THE HAROLD AND MAUDE JAGUAR E-TYPE HEARSE: A TRUE UNDERTAKING

By GREGORY LLOYD / Posted on October 31, 2017

Harold and Maude is a 1971 American romantic black comedy drama directed by Hal Ashby and released by Paramount Pictures. It incorporates elements of dark humor and existentialist drama, with a plot that revolves around the exploits of a young man named Harold (Bud Cort) 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) who teaches Harold about living life to its fullest and that life is the most precious gift of all.

Critically and commercially unsuccessful when originally released, the film developed a cult following and in 1983 began making a profit.┬áThe film is ranked number 45 on the American Film Institute‘s list of 100 Funniest Movies of all Time and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1997, for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”. The Criterion Collection special edition Blu-ray and DVD were released June 12, 2012.

This is the story of the car from that movie.

As they become closer, their friendship soon blossoms into a romance and Harold announces that he will marry Maude, resulting in disgusted outbursts from his family, psychiatrist, and priest. Maude’s 80th birthday arrives and Harold throws a surprise party for her. As the couple dance, Maude tells Harold that she “couldn’t imagine a lovelier farewell”. Confused, he questions Maude as to her meaning and she reveals that she has taken an overdose of sleeping pills and will be dead by morning. She restates her firm belief that eighty is the proper age to die.

Harold rushes Maude to the hospital, where she is treated unsuccessfully and dies. In the final sequence, Harold’s car is seen going off a seaside cliff but after the crash, the final shot reveals Harold standing calmly atop the cliff, holding his banjo. After gazing down at the wreckage, he dances away, picking out on his banjo Cat Stevens’ “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out”.