Harold and Maude
The ideas of a time are like the clothes of a season: they are as arbitrary, as much imposed by some superior will which is seldom explicit. They are utilitarian and political, the instruments of smooth-running government.Wyndham Lewis
- Directed by: Hal Ashby; Cinematography by: John Alonzo
- Written by: Colin Higgins; Original music by: Cat Stevens
- I'll never understand this mania for black. Nobody sends black flowers, do they? Black flowers are dead flowers. Who sends dead flowers to a funeral? It's absurd.
- "Well if some people get upset because they feel they have a hold on somethings. I'm just acting as a gentle reminder, here today, gone tomorrow so don't get attached to things. Now with that in mind I don't mind collecting things. I've collected quite a lot of stuff in my time. Yeah, this is all memorabilia — but it’s incidental, not integral, if you know what I mean."
- Ah, me. Free as a bird. You know, at one time I used to break into pet shops and liberate the canaries, but I decided that was an idea way before its time. Zoos are full, prisons are overflowing. Ah, my. How the world still dearly loves a cage.
- Don't get officious. You're not yourself when you're officious. That is the curse of a government job.
- Grab the shovel, Harold.
- A lot of people enjoy being dead. But they are not dead, really. They're just backing away from life. Reach out. Take a chance. Get hurt even. But play as well as you can. Go team, go! Give me an "L". Give me an "I". Give me a "V". Give me an "E". L-I-V-E. LIVE! Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room.
- [A flock of sea gulls fly across the sky] Dreyfus once wrote from Devil's Island that he would see the most glorious birds. Many years later in Brittany he realized they had only been sea gulls... For me they will always be -- glorious birds.
- [to a police officer after they find her car parked on the street] Turn the radio off, it saves battery.
- I haven't lived. [beat] I've died a few times.
- Do you enjoy knives?
- I suppose you think that’s very funny, Harold.
- Harold: You hop in any car you want and just drive off?
- Maude: Well, not any car -- I like to keep a variety. I'm always looking for the new experience.
- Harold: [smiling] Maybe.
[sobering] Nevertheless, I think you're upsetting people. I don’t know if that's right.
- Maude: Well, if some people get upset because they feel they have a hold on some things, I'm merely acting as a gentle reminder: here today, gone tomorrow, so don't get attached to things. Now, with that in mind, I'm not against collecting things...
- Maude: Here we are. Oat straw tea and ginger pie. Excuse the mismatched saucers.
- Harold: This is definitely a new experience for me.
- Maude: Oh, wonderful. Try something new each day.
After all, we're given life to find it out. It doesn't last forever.
- Maude: I should like to change into a sunflower most of all. They’re so tall and simple.
What flower would you like to be?
- Harold: I don't know. One of these, maybe.
- Maude: Why do you say that?
- Harold: Because they’re all alike.
- Maude: Oooh, but they’re not. Look. See, some are smaller, some are fatter, some grow to the left, some to the right, some even have lost some petals. All kinds of observable differences. You see, Harold, I feel that much of the world's sorrow comes from people who are this, [she points to a single daisy] yet allow themselves be treated as that [she gestures to a field of daisies].
- Maude: That little tree. It's in trouble. Come on.
- [They walk over to a tree growing through the sidewalk in front of a building]
- Maude: Look at it, oh. It's suffocating. Well, it's the smog. You know, people can live with it, but trees — it gives them asthma. They can't breathe. The leaves, look, they’re turning all brown. Harold, we have got to do something about this life.
- Harold: What?
- Maude: We'll transplant it. To the forest.
- Harold: You can't do that
- Maude: Why not?
- Harold: This is public property.
- Maude: Well, exactly.
- Maude: Oh, that was fun. Let's play something together.
- Harold: I don't play anything.
- Maude: Nothing? Oh... Dear me. Everybody should be able to make some music. That's the cosmic dance.
- Harold: I am sure picking up on vices.
- Maude: Vice, Virtue. It's best not to be too moral. You cheat yourself out of too much life. Aim above morality. If you apply that to life, then you’re bound to live life fully.
- Harold: I like you, Maude.
- Maude: I like you, Harold.
- Harold: Maude.
- Maude: Hmm?
- Harold: Do you pray?
- Maude: Pray? No. I communicate.
- Harold: With God?
- Maude: With Life.
- Harold: This is real nice. Makes me want to do somersaults.
- Maude: Well, why don't you?
- Harold: I'd feel stupid.
- Maude: Harold, everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves.
You just can't let the world judge you too much.
- Maude: What a fuss this is -- so unnecessary.
- Harold: Don't die, Maude, for Christ’s sake.
- Maude: Oh, Harold -- oh, don't upset yourself so.
- Harold: I love you. I love you!
- Maude: Oh, Harold... That's wonderful. Go and love some more.
- Psychiatrist: Tell me, Harold, how many of these, eh, suicides have you performed?
- Harold: An accurate number would be difficult to gauge.
- Psychiatrist: Well, just give me a rough estimate.
- Harold: A rough estimate? I'd say...fifteen.
- Psychiatrist: Fifteen?
- Harold: That’s a rough estimate.
- Psychiatrist: Were they all done for your mother's benefit?
- Harold: No. No, I would not say "benefit."
- Psychiatrist: Uh, tell me, Harold, what do you do for fun? What activity gives you a different sense of enjoyment from the others? What do you find fulfilling? What gives you that... special satisfaction?
- [long pause]
- Harold: I go to funerals.