The Trouble with Harry (1955)

April 29th, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Alfred Hitchcock | John Forsythe, Shirley MacLaine, Edmund Gwenn, Mildred Natwick | UK Drama 99′

One of the qualities that makes the cinema so satisfying is its ability to preserve precise moments for posterity; qualities displayed in abundance in ‘The Trouble with Harry’, made when Hitchcock was at the peak of his powers, headed a team both talented and loyal (including his initial collaboration with Bernard Hermann) and marked the debut of a fresh young talent in Shirley MacLaine (who turned ninety last Wednesday).

The comic element in Hitchcock’s films is often grievously overlooked but finds probably its fullest expression in The Trouble with Harry. Hitchcock himself was fond of declaring that one of his most fervently held desires had always been to show blood dripping onto daisies (which evidently inspired the truly revolting shot of blood dripping onto a bread roll during a picnic in Chabrol’s Le Boucher, and which Hitchcock had himself already anticipated in the shots of Florence Bates and Jesse Royce Landis subbing out cigarettes in a tub of cold cream and a fried egg in Rebecca and To Catch a Thief respectively); and by locating a tale of grisly murder in idyllic sylvan surroundings ‘The Trouble with Harry’ showed exactly where the wily old fox was coming from. RichardChatten



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