“Try and be a little more vivacious.” [Harold and Maude]

from Living a Beautiful Life

Living a Beautiful Life

Macabre, tender, funny and altogether weirdly wonderful, Harold and Maude would be in my Top 10 movies.  If I had such a list.  It’s beautifully written, not a word wasted.  The acting is spot-on and the direction is inspired.  Released in December 1971, I’m surprised I only discovered it a few years ago.

“Dinner at 8:00 Harold, and try to be a little more vivacious.”

Harold and Maude is based on an original screenplay by Colin Higgins (a Hollywood pool boy) and directed by Hal Ashby.  Ashby fought Paramount on edits.  He won some battles and lost others.  One swear word was omitted to avoid an R rating.  Is there any word that would result in an R rating today?

How did Harold and Maude flop at the box office?  Audiences preferred Carnal Knowledge, Clockwork Orange, Diamonds Are Forever, Dirty Harry, Fiddler on the Roof and The French Connection. …

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