Search This Blog

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Trouble With Harry (1955)

It's autumn in Vermont in a small country town and there's a dead body in the woods! A retired sea captain (Edmund Gwenn) thinks he accidentally shot him while rabbit hunting, a spinster (Mildred Natwick) thinks he died after she hit him on the head when he attacked her and his estranged wife (Shirley MacLaine) thinks he was killed after a blow to his head when she smashed a milk bottle over it. So just how did Harry die and does anybody really care? While humor has almost always had a place in director Alfred Hitchcock's films, HARRY is one of this rare actual comedies (MR. AND MRS. SMITH is his only other notable one). But it's a subtle comedy, no pratfalls, no jokes, no hysteria. Not surprisingly, the film was one of Hitchcock's box office failures as its discreet wit was probably too indirect for 1955 audiences. Truth to tell, the film is not entirely successful. There's a charm to it but the film feels a bit self conscious. MacLaine's performance is so assured that you'd never guess this was her film debut. Cinematographer Robert Burks takes full advantage of the gorgeous fall scenery and the playful score is by Bernard Herrmann (his first and the beginning of his 8 film collaboration with Hitch). With John Forsythe, Mildred Dunnock, Royal Dano and Jerry Mathers (LEAVE IT TO BEAVER) as MacLaine's son.

No comments:

Post a Comment