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The Trouble with Harry (1955)

The trouble with Harry is that he's dead, and everyone seems to have a different idea of what should be done with his body.


Alfred Hitchcock


John Michael Hayes (screenplay), Jack Trevor Story (based on the novel by)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
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 Parker Fennelly ... Millionaire
Barry Macollum Barry Macollum ... Tramp
Dwight Marfield Dwight Marfield ... Dr. Greenbow
Shirley MacLaine ... Jennifer Rogers


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A different kind of kick-the-bucket comedy! See more »


Comedy | Mystery


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

3 October 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry See more »

Filming Locations:

Morrisville, Vermont, USA See more »


Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.50 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sir Alfred Hitchcock insisted on using a real actor for the body of Harry. He chose Philip Truex. See more »


When Miss Graveley visits the Captain, we see a case of nautical flags on the wall behind him, with a model ship perched on top. But in the final shot of the scene as Miss Gravely is leaving, the ship is gone. See more »


Miss Graveley: [to Capt. Wiles] I'm grateful to you for burying my body.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits: "The trouble with Harry is over." See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'A' rating. All cuts were waived in 1988 when the film was granted a 'PG' certificate for home video. See more »


Referenced in The Trouble with Cali (2012) See more »


Flaggin' the Train to Tuscaloosa
Lyric by Mack David
Music by Raymond Scott
Sung by John Forsythe (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

No trouble at All
28 July 2005 | by jaywolfenstienSee all my reviews

So it begins, the famous collaboration between suspense maestro Hitchcock and composer legend Herrmann to bring the world . . . a comedy? I went into the film not really knowing what to expect, though with Hitchcock's name I assumed thriller. Within minutes, though, Hitch and Benny helped me shift gears and accept Trouble with Harry for what it is: a tongue-in-cheek ride with a side of murder and a wicked sense of humor and dead on timing.

Within the opening five minutes, my jaw dropped at the sheer ludicrousy of the movie's premise – the offbeat reactions of all the characters to the troubled Harry – and how I laughed at the audacity the film had to throw so many off the wall characters into a situation that grew more and more outrageous with every passing frame and keep running with a straight face.

We get a retired ship captain, an old woman looking for love, a troubled widow, an artist with a taste for the weird, a dead guy, and it only gets more and more strange, folks. The plot? It goes in circles over and over and over again, and not much really happens as this group tries to figure out Harry and what to do with him. Needless to say, The Trouble with Harry walks dangerously close to disaster, but Hitchcock does something remarkable: he lets his style seduce the audience into suspending their disbelief, sitting back, and trusting the master of black comedy.

That is what I love about Hitchcock and about Trouble with Harry – he is so confident in his films and his audience that he knowingly presents the absurd where other filmmakers wouldn't dare go in fear of losing the audience. He knows precisely which ties to reality he can afford to cut free, and he so gracefully and fearlessly lets go of "realism" in favor of his own flavor of the surreal. The Trouble with Harry presents some of the goofiest characters to ever appear on screen with some of the strangest logic-defying ideas, and I love them for it.

How does it work? The film simply resonates with the charms Hitchcock fans have grown to adore – how the grassy hill looked like a set, the witty dialogue between the characters (the captain and Sam cracked me up every time), the mastery of frame composition (loved the first few shots of Harry), and Bernard Herrmann's delightful score that perfectly reflects the tone and feel of the film. Murder never felt so whacky and wonderful. It's that same world of Hitchcock that made us, the audience, forget about logic and realism when we viewed North by Northwest, Psycho, and Rear Window.

Realism is boring. As Sir Alfred, himself, stated, "Most films are slices of life. Mine are slices of cake." And indeed, his world is so much more fun. Screw reality.

This movie is a gem that's easily overlooked since it is a comedy by the "master of suspense." Fans already know he had also mastered the art of black comedy, and the only phrase I need in describing the film to fellow Hitch fans is "pure cinema." The Trouble with Harry is Hitchcock at his best, and it's no trouble at all to sit through.

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