My Thoughts On… The Trouble With Harry

Just a quick reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, it may be best to move on!

Synopsis

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… (via IMDb)

What I Liked

  • I watched a lot of Hitchcock films as part of my 31 Before 31 challenge, and for the most part they were typically Hitchcockian: tense, dark and usually with a crime at the crux of the story. This one was a little different; while the plot did centre around a crime (the murder of Harry), The Trouble With Harry is a fantastic black comedy. As I ended up watching quite a few films back to back in order to reach my target, it was nice to take a break from the normal suspenseful stories.
  • The Trouble With Harry is actually really funny. It’s a very dark humour, being Hitchcock, but it did make me laugh out loud. There are some very funny moments as Captain Wiles and Sam bury and unbury Harry a number of times as they try to work out what they are going to do with the body. The plot is driven not by the murder (or lackthereof), but by the relationships between the four characters. The fact that there is a body in the middle of the woods is secondary to the fact that both men fancy their chances with their respective romantic interests.
  • John Forsythe, who plays Sam, is just delightful. It took me halfway through the film to realise that he’s famous for playing Charlie in Charlie’s Angels, as well as Blake Carrington in The Colbys and Dynasty. He’s a bit more suave and sophisticated than the usual Hitchcock hero, but it definitely works here. He pursues Shirley MacLaine’s character, and I just loved him.
  • Considering this film was made in 1955, the innuendo and allusions to sex are quite prominent. The wikipedia page for the film draws attention to the conversation in which Sam tells Jennifer that he wants to paint her in the nude. But I was particularly struck by a conversation that Sam has with Captain Wiles in which they are discussing Miss Gravely, who Captain Wiiles is trying to date. Sam tells him that he’ll be “the first to cross her threshold.” Captain Wiles replies, “It’s not too late, you know. She’s a well-preserved woman, and preserves have to be opened some day.” There;s absolutely no mistaking what this conversation is about!
  • I loved the way this film looks. It’s set in Vermont, and the colours are just gorgeous. It was another nice contrast from Hitchcock’s usual fare, as so many of his films are set in cities, with a lot of darkness usually accompanying the action.

TroubleHarry

What I Didn’t Like

  • I didn’t dislike anything. I loved this film; I was so enamoured with how different it was from the usual Hitchcock films!

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