Harold And Maude - Dates From Hell
Harold's mother has decided that it's time for him to be married. No girlfriends? No problem! She fills out a questionnaire from a computer dating service, reading the questions out loud but filling in the answers herself. She doesn't seem to notice he has taken a gun from its box and is methodically loading the bullets.
This and the scenes of the three dates that Mother sets up were filmed inside the Rosecourt Mansion at 10 Stacey Court in Hillsborough, described in an earlier post. Here's a recent aerial view of the home.
As she prattles on Harold slowly lifts the gun to his temple and pulls the trigger. Neither the percussive bang nor the sight of her son upended on the floor seems to faze her ... "Oh, Harold, puh-leez!", she says, exasperatedly. It was a protest of course and the hilarious dates that follow make clear what Harold thinks of Mother's plan. (Watch this scene here).
First up is Candy, a college student. She can see Harold out in the garden while trying hard to make a good impression with Mother. But when he suddenly explodes in a fireball her shrieking exit is enough to shake up the genteel neighborhood. One down, two to go.
Then ... Next, Edith. She is introduced to Harold in front of the garage at the back of the home. He is finishing up a conversion of a brand new Jaguar XKE roadster, a gift from Mother to replace "...that monstrous thing of yours" - his hearse, into another hearse.
... and Now, the original garage was demolished a few years ago in a remodel that replaced the swimming pool and added a new garage with a second floor addition, seen here in an aerial view. The arrow below points to the spot where the above shot was filmed.
On a trivia note, in 1997 BMW announced its squat Z3 M Coupe; the automaker's design chief reportedly had been inspired by Harold's Jaguar hearse. Here it is ... you decide.
Then ... Mother might have be a little taken aback at the sight of Harold's Jaguar makeover but without skipping a beat she ushers Edith into the house to wait for him to clean up and join them.
... and Now, the home's unchanged entrance is visible from the street.
As Edith perkily describes her job - typing up schedules for chicken feed deliveries - she is given pause when Harold suddenly produces a cleaver and lops off his left hand. Two down, one to go.
The young man is nothing if not creative at feigning death. His next date, Sunshine, "...your third and final chance, please try to be serious, Harold", is an actress. For her he enacts an elaborate hara-kiri ritual in the music room, falling prostrate after plunging the traditional knife into his gut.
But did we say she's an actress? Sunshine sees through the ruse, segues into Juliet's last lines from Romeo and Juliet and plunges the knife into her heart in a fervent performance worthy of enthusiastic applause.