Ruth Gordon Film Festival

RORY: Ooh, we could do a Ruth Gordon film festival. Harold and Maude, Rosemary’s Baby, and that really great episode of Taxi.

Ruth Gordon Jones (1896-1985), actress, screenwriter, and playwright. She was known for her nasal voice and distinctive personality, and became most successful in later life, being chosen for major screen roles in her 70s and 80s, and winning several awards. She seems to be a favourite of Rory.

Harold and Maude [pictured], 1971 coming-of-age dark comedy/existentialist drama. Directed by Hal Ashby and written by Colin Higgins, it follows the exploits of Harold (played by Bud Cort), a 19-year-old from a wealthy but emotionally cold family who is obsessed with death. He develops a friendship, later a romance, with 79-year-old Maude (Ruth Gordon), a Holocaust survivor who teaches him about living life to the fullest. It initially received mixed reviews, but became a runaway cult favourite, and is now regarded as one of the best comedies, best romances, and greatest films of all time. Colin Higgins adapted the screenplay into a novel, then a stage play.

Rosemary’s Baby, previously discussed. For this film she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as a Golden Globe Award and a Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award.

Taxi, award-winning sitcom which aired from 1978 to 1983, focusing on the lives of the employees of the fictional Sunshine Cab Company in Manhattan. Ruth Gordon made a guest appearance in the 1979 episode Sugar Mama, playing a woman who tries to solicit one of the taxi drivers as a male escort. She won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

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