A French Intelligence Agent becomes embroiled in the Cold War politics first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and then back to France to break up an international Russian spy ring.
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 hunting 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 of whom 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. Captain Wiles also Secretly sees a 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 tells the entire story of what ...Written by
Sam's collar changes from curled to straight in every scene. This could be because the material of his shirt appears to be made out of jersey cloth. See more »
[Discussing Jennifer's recently deceased husband Harry]
You can stuff him, for all I care. Stuff him and put him in a glass case, only I'd suggest frosted glass.
What did he do to you? Besides marry you.
See more »
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 »
In a version seen on commercial television in the UK, several scenes and parts of scenes were cut. Most noticeable was the removal of the scene in which Sam, the artist played by John Forsythe, walks through the village in long shot singing "Flaggin' the Train to Tuscaloosa" (still present in the titles). Also, the doctor's brief appearances up to his final discovery of the body were cut, making Sam's prior inclusion of his name in the list of people who could go to the police rather confusing! This also meant the 'famous' shot used on the posters of Sam and the Captain each holding one of Harry's legs was cut. See more »
A nice attempt at something different, but still an overall failure
Before I begin in earnest on this review, I must point out that in the future, I'm expecting this review to have received many "not helpful" posts. That's because with many famous directors (such as Godard, Bergman and Hitchcock), there is such a perceived aura of greatness associated with their films that they have many rabid followers who will not allow any criticism of any of their films. While I can in some ways respect their loyalty, these fans seem like cult members the way they attack honest attempts to critique the films. In other words, if you disagree with them, it seems to be a personal attack!! Well, here goes--and in a couple years I'll need to check back with this review and see how poorly it faired.
THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY is probably the strangest and most daring film Hitchcock ever made. While he did occasionally inject some comedic moments into some of his films (such as his deliberately including phallic imagery into NORTH BY NORTHWEST, the odd romantic comedy of MR. AND MRS. SMITH and the kooky moments in his last film, FAMILY PLOT), none of his films were as comically dark and absurd as THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY. Additionally, there were no big-name stars associated with it--something only repeated a few times in his films (such as in FRENZY).
The only problem with this experiment is that the overall effort, at least seen more than fifty years later, isn't all that funny nor involving. Sure, I laughed here and then, but rarely were the laughs all that strong and the film seemed rather forced.
In some ways, the film reminded me a lot of a French film, BUFFET FROID, as both were absurdist films. In other words, when events occurred, people responded in completely unpredictable and confusing ways. When people discovered Harry's body, no one seemed the least bit concerned to find a dead man! In BUFFET FROID, after a man's wife is murdered, the murderer meets the husband and confesses--and they both go out on a road trip together! Some think such scenes are brilliant--I just got tired of it after a while because the shock value subsides very quickly and there isn't a whole lot of depth to it.
Now all this isn't to say this is a bad film--after all, I scored it a 6. It's just that it is far from a great film and isn't much better than a time-passer. Cute at times and very strange, the film never rises near the level of greatness. Of interest to the curious and Hitchcock fans--all others may find this one a bit tedious and unfunny.
31 of 47 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this