Harold and Maude

Harold and Maude is a 1971 American coming-of-age dark comedy–drama film 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 79-year-old woman named Maude (Ruth Gordon), a Nazi concentration camp survivor who teaches Harold about living life to its fullest and that life is the most precious gift of all.


Harold Chasen is a young man obsessed with death. He stages elaborate shocking fake suicides, attends funerals, and drives a hearse, all to the chagrin of his cold, narcissistic, wealthy socialite mother. His mother sets up appointments with a psychoanalyst for him, but the analyst fails to get Harold to talk about his real emotions. She also sets him up with dates he does not want and buys him an expensive car that he hates.