Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

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Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.JPG
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Danny Leiner
Produced by Nathan Kahane
Greg Shapiro
Written by Jon Hurwitz
Hayden Schlossberg
Starring John Cho
Kal Penn
Music by David Kitay
Cinematography Bruce Douglas Johnson
Edited by Jeff Betancourt
Senator International
Kingsgate Films
Endgame Entertainment
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
  • July 30, 2004 (2004-07-30)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $9 million[1]
Box office $23.9 million[1]

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (alternatively known as Harold & Kumar Get the Munchies) is a 2004 American stoner comedy film and the first installment of the Harold & Kumar series. The film was written by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, and directed by Danny Leiner.

The story follows Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) as they decide to go to the fast food chain White Castle after smoking cannabis, but end up on a series of comical misadventures along the way.

The film also features Fred Willard, Paula Garcés, Anthony Anderson, Dan Bochart, Ethan Embry, Jamie Kennedy, Bobby Lee, Christopher Meloni, Ryan Reynolds, Shaun Majumder, David Krumholtz, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Malin Åkerman, and Neil Patrick Harris, who plays a fictionalized version of himself.


Investment banker Harold Lee (John Cho) is persuaded by his colleagues Billy and JD to do their work while they leave for the weekend. Elsewhere, Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) attends a medical school interview at the behest of his father but intentionally botches it to prevent getting accepted. Upon arriving home, Harold meets his Latina neighbor Maria (Paula Garcés) but is unable to admit his feelings for her. After smoking marijuana with Kumar, and seeing an advertisement for White Castle on TV, the pair decide to get hamburgers to satisfy their hunger. Traveling to the location of the nearest White Castle, the pair find it has been replaced by "Burger Shack" but are informed that there is another White Castle that is open 24 hours in Cherry Hill.

When Kumar becomes sober, he suggests stopping at Princeton University to buy more marijuana. Kumar buys marijuana from a student named Bradley (Dov Tiefenbach) while Harold deals with Korean students who admire his job. After smoking more marijuana, Harold and Kumar are discovered by a campus security guard and forced to flee, losing their bag of marijuana. While the guards chase the pair, they discover Bradley's bag of marijuana and have him arrested. Harold and Kumar resume their drive, and Kumar pulls over to urinate. He leaves the car door open, allowing a raccoon to sneak in and bite Harold. Harold convinces Kumar to take him to a hospital where Kumar's father and older brother work. Kumar steals ID badges from his father and brother to obtain medical marijuana, but after being mistaken for his brother, Kumar is forced to perform surgery on a gunshot victim. After Kumar treats the man's wounds almost effortlessly, the patient tells them how to reach White Castle and the duo continues their quest.

On the road, Kumar spots Maria. He decides to get her attention so Harold can talk to her, but Harold panics and presses the accelerator, causing the car to crash into a ditch. They are rescued by Randy, a disfigured tow-truck driver, whose nickname is "Freakshow" (Christopher Meloni). He takes them to his house to repair their car, giving them permission to have sex with his wife. Harold and Kumar are propositioned by Freakshow's surprisingly alluring wife (Malin Åkerman), but after Freakshow suggests a foursome, Harold and Kumar flee in disgust. Noticing a hitchhiker along the road, Kumar decides to stop and pick him up. The hitchhiker turns out to be Neil Patrick Harris, who is high on ecstasy. When Harold and Kumar head into a convenience store to get directions, Harris drives away in Harold's car. The duo are then harassed by a racist police officer for jaywalking. Harold attempts to punch Kumar for teasing the officer, but ends up punching the officer instead.

In jail, Harold sees Bradley being released and his stash confiscated. Kumar fakes a 911 call to draw the police away and breaks into the station to free Harold. As the police return, Harold and Kumar flee again, taking Bradley's stash with them. The pair encounters an escaped cheetah, and after smoking marijuana with it, they ride it. They realize the cheetah took them in the wrong direction and consider returning home, but when Harold and Kumar see their Jewish neighbors Goldstein (David Krumholtz) and Rosenberg (Eddie Kaye Thomas) eating at a hot dog restaurant, Harold decides he wants the feeling of satisfaction from achieving their goal. After encountering a group of sport punks who routinely harass the pair, Harold and Kumar steal their truck. A police officer spots the speeding truck and chases them. They briefly elude the officer, but are trapped when they reach the edge of a cliff. Spotting the White Castle below, Harold and Kumar use a hang glider from the truck to reach their destination. The pair place their orders but are disheartened to find they have no money. Harris suddenly appears, and apologizes for his actions, providing them with cash for their meal and for repairs to Harold's car.

Kumar realizes he wants to be a doctor, but is afraid of conforming to the stereotype of Indians becoming doctors. As Kumar is talking, Harold notices his co-workers pull up with two women and gets angry because they said they had to work with clients that night, when they were actually out partying. He confronts them for leaving their work to him, and threatens to report them if it happens again. After returning to their apartment they encounter Maria in the elevator. Harold finally professes his feelings for her and they kiss. She informs Harold that she is leaving for Amsterdam but will return in ten days. Kumar convinces Harold to go with him to Amsterdam to pursue Maria, reminding him that marijuana is legal in the Netherlands.



Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle - Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released July 27th, 2004
Label Bulletproof

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle : Original Soundtrack was released on July 27, 2004. It contains 16 songs from the film.

Track list
  1. "Chick Magnet" - MxPx
  2. "One Good Spliff" - Ziggy Marley / The Melody Makers
  3. "Yeah (Dream of Me)" - All Too Much
  4. "Righteous Dub" - Long Beach Dub All Stars
  5. "Skunk One" - Kottonmouth Kings
  6. "Same Old Song" - Phunk Junkeez
  7. "White Castle Blues" - The Smithereens
  8. "Crazy On You" - Heart
  9. "Cameltoe" - Fannypack
  10. "Kinda High, Kinda Drunk" - Coolio
  11. "Mary Jane" - Rick James
  12. "I Wanna Get Next to You" - Rose Royce
  13. "Hold On" - Wilson Phillips
  14. "Ridin'" - Classic & 86
  15. "5ves" - Heiruspecs
  16. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" - Nicki French

Songs that are in the film but do not appear on the soundtrack include:

  1. "Also Sprach Zarathustra" - David Kitay
  2. "Baby Baby" - Amy Grant
  3. "Ballin' Boy" - No Good
  4. "Click Click Pow" - Lexicon (real song title is "It's the L")
  5. "Warrior Dance" - Zion I feat. Pep Love
  6. "Fall In Line" - Phunk Junkeez
  7. "Faraway" - Dara Schindler
  8. "Gangsta Gangsta" - J. O'Neal / D. Black
  9. "Girl From Ypsilanti" - Daniel May
  10. "Let's Get Retarded" - Black Eyed Peas (this song is the unedited version of their "Let's Get It Started" hit)
  11. "Looney" - Moonshine Bandits
  12. "Mariachi Speier" - Eric Speier
  13. "On the Ganges" - Matt Hirt
  14. "Rock to the Rhythm" - Lexicon (actual song name is "Rock")
  15. "Rock Your Body 2004" - Stagga Lee
  16. "Ooh Wee" - Mark Ronson


Box office[edit]

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $5,480,378 in 2135 theatres in the United States and Canada. In total it had a worldwide gross of $23,936,908.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

The film was positively received by critics, with a 74% rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 147 reviews; the consensus states "The likable leads and subversion of racial stereotypes elevate Harold and Kumar above the typical stoner comedy."[2][3]

Acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film 3 out of 4 stars and wrote "One secret of fiction is the creation of unique characters who are precisely defined. The secret of comedy is the same, with the difference being that the characters must be obsessed with unwholesome but understandable human desires."[4]


Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay is the 2008 sequel to White Castle. The movie revolves around Harold and Kumar trying to get to Amsterdam to find Maria, but when the two are mistaken for terrorists on the plane, they are sent to Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Both Hurwitz and Schlossberg announced plans to write a third Harold and Kumar film, with Greg Shapiro returning as producer, and Kal Penn and John Cho returning in their title roles,[5][6] While Todd Strauss-Schulson directed the film. A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, was released on November 4, 2011 in 2D and 3D.


  1. ^ a b c "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  2. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 2006-08-24. 
  3. ^ "Harold and Kumar official site". Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  4. ^ "Harold and Kumar:Go to White Castle". Roger Ebert.com. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Harold and Kumar 3 Announced". 
  6. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (2008-07-24). "'Harold & Kumar' set for third puff". Variety. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 

External links[edit]