The Trouble With Harry (1955)


Director:  Alfred Hitchcock
Cast:  John ForsytheShirley MacLaineEdmund Gwenn
Plot:  The trouble with Harry is that he's dead, and everyone seems to have a different idea of what needs to be done with his body.

Genre:  Mystery / Comedy
Awards:  Nom. for 2 BAFTAs - Best Film from any source, Best Foreign Actress.
Runtime:  99min
Rating:  PG for weird behavior.


The 'problem' with Hitchcock films is that they are too engaging.  Very often, simple stories are developed into an absorbing myriad of situations and circumstances. 

Hitchcock's legendary talent in directing (he of Psycho, Vertigo, and Rear Window fame) is immensely felt in his unforgettable light-hearted comedic farce, The Trouble With Harry

The film presents a bizarre scenario which gets more mind-boggling as the minutes tick by.  Fortunately, Hitchcock doesn't complicate things too much for the viewer.

It's sometimes a tricky film to watch, but is ultimately, a remarkably impressive feat by Hitchcock to juggle between the complexities of the storyline and to present it in a black-humor style that's funny yet morbid simultaneously. 

The cast is a near perfect character-match with Edmund Gwenn giving an absolutely delightful performance as the bumbling Captain Wiles.  Bernard Herrmann's score sounds just about right for a film as peculiar as this.

Although admittedly, The Trouble With Harry moves at a leaden pace, but the engrossing screenplay supersedes that shortcoming.  Hitchcock fans may not view The Trouble With Harry as a Hitchcock masterpiece. 

It's neither suspenseful nor terrifying; words that are always associated with the legendary director. However, there's simply no substitute for feel.  The Trouble With Harry is full of that trademark feel.  That Hitchcockian one.

GRADE: A- (8.5/10 or 4 stars)

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