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The Trouble With Harry Reviews

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Bob S

Super Reviewer

March 26, 2007
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.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

September 19, 2007
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?
Graham J

Super Reviewer

November 13, 2011
Hitchcock's black comedy classic is a different direction for the master and he adapts well.
flixsterman
flixsterman

Super Reviewer

January 17, 2009
Hitchcock's delightful but somewhat shallow dabbling into dark comedy featuring a young and absolutely beautiful Shirley MacLaine.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

December 6, 2010
The Trouble with Harry is Hitchcock at his most playful. It is also possibly his best cast. If you don't find the dark comedy funny, then you can at least appreciate the fantastic performances, particularly from Edmund Gwenn, John Forsythe and Shirley MacLaine, in her excellent motion picture debut. This movie has influenced many a film, not all great but the 'Comedy of errors' was born, yet another example of a genres practically invented by Hitchcock. Great stuff!
AJ V

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
One of my top favourite Hitchcock movies because it's not just a thriller and not just a comedy, but it's a dark comedy. I love it, and I highly recommend it.
Conner R

Super Reviewer

April 29, 2010
The most underrated Hitchcock film ever made, an absolutely brilliant work of art. It‚??s really the birth of Black Comedy and still one of the best. The cast is perfect, no names at the time, but they know exactly what they‚??re doing and really make the script work. This is also one of the few times I‚??ve thought Hitchcock‚??s love for indoor sets was as effective as he planned them it to be. The fake looking town just adds to the hilarious nature of the plot. You‚??d think by the premise that it would be a horror movie too, when else do bodies get dug and buried six times? I think this is the most personal Hitchcock ever got in his films because you can see exactly where he was going and what he wanted to say by making this.
Lady D

Super Reviewer

April 20, 2007
A dark comedy that is a truly underestimated Hitchcock film, but perhaps one that is more of an acquired taste depending on your humour. It is a tad corny in places, but love the dryness of the comedy throughout whilst dealing with a pretty grim and dark subject matter.

Although I haven't rated it really highly this has still become an instant favourite for me.
William S

Super Reviewer

September 20, 2007
Well we know that The Trouble With Harry is not a thriller - it's billed as a black comedy but the real trouble with The Trouble With Harry is that it is neither very black and is never comic. And only mildly entertaining for most of it's length. At times the story is so tedious and irritating you suspect Hitch may have nodded off more than once. Edmund Gwenn witters on interminably - thinking aloud continually till I want to scream. Add to that John Forsythe's laughable (in the wrong way) faux-bohemian artist and I usually reach for the fast-forward. But...
Over the years I have found it hard to completely dismiss. I find myself drawn to it on rainy Sundays or cold winter evenings - the cinematic equivalent of a hot toddy and a warm rug? Bob Burke's Technicolor photography is so beautiful - the rich Autumnal shades of red, yellow and brown are complimented by Bernard Herrmann's richly evocative score - this is Herrmann's first score for Hitch and it is quite possibly my favourite he wrote for him.
The women are great. Mildred Dunnock as the brusque shopkeeper, Mrs Wiggs, is only a very small role but she leaves a lasting impression. Mildred Natwick as the lonely spinster Ivy Gravely is lovely. The scene where she buys a teacup and the care and thought she attaches to the purchase is quite touching and a little sad but is soured by Sam Marlowe's patronising and mocking of her - sneering at her deceit about her age, getting Wiggy to cut her hair [chopping it off!] and telling her to wear more make-up!. I enjoyed Shirley MacLaine's debut as well - her tomboy-single-mother is far too good for the smug and annoying Sam Marlowe!
Don't be too hard on The Trouble With Harry. It's not ALL bad - just don't go into it with high expectations and you won't be that disappointed.
Ken S

Super Reviewer

April 19, 2007
The only thing sharper than the colors is the wit.

Reminds me of a Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Forum...only British
jjnxn
jjnxn

Super Reviewer

August 23, 2007
Anything by Hitchcock is worth a look but this is a rather silly enterprise.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

August 10, 2007
This movie is fantastic. I don't think anyone except Hitchcock could have made such humour out of a dead body. Shirley MacLaine (in her first role) is delightful and Edmond Gwenn perfect. You'll see a young Jerry Mathers pre-dating Leave it to Beaver by a few years. Don't miss this little gem, it's as funny today as it was in 1955 and I suspect for a long time to come
Pierluigi P

Super Reviewer

May 30, 2007
A black comedy done by the master himself. tons of charm, wit, and sarcasm. nostalgic all the way.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

March 19, 2007
Now he's just messing with us! Hitch always claimed Psycho was a comedy, and here he has great fun with a motley collection of characters trying (and failing!) to dispose of a corpse. This black comedy is Hitch at his most playful.
Jeremy S

Super Reviewer

May 21, 2006
Alfred Hitchock what were you thinking?
Michael G

Super Reviewer

November 5, 2006
Beautiful scenery and a hilarious movie as well.
Aaron N

Super Reviewer

August 6, 2006
A Hitchcock comedy, and a very funny one. It involves a body and several characters that bury it and unbury it. It is very funny, very sweet, and has a wonderful score.
Alec B

Super Reviewer

June 8, 2012
I can see the appeal of a Hitchcock directed black comedy, but I don't think this film delivers anything worthwhile. The humor is awkward and while the indifference of the characters is interesting it also makes the stakes feel extremely low.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

March 17, 2011
"...he was awful dirty after we'd dug him up."

A minor Hitchcock film, to be sure, but not without its pleasures - chief among them Shirley MacLaine's brilliant line delivery and a witty script. There's precious few Hitchcockian flourishes here and the tone ("a romantic comedy that just happens to feature a corpse" states the trailer) is not what you'd expect from The Master of Suspense, but it's often funny and the final act is rather splendid.
Curt C

Super Reviewer

June 27, 2006
The trouble with Harry is, well, he's dead; and nobody knows quite what to do about it. This is probably the best black comedy I've ever seen, and it just comes to life with a sensational cast (Shirley MacLaine - the original hotty), quirky characters, sharp dialogue, beautiful scenery, and lovely music. One of Hitchcock's most overlooked.
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