"The earth is my body; my head is in the stars. "
Of all the endearing wisdom that Maude gave to Harold during their May 1st/December 31st romance, that one seems particularly special given the anniversary of Ruth Gordon's death. She lived to the full age of 88, passing on August 28, 1985. I can't imagine there was a more hilarious woman of her generation. Someone just as likely to teach you the splendors of life as to dose your chocolate mousse... Either way it's "snips and snails and puppy dog's tails!"
There would have been a vast hole left in cinema without Ruth Gordon. We'd certainly never value life and we might even trust the elderly.
Her turn as the nosy Minnie Castevet is so completely delightful. How often can you say that about your neighbors, let alone one who's a Satanist? Her character's devious deeds would be nothing without Gordon's disarming nature. She looks like someone who'd play bridge with your grandma, and you'd kindly eat her inedible desserts. Even if she told me she was responsible for my birthing Satan's offspring, I'd just laugh and force down another slice.
And then there's Maude... Brought to charming life by Gordon, she's one of the most inspirational and life-affirming figures in cult cinema. Greeting card sentiments would wear on most audiences, but Gordon gives them a vibrancy so human that they dig right to the heart. She creates in Maude a spirited memorial to living life to the fullest, while stopping to honor death along the way.
So let's all steal a tree and transplant it in her honor. Here's to Ruth with her head in the stars.
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