101 Funniest Screenplays

In 1983, 12 years after its theatrical release, The New York Times reported that Harold and Maude had at last turned a profit. This was largely due to its runaway popularity in college towns and repertory theaters, where its cult following flourished. The story of an unlikely romance between a free-spirited 80-year-old woman and a morbid 19-year-old testing out various modes of suicide, Harold and Maude, became what many comedies strive to be and few achieve: a transcendent commentary on life, not to mention death. Higgins, whose other screenplays include Foul Play, Silver Streak and Nine to Five, began Harold and Maude as his master’s thesis at UCLA film school.