Better Know Your Hitchcock: The Trouble with Harry

the-trouble-with-harry-movie-posterDr. Girlfriend and I are on a major Alfred Hitchcock kick, and we thought we’d take you along for the ride.  We’re going on a tour of some of his most famous films, a journey that’s sure to be filled with thrills, chills and other stuff that people thought would look good on a movie poster.  I’m not going to bother scoring or all out reviewing Hitchcock’s movies because they’re all great, all classics – this is more of an awareness campaign reminding you to check ’em out.  Today, we’re taking a look at The Trouble with Harry.In some ways, 1955’s The Trouble with Harry is my worst nightmare – Santa Claus with a gun!  (Very Futuramaesque)  Yep, Edmund Gwenn is packing in this picture!  So is John Forsythe – except it’s a paintbrush… much to Shirley MacLaine’s delight, I guess.  (a crass comment, I admit, yet necessary.)  Although this very much feels like a theatrical farce, it’s actually adapted from the 1950 novel of the same name.  Oh, and the little kid running around in this flick is The Beaver himself, Jerry Mathers, from Leave it to Beaver, which, of course, featured fantastic dialogue, such as the mother saying to the farther, “Ward, weren’t you a little hard on The Beaver last night?” to which the father would respond, “No dear, I don’t think so.”  CLASSIC TV!  (I know, I know, crass.)  Anyway, back to the farce-like nature of the film:  one character is constantly tripping over the immediately deceased Harry, the cast constantly buries and reburies Harry, there’s a closet door (in the living room?) that keeps opening by itself, which the cast keeps on closing…  Still, most websites refer to The Trouble with Harry as a black comedy, which isn’t wrong, but at least a little surprising.

In many ways, The Trouble with Harry breaks new ground – there’s some frank talk about sexual, nudity, and it’s a black comedy the likes of which hadn’t been seen from Alfred Hitchcock (or anybody)  before.  It’s a very unlikely Hitchcock movie, which is probably why it didn’t do so well in its American theatrical release.  Still, The Trouble with Harry is a fantastic film filled with great performances, beautiful scenery and a sense of fun that even me and my anti-farce agenda could enjoy.

Check out more Better Know Your Hitchcock

Apparently, the movie was originally called Autumn in Vermont.  Go figure.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on August 22, 2012, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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