Monday, 25 November 2013

The Trouble with Harry

THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY (COLOUR, 1955)

Director

Cast
John Forsythe, Edmund Gwenn, Shirley McLain, Mildred Natwick, Mildred Dunnock, Jerry Mathers, Royal Dano, Barry Macollum and Dwight Marfield

Ages
7 and up

Plot
In a meadow in a small town in Vermont, Harry Worp, the husband of Jennifer Rogers (McLain), who hasn’t been staying with her, is found dead. Captain Albert Wiles (Gwenn) thinks he is responsible, and with the help of artist Sam Marlowe (Forsythe), help to bury him. Ivy Gravely (Natwick) thinks she is the murderer, and a few other people stumble pass the body (including Doctor Greenbow (Marfield) and a tramp (Macollom) without paying much attention. And then Marlowe and Rogers fall in love. Then the truth is revealed…

Still of (from left): Shirley McLain, John Forsythe, Mildred Natwick and Edmund Gwenn  

Why it’s good
Because it is the most atypical Hitchcock film ever made. It is definitely the funniest of them all, with a certain little style that is extremely different. It is a comedy without a name. 

Unlike other mystery-comedies, like The Thin Man (1934) and Charade (1963), it has the film directed with more comedy and much less mystery, and the film is in fact unique for its kind. A comedy would be totally new for Hitchcock, and he did it pretty well, with his whodunit becoming a who-didn’t-do-it story with a bang – who-thinks-he-done-it-but-didn’t-do-it-and-who-did-it.

The art world intervenes in the film, and an art critic and a millionaire pop in some time to see Marlowe’s exhibition and the art shop. The art is of the modern style, and the evidence is hidden in one of the paintings: Marlowe’s portrait of the Dead Man.

Trivia:  
Alfred Hitchcock’s personal favourite quote in any of his films was in this film: What seems to be the trouble, Captain?

Parent’s Guide
Practically nothing. There is a romance between Marlowe and Rogers throughout the story.

If you like this…
Other Hitchcock films. None are the same as this film in terms of style and plot. But it is the same director.

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