There is a dead well dressed man in a meadow clearing in the hills above a small Vermont town. Captain Albert Wiles, who stumbles across the body and finds by the man's identification that his name is Harry Worp, believes he accidentally shot Harry dead while he was shooting for rabbits. Captain Wiles wants to hide the body as he feels it is an easier way to deal with the situation than tell the authorities. While Captain Wiles is in the adjacent forest, he sees other people stumble across Harry, most who don't seem to know him or care or notice that he's dead. One person who does see Captain Wiles there is spinster Ivy Gravely, who vows to keep the Captain's secret about Harry. One person who Captain Wiles sees but doesn't see him back is young single mother Jennifer Rogers, who is the one person who does seem to know Harry and seems happy that he's dead. Later, another person who stumbles across both Harry and Captain Wiles is struggling artist Sam Marlowe, to who Captain Wiles ... Written by
Sam's leaves his newest painting at the roadside stand as he and Wiggie walk to the Emporium. Sam's painting can now be seen leaning against the counter. Wiggie's attention is drawn out the window, where she sees a customer pick up Sam's painting for a closer look; her attention then shifts back to the interior of the store where Sam's painting is still magically leaning against the counter. See more »
[Referring to Harry Worp]
He looked exactly the same when he was alive, only he was vertical.
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The drawings behind the opening credits are by artist Saul Steinberg, reportedly echoing elements of paintings by Paul Klee, whose work Hitchcock collected. Steinberg received no on-screen credit. See more »
The Trouble with Harry could well be one of the funniest films I have ever seen. It's a case of Alfred Hitchcock successfully parodying himself, while in the meantime offering some memorable cinematic moments.
Perhaps the most memorable is the screen debut of Shirley MacLaine, who is extremely cute and animated and fun to watch. It's easy to see why Hollywood fell in love with the elfin elder sister of Warren Beatty. Her performance betrays her inexperience in front of the camera, but you'll be too busy watching her facial expressions to care.
The rest of the cast is also excellent, with the actor who plays the captain deserving special recognition for his calm and cool demeanor throughout.
As far as the script goes, I think David Lynch must have had Trouble with Harry in mind as one of the inspirations for Twin Peaks. The dialogue is hilarious, with non-sequitors coming out of nowhere, as well as one-liners that will have you backing up the DVD/video saying "did I really hear that?" For one thing, the film is surprisingly risque for 1955 -- there's a boob joke involving a statue that could easily fit into an Austin Powers movie, and a pre-Beaver Jerry Mathers gets some of the film's biggest laughs with some perfect comic timing.
It's a mystery to me why this film bombed in its initial release. True, it's leisurely paced in comparison to other Hitchcock films, and there are no scary moments to be found. Instead, this is a film that is fun to watch, and provides laughs at the most unexpected places. Highly recommended.
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