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The Trouble With Harry (1955)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 13,191

My Rating

Movie Info

The trouble with Harry is that he's dead. The scene is a autumnal Vermont village, where a pre-Leave It to Beaver Jerry Mathers stumbles upon Harry's corpse in the woods. Mathers alerts his mother Shirley MacLaine (making her film debut), who recognizes Harry as her ex-husband. Later on, retired sea captain Edmund Gwenn likewise comes across the moribund Harry. Both MacLaine and Gwenn have reason to believe that they're responsible for Harry's demise; MacLaine thinks that she killed Harry by


Mystery & Suspense, Classics, Comedy

Mar 6, 2001

MCA Universal Home Video

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (2) | DVD (13)

This latest of Mr. Hitchcock's efforts is a curiously whimsical thing.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the absolute funniest movies of the 1950s, not least because it is perhaps the most puckish.

September 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

A spirited irreverence about the power of death pervades. Think of this as a relief valve compared to most of Hitchcock's other films.

May 27, 2011 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm

I love it. I've seen it more times than just about any other Hitchcock.

May 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

highly entertaining romantic comedy that still has the Hitchcock touch--a dark comedy using a dead body as the central MacGuffin

February 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

Beautifully subtle suspense with a sprinkle of black humor.

December 12, 2005

It's not helped by the wooden performances of the leads.

May 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (2)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Hitchcock does comedy! MacLaine's film debut.

March 7, 2004
Atlantic City Weekly

Very underrated black comedy from Hitchcock is really one of his best works.

November 24, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Despite the artifice, or perhaps partly because of it, the film manages to be enjoyable.

May 29, 2003 Full Review Source:

Hitchcock's comedic charms shine in this delightful story about a corpse that just won't stay buried.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

This is a quirky and surprisingly low-key comedy that's more amusing than funny; it's witty, but rarely hilarious.

March 22, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for The Trouble With Harry

No lost masterpiece here - slightly amusing Hitchcock black comedy. The male leads are leaden but Shirley MacClaine is smart sexy quirky cute right out of the gates.
April 14, 2007

Super Reviewer

This is a delightfully twisted film from old Mr. Hitchcock. Set in a small Vermont town during autumn, this is a mystery/comedy centered around a dead body.

A man named Harry is found dead by a small boy who immediately goes and tells his mom. As she and others happen upon the corpse, they all, for different reasons, think they are to blame in some way for his demise. What follows then are their many attempts to hide the body and cover their tracks as the threat of being caught looms over head.

This is somewhat atypical Hitch because it is the closest he ever came to overt comedy. Granted, it's about a corpse, and the bulk over the humor is of the dry, and darkly morbid variety, but still, even with some suspense, this is a rather lighthearted affair. It's got a good set up, and some wonderful moments, but I do think the ending is rather problematic, mostly because it seems rushed and tacked on. Everything else though is fine.

We get a good cast and some fine performances from this one too. A young Jerry Mathers plays the little boy, his mom is played by then 20 year-old Shirley MacLaine in her film debut, and Edmund Gwenn, John Forsyth, Mildred Natwick, and Royal Dano round out the key players and suspects. With the technical stuff, we get some good cinematography, and real nice visuals, some of which come off as really painterly and picturesque, which is fitting given that art plays a sizable role here. There's an enjoyable and playful score from Bernard Herrmann, and the overall mood and tone make this movie a real off-kilter treat.

It's not the best, and I might be somewhat inflating my grade, but this film gets a lot right, and it is supremely enjoyable, so, if it's not too much *trouble*, try to give it a watch, okay?
November 16, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Hitchcock's black comedy classic is a different direction for the master and he adapts well.
December 11, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Hitchcock's delightful but somewhat shallow dabbling into dark comedy featuring a young and absolutely beautiful Shirley MacLaine.
November 1, 2011
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Immer Ärger mit Harry (DE)
  • The Trouble With Harry (1955) (UK)
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