In Harold & Maude, Maude says these words to Harold about age:

Maude: Good time to move on, don't you think?

Harold:I don't know.

Maude: Well, I mean, 75 is too early... but at 85 you're just marking time. You may as well look over the horizon.

So What is the meaning of this words?

2 Answers 2


Maude (age 79) is talking about mortality. The movie's plot is mostly an exploratory into life and death.

mark time

to suspend progress temporarily, as to await developments; fail to advance.

Military. to move the feet alternately as in marching, but without advancing.

With this in mind, Maude is inferring that past the age of 85, life is less significant.

"Look over the Horizon"

The phrase usually means to look beyond. With the context about mortality, this would allude to looking beyond the mortal coil.

She does prefix this by saying that age 75 is too early as her character is very much about enjoying life for what it is. This would indicate that she believes in enjoying life, but dying gracefully.

Maude maintains such a carefree outlook, in strong contrast to Harold's morbidity and is trying to convey this to Harold.

This is very much a foreshadowing of the ending:


She commits suicide by sleeping pill overdose on her 80th Birthday. The main take away is that she believes that 80 is indeed the age to die.


Maude is saying that it's a good time to die. At the age of 75, you still have things to discover, but by age 85, you're just 'marking time' (or waiting while nothing is happening). When she says 'you may as well look over the horizon,' she means since you're done discovering new things on the mortal plane, it's time to look past the curtain of death and see what's on the other side.

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