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Criterion Release: Harold and Maude

June 12, 2012

Along with The Gold Rush, Harold and Maude is also being released on DVD & Blu-ray today as part of the Criterion Collection.  Directed by Hal Ashby, Harold (Bud Cort) is a young man obsessed with death who spends his days at funerals where he meets Maude (Ruth Gordon), an elderly woman who is in love with the entire cycle of life.

Met with understandably mixed reactions when it was first released in 1971, Harold and Maude still won’t be for everyone but is now rightly considered a cult classic and one of the defining films of the 1970s.  This is a beautifully filmed dramedy with an excellent soundtrack of songs by Cat Stevens and a script that reminds us to embrace the cycle of life in the most spontaneous ways possible, through to the bittersweet final scene.

The DVD includes audio commentary with Hal Ashby historian Nick Dawson and producer Charles B. Mulvehill, a new interview with Cat Stevens and more.  Also included is a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Matt Zoller Seitz and interviews with the cast.

Harold and Maude is 91 minutes and rated 14A.

-John C.

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