Parents' Guide to

Harold and Maude

By Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

A classic of dark comedy.

Movie PG 1971 91 minutes
Harold and Maude Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 15+

One of the Best

I love this film. Over the years I have seen it again and again and always get more out of it. It is a perfectly crafted dark comedy with a whole lot of thought provoking story telling mixed in. The music, performed by Cat Stevens, is so perfectly mixed in, adding another beautiful layer to the storytelling. I think it is for older teens though. The many, sometimes gruesome, fake suicide attempts and one sex scene, though tastefully done, along with the fact that the story requires a little life experience to fully enjoy, makes me think 15+ on this one. Then I suggest rewatching it every few years,
1 person found this helpful.
age 13+

Classic black humor, but not for everyone

Bizarre and macabre, H&M takes gallows humor to a new level, with Bud Cort as a baby-faced, black clad youth obsessed with funerals and fake suicides, and Ruth Gordon as the sexy octogenarian who straightens him out. The increasingly gruesome fake suicides may be too creepy for tweens, and the implied sex scene between the 2 leads has grossed out many a high schooler.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (7):

This wonderfully rich black comedy has a way of putting life's problems in perspective, especially for troubled youths. The movie's stormy themes may strike a special cord with teenagers who feel at times that no one understands them. They, and adults as well, will appreciate the dark humor that leads to a bright resolution. Parents of young teens, however, should be cautioned about mature subject matter and sexual situations.

Alarmingly pale Bud Cort gives us an idea of what frail Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol might look like at age 20, and Ruth Gordon's sprightliness lends the perfect counterbalance. Their performances earned them each a well-deserved Golden Globe nomination. The Cat Stevens soundtrack hasn't lost its impact over the years. In a movie that references Vietnam, his songs feel as natural a Volkswagen Bug and girls named Sunshine. The lyrics speak for the characters, reminding us that if you want to sing out, sing out, and if you want to be free, be free.

Movie Details

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