IMDb > The Trouble with Harry (1955)
The Trouble with Harry
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The Trouble with Harry (1955) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   20,202 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
John Michael Hayes (screenplay)
Jack Trevor Story (based on the novel by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Trouble with Harry on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 October 1955 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A comedy about a corpse. See more »
Plot:
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... Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(90 articles)
User Reviews:
Cinema's Best Shaggy Dog Story See more (137 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Edmund Gwenn ... Capt. Albert Wiles

John Forsythe ... Sam Marlowe

Mildred Natwick ... Miss Ivy Gravely

Mildred Dunnock ... Mrs. Wiggs

Jerry Mathers ... Arnie Rogers

Royal Dano ... Deputy Sheriff Calvin Wiggs
Parker Fennelly ... Millionaire
Barry Macollum ... Tramp
Dwight Marfield ... Dr. Greenbow

Shirley MacLaine ... Jennifer Rogers
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernest Curt Bach ... Ellis (uncredited)

Alfred Hitchcock ... Man Walking Past Sam's Outdoor Exhibition (uncredited)
Philip Truex ... Harry Worp (uncredited)
Leslie Woolf ... Art Critic from the Modern Museum (uncredited)
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Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock 
 
Writing credits
John Michael Hayes (screenplay)

Jack Trevor Story (based on the novel by)

Produced by
Herbert Coleman .... associate producer
Alfred Hitchcock .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Bernard Herrmann (music score)
 
Cinematography by
Robert Burks (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Alma Macrorie 
 
Casting by
Bert McKay (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
John B. Goodman  (as John Goodman)
Hal Pereira 
 
Set Decoration by
Sam Comer 
Emile Kuri 
 
Costume Design by
Edith Head 
 
Makeup Department
Wally Westmore .... makeup supervisor
John Hall Jr. .... makeup (uncredited)
Maria Stevens .... hairdresser (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Hugh Brown .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
Frank Caffey .... production manager (uncredited)
C.O. Erickson .... unit production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Howard Joslin .... assistant director
Ralph Axness .... assistant director (uncredited)
Herbert Coleman .... second unit director (uncredited)
Edgar Fay .... assistant director (uncredited)
Bernard McEveety .... assistant director (uncredited)
Bernard Wiesen .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
William Crider .... nurseryman (uncredited)
John Ferren .... paintings: Sam's (uncredited)
Ed Goldstein .... leadman (uncredited)
F. Goldstein .... props (uncredited)
Gene Lauritzen .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Dominic Mautino .... painter (uncredited)
Robert McCrillis .... prop master (uncredited)
Fred Simpfenderfer .... nurseryman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Winston H. Leverett .... sound recordist (as Winston Leverett)
Harold Lewis .... sound recordist
Jim Miller .... sound (uncredited)
Ad Tice .... sound (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
John P. Fulton .... special photographic effects
Scott Dougherty .... digital restoration producer: Cinesite (uncredited)
Jerry Pooler .... digital restoration supervisor (uncredited)
Tiffany Smith .... digital restoration coordinator: Cinesite (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Charles Austin .... camera operator (uncredited)
Bill Avery .... still photographer (uncredited)
Gordon Fleming .... grip (uncredited)
James Grant .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Bobby Greene .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Norbert Haring .... grip (uncredited)
Chas. Wayne Hendrickson .... electrician (uncredited)
Warren Hoag .... electrician (uncredited)
Hayden Hohstadt .... grip (uncredited)
Edward Horton .... camera operator (uncredited)
Vic Jones .... gaffer (uncredited)
Lon Massey .... electrician (uncredited)
William Miller .... assistant camera (uncredited)
S. Nannes .... assistant camera (uncredited)
John Nostri .... grip (uncredited)
William Schurr .... second camera (uncredited)
Mike Semenario .... grip (uncredited)
Frank Serjack .... still photographer (uncredited)
George Sherman .... grip (uncredited)
Jack Sherman .... electrician (uncredited)
Fred Sigle .... camera mechanic (uncredited)
Leonard J. South .... camera operator (uncredited)
Walt Taylor .... best boy (uncredited)
Darrell Turnmire .... company grip (uncredited)
Paul Whitson .... generator operator (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Olive Long .... casting secretary (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ed Fitzharris .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Richard Mueller .... Technicolor color consultant
P. Guare .... publicist (uncredited)
William Lord .... auditor (uncredited)
Saul Steinberg .... title illustrator (uncredited)
Dorothy Yutzi .... script clerk (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
99 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.50 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG | Chile:14 | Finland:K-12 | Ireland:PG | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/12 | Spain:13 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) (2002) | USA:PG | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate no. 17335) | West Germany:12 (nf)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Bernard Herrmann's score was Alfred Hitchcock's favorite of the seven films they did together.See more »
Goofs:
Boom mic visible: When Sam and Jennifer are talking in Jennifer's house, the shadow of the boom mic can be seen moving across the top of the doorway behind Sam.See more »
Quotes:
Capt. Wiles:Coming home from Madagascar once we had a fireman on board who hit his head on a brick wall and died two days later.
Sam Marlowe:Where did he find a brick wall on board a ship?
Capt. Wiles:Mmmm... that's what we always wondered.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Hitchcocked! (2006) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Flaggin' the Train to TuscaloosaSee more »

FAQ

What is the trouble with Harry?
Shirley MacLaine---When Did She Sign For "Harry"?
Does Hitchcock have a cameo in this movie?
See more »
86 out of 96 people found the following review useful.
Cinema's Best Shaggy Dog Story, 5 September 2005
Author: Holdjerhorses from United States

With all humor, you either get the "joke" or you don't. If you don't, no amount of explaining can change your mind. If you do, the details are endlessly enjoyable.

Part of the joke that's "The Trouble With Harry" is that "nothing happens." Hitchcock's "anti-Hitchcock" film defies expectations for action, shock, mayhem, suspense, spectacular climaxes on national monuments, etc. Instead, it's a New England cross-stitch of lovingly detailed writing, acting, photography, directing and editing.

Saul Steinberg's title illustration tells you exactly what you're in for. One long pan of a child's drawing of birds and trees . . . ending with a corpse stretched out on the ground as "Directed by Alfred Hitchcock" briefly appears.

So meticulously is "The Trouble With Harry" conceived, the only two images in the title art that are NOT trees, plants or birds are a house with a rocking chair on its porch and that corpse. The film literally plays in reverse of the title sequence -- from little Arnie's (Jerry Mathers, pre-Beaver. The boy who drew the titles?) discovery of the corpse, back to the home with the rocking chair, as Hitchcock's final "joke" puts the audience safely to bed. A double bed, in this case.

What's the film about? Oh, Great Big Themes like Life and Death, Youth and Age, Love and Hate, Guilt and Innocence, Truth and Lies, Art and Pragmatism -- packaged with deceptive simplicity.

The "hero," Sam Marlowe (John Forsythe), is an artist. The man the "child" who drew the titles (Arnie, or someone like him) might have become. His name is an amalgamation of two of hard-boiled fiction's greatest detectives: Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe. Indeed, Sam Marlowe functions here as a "sort of" detective. But enough of pointing out the detailed construction of this script and film: repeated viewings yield far greater pleasures.

"Introducing Shirley MacLaine" in her first screen role threw that enduring actress into an astounding mix of old pros: Edmund Gwenn, Mildred Dunnock, Mildred Natwick and Forsythe. That MacLaine held the screen then, and still does 50 years later (name another major actor who can say that), validates Hitchcock's astute casting.

In fact, TTWH is a tribute to cinematic "acting" as much as anything else. These are among the finest performances ever captured of these terrific actors. Since there are none of the expected "spectacular" Hitchcock sequences, nor his nail-biting tension, all that's left is for the actors to fully inhabit their characters.

That they do with brilliance, efficiency and breathtaking comic timing. No pratfalls here. Just nuances.

Edmund Gwenn and Mildred Natwick are the real stars. Had Hitchcock said so, the film would never have been produced. Their scenes (they receive as much if not more screen time together than Forsythe and MacLaine) are possibly the most delightful (and yes, romantically and sexually tense) ever filmed of courtship in middle-and-old age. Perfectly realized in every intonation and gesture. Occasionally laugh-out-loud funny.

Theirs is paralleled by the courtship of the younger "stars," Forsythe and MacLaine. "Love" at both ends of life, young and old, and love's wonderful humor and mysterious redemption, even in the face of death -- that inconvenient corpse on the hill.

Perhaps the most surprising and powerful undertow in "The Trouble With Harry" (one hesitates to name it because it's handled so delicately) is Sex.

It is only barely present in the lines given the characters, but the subtext is always there. Occasionally, it boils over into an infinitely subtle burlesque, as in the exchange between Gwenn and Forsythe about crossing Miss Gravely's (get that name?) "threshold" for the first time.

The look in Gwenn's eyes and the repressed joy and romantic hope in his face -- even at his stage of life -- is bliss.

The coffee cup and saucer "for a man's fingers;" the ribbon for Miss Gravely's newly-cut hair (Wiggy cuts it in the general store -- Mildred Dunnock in another unbelievably subtle performance -- muttering, "Well, I guess it will grow back."); Arnie's dead rabbit and live frog; the constantly shifting implications of guilt in the death of "Harry" up there on the hill; the characters' struggles to regain innocence by "doing the right thing"; the closet door that swings open for no apparent reason (never explained); the characters' revelations of the truths about themselves; their wishes granted through Sam's "negotiations" with the millionaire art collector from the "city" -- ALL portrayed within the conservative but ultimately flexible confines of their New England repression and stoicism (yes, the film is also a satiric comment on '50s morality) -- these details and more finally yield a rich tapestry of our common humanity, observed at a particular time and place, through specific people caught in an absurd yet utterly plausible circumstance.

Nothing happens? Only somebody who doesn't know how to look and listen -- REALLY observe, like an artist / creator -- could reach that conclusion about "The Trouble With Harry." Only a genius, like Hitchcock, would have the audacity to pull the rug out from under his audience's expectations at the height of his career by offering a profoundly subtle morality play in the guise of a slightly macabre Hallmark Card.

When the final "revelation" arrives, in the last line that takes us home to the marital bed where love culminates and all human life begins -- yours and mine -- and draws from us a happy smile of recognition, so Hitchcock's greatest secret is revealed, more blatantly in this than any of his films.

"Life and death -- and all of it in between -- are a joke! Don't you get it?" It's there in all his pictures. Nowhere more lovingly and less showily presented than in "The Trouble With Harry." Thank you, Hitch.

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I didn't get the joke at the end MaX_Zusman
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