Criterion Year Week 52: Harold and Maude

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

Harold and Maude

 Spine Number: 608

Director: Hal Ashby

Genre: Comedy

Making a movie, even a bad one, is an almost impossible task to undertake. So many things have to line up just to get a go ahead, and once you get going so many little things can go wrong that every day becomes, essentially, an uphill battle. So movies that are great, truly great, are rare and magical things.

But what about perfect movies? I mean, is it possible for a movie to be perfect? 

The short answer is, yes. It is possible for a movie to be perfect. So many things have to go right for this to happen, but it is possible. These things do exist, there just aren't many of them.

Well... this week, we discuss a perfect movie.


Harold and Maude. Damn.

Clarkson summed this up perfectly several years ago. "I don't know anyone who doesn't like 'Harold and Maude, and I don't want to."

Harold and Maude a simple, unconventional love story between a young man with no moorings or place in the world who can only find some sort of connection by faking elaborate suicides for his mother's "benefit," and attending the funerals of strangers. On the surface, he has everything. He's from a VERY rich family and doesn't seem to have a care in the world. But, under that surface he is a lonely and isolated. 

Enter Maude. The exact opposite. An older woman with out a lot of material possessions, but with an unending love and enthusiasm for life. 

We follow their friendship over the course of one week, and see how much of an impact the right person can have at the right time in someones life.

There are so many ways this movie could go wrong, but at every point it stays the course. Change any aspect of it, and it falls apart. One change in casting, one song removed or replaced, one scene longer or shorter and this movie might not work. But, as it stands, everything about it is perfect. The cast could not be better, the visual aesthetics are flawless (and Wes Anderson should be paying royalties to this movie), the music is superb... everything is perfect. 

So, join us for a discussion that is almost completely on topic! Yes, we do discuss the cult film phenomenon and spend a bit of time talking about Highlander and The Boondocks Saints, but aside from that... we are all about Harold and Maude.



Next week,  a new year begins with...

 Spine number 627: The Game

 Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows! 

Right now check it out at

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

If you live outside the US you can call us on Skype at The_Film_Thugs. You can leave a message, or someone might actually answer.

E-mail us at and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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