you if you’re loving life or hating it right now. And it’s especially for you if you’re feeling indifferent. The droll tone and deapan style is reminiscent of what has become a signature for Wes Anderson (who managed to pull Bud Cort out of semi-retirement to play a kidnapped accountant in The Life Aquatic). Prior to that, Cort had taken on minimal roles following this film (director Robert Altman reportedly discovered him as a 17-year-old stand-up comedian in New York) — though it’s imperative we point out that he plays Edgar the Computer in '80s classic Electric Dreams.
Winter is Dark: A Gin & Film Festival
To celebrate the darker side of the seasons, join our friends at Four Pillars Gin for Winter is Dark: A Film & Gin Festival. Throughout the month of July, we're bringing you a program of dark cult films covering the genres of comedy (Harold & Maude, Fargo), romance (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Only Lovers Left Alive), drama (McCabe & Mrs Miller, Force Majeure) and horror (The Exorcist, The Thing). And of course, every week gets a Bloody Shiraz Gin cocktail to match.
- Year: 1971
- Rating: M
- Director: Hal Ashby
- Cast: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles
- Duration: 91 minutes
- Language: English