Saturday, July 10, 2010

Why Grey Gardens *May* Be Pushed To My #2 Spot

Pin It I FINALLY watched Harold & Maude. It's been in my netflix queue for forever it seems and so I decided that it was high-time to see it the other night and could not contain my giggles––what a FANTASTIC film. Macabre, irreverent, smart, witty and poignant. I loved this film and I never thought that anything could bump GG off of my #1 slot, but H&M really might be a near close contender.

I couldn't help but notice the set design and costume design. The home was part french, part tudor/gothic; I thought that was an interesting combo, and apropos for the two characters residing within the space. Harold, a death obsessed teenager who wreaks havoc on his emotionally-absent socialite mumsie by concocting elaborate faux-suicide ploys in every corner of their gigantic mansion. Harold observes strangers funerals, drives a hearse, and has a general malaise in regards to life–– that is until he meets Maude. **I'm going to stop there, b/c I don't want to give the whole movie away if you haven't seen it ;)


Vivian Pickles {Mrs. Chasen, Harold's mother} was a TOTAL KNOCKOUT!!! Look at her in the library with that fabulous greek-key turban. I carefully reviewed this scene 3x just to look at that outfit. *I am not nearly over greek-key if you haven't noticed ;)


The film was shot in and around San Francisco––The Chasen's home is actually (in real life), The Rose Court Mansion, which belonged to George T. Cameron, a 20th century San Francisco politician. Most of the scenes were shot in the music room and the library, and the butler that appears in the film was the actual butler on the premises! 

This film was released in 1971, but notice how most everything in the room could easily be used today. The soft green on the boiseries remind me of this issue of Veranda––remember that one? Gadjuzzzzz. 


Harold's sense of personal style is also remarkable. He refused to succumb to his mother's practical sensibilities, so when she did away with his prized hearse, he showed her his counter-culture soul by welding his own version of a Jaguar-hearse. **I gave Harold an air-hi-5 for this ingeniousness ;) 


The 'drawing room' with its shocking pink drapery and  gothic/renaissance revival chairs. 

One of the BEST scenes in the movie––I completely lost it when he pulled this prank and his guests reaction was pure cinema gold. Hilarious!


Here, Harold is coming to deliver what he considers great news to his mother, but alas––she is disapproving yet again, and of course, preoccupied. 

Her room is so feminine, soft and indulgent. Perfect for a high-brow lady, right?


If you haven't seen Harold and Maude, I highly recommend it! Beware, though: It's kinda like a Woody Allen film, you'll either love it or hate it––but if you like satire, exuberant characters and dead-pan humor, you'll love this. Enjoy!




Empress of The Eye said...

This movie has always been on My Top Five list! Don't you wish you could have a machine like Maude's that captured smell?

Great post.

All The Trappings said...

Yes! That was so great!! I also loved her wooden statue--totally cracked me up ;)

I also am a bit, no--completely obsessed with how back in the day {when they made movies that were worth a damn} they would have one singer/band do a soundtrack. In this case, Cat Stevens, which my mom can confirm this, I was ABSOLUTELY crazy over the man. He appeared in my dreams (flew me around the universe), I sang Moonshadow incessantly.......I should stop there ;)

After the bone crushing realization that he was no longer singing, I then set my eyes on Michael Jackson and took up break-dancing ;)

aileen said...

I am putting this movie to the top of my netflix list tonight. You have me already convinced I'm going to love it.
Great post

Anonymous said...

Awww, precious memories of my little Andrea carrying the Cat Stevens Greatist Hits Album up to me & saying "Play Moonshadow Mommy"...she was only two years old:)

Cote de Texas said...

that used to be a favorite of mine too! i'm on vacation for july - i'll be back in august!!!

All The Trappings said...

Aileen--It's on Netflix instant! I think you'll surely dig it :)

Anonymom--That was SO sweet :) Glad I could brink back memories :)

Joni--I thought of you when I watched it. I just knew that it was your kinda film :)



E. Lee said...

probably my all time favorite movie! hilar! just going through your archives!