Trouble with Harry, The (1955)

The Trouble with Harry (1955), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Harry's dead and several people think they may have killed him. No one is terribly distressed, but they would like to get him out of the way without too much fuss or police involvement.

The "hide the body" plot is actually background to budding romances between young people John Forsythe and (introducing) Shirley MacLaine, and geezers Edmund Gwenn and Mildred Natwick. The gimmick is the insouciant attitude everyone has about the murder.

It's a gorgeous looking picture with lovely New England autumn foliage. The landscape is practically another character in the story, which is unusual for this director.

The problem is the pacing: comedy requires certain energy and speed. This is more casual. We also have the odd insertion of the unfunny sheriff. They try to mock him but that isn't funny either.

Much quick witty dialogue:


[Forsythe to Gwenn, about dating the spinster]: You realize you'll be the first man to... cross her threshold?


[Forsythe, earnestly]: I'd like to paint you nude.

[MacLaine, politely]: Some other time.


[MacLaine, describing her frustrated wedding night]: I had worked myself into a certain enthusiasm---

[...and later, on being kissed]: Lightly, Sam. I have a very short fuse.

Note the bad day-for-night shot of the large burial party returning home. Everyone squints against the glare of the supposed twilight.

Edith Head costumes. Light, lyrical Bernard Herrmann score.

Available on Blu-ray, once of the best looking Hitchcock discs I have seen so far. Excellent color and detail.