Bud Cort was quite scathing about the final cut of H&M in the New York Times (Dec. 17, 2000):
Q: You've made dozens of films, but to a lot of people you'll always be Harold. Why has the film gained such a cult following?
A: I'm not even going to address that. I'm not interested in doing publicity so that Paramount can sell that movie, because they have treated me like garbage from the word go.
Q: Why? What happened?
A: I got to work with Ruth Gordon, and one of the seminal directors of the 70's, Hal Ashby. But when I first looked at the cut of this movie, it was horrifying, it was a disaster. All the delicious moments were on the floor. Anything moving between me and Ruth was on the floor; the reason I go to bed with her was on the floor. Ashby said:
''I totally agree with you. But they won't listen to me.'' Shortly after that they asked me to come to New York, to the top floor of the Gulf and Western building. There's a huge conference table, and I looked like I was about 4 in those days, and they sat me down at the head of the table and said, ''Bud, we've got eight pages in Vogue, we've got the cover of Rolling Stone, we've got this, we've got that, blah, blah, blah.'' And I said: ''Gentlemen, until this film is recut, not only to my specifications, but to Ms. Gordon's and to Mr. Ashby's, I am not available for any publicity on this film. Thank you very much. Good day.'' And from that moment on I've been persona non grata over at Paramount. I was in Paris a couple of years later, sitting in a cafe, and this woman stopped dead in her tracks and said: ''Oh, my God, we've been looking for you. You've won our French academy award. Didn't Paramount give you the information?'' I don't even receive -- well, I receive a residual check maybe once every two years for $11 made out to Bob Cort for ''Harold and Maude.''
There's actually a brilliantly funny British comic novel about one Humphrey Mackevoy, young man who is sexually oriented toward trees. It's called "A Melon for Ecstasy" (John Fortune and John Wells, 1971; reprinted 2002).
"I am just back from the garden. The moonlight is bright enough to write by, and casts the shadow of my tree - sleeper's head across a pillow - over the page. My thighs are still cold from the bark, and that instrument of my pleasure is tenderly vibrating."
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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