7.1/10
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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.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

John Michael Hayes (screenplay), Jack Trevor Story (based on the novel by)

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

SOMEBODY PULLED A CROAK JOB! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.50 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was unavailable for decades because its rights (together with four other films of the same period) were bought back by Alfred Hitchcock and left as part of his legacy to his daughter Patricia Hitchcock. They were known for years as the infamous "five lost Hitchcocks" among film buffs. The films were re-released in theaters in 1984 after an approximately 30 year absence. The others are Rope (1948), Rear Window (1954), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) and Vertigo (1958). See more »

Goofs

When the foursome leave Jennifer's house, the cupboard door opens by itself. However, when they return, it is closed. See more »

Quotes

[Discussing Jennifer's recently deceased husband Harry]
Jennifer Rogers: You can stuff him, for all I care. Stuff him and put him in a glass case, only I'd suggest frosted glass.
Sam Marlowe: What did he do to you? Besides marry you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

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

 
Outlandish black comedy from Hitch, a failure when released as it was probably a little ahead of its time.
10 April 2005 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

The Trouble With Harry is a comedy film about a dead body. Alfred Hitchcock makes the macabre concept deliciously funny and entertaining in his unique style. Helping Hitchcock to turn this unlikeliest of premises into an enjoyable film are Bernard Herrmann (providing fabulous music scoring), and a cast of winning actors who judge to perfection how far to push their tongues into their cheeks.

A dead body turns up on a patch of grass near the top of a wooded New England hill. Various people have reason to believe that they're responsible for the man's death. Septugenarian ex-sea captain Albert Wiles (Edmund Gwenn) is worried that he might have accidentally shot the man while hunting for rabbits. Old spinster Miss Gravely (Mildred Natwick) fears that when she whacked the man over the head with her shoe, she may have done more damage than she intended. And single mother Jennifer (Shirley MacLaine) has even greater cause to feel responsible, for she is the dead man's wife. During an argument, she smashed a bottle over his head and is now almost sure that he died as a result. Local artist Sam Marlowe (John Forsythe) decides to help his neighbours to cover up the crime, but after burying and digging up the corpse several times, the truth behind "Harry's" death is finally revealed.

No Hitchcock film divides viewers more than this one. Some consider the film a masterpiece of understated black comedy; others deem it a plot less, pointless time-waster. The film was a fairly massive box office flop at the time (audiences obviously felt from the movie poster that they were going to see a murder mystery, and were disappointed to actually find themselves experiencing a bizarre, off-kilter black comedy). In retrospect, I'd say The Trouble With Harry is a great film that was probably a good two decades ahead of its time. The performances are wonderfully outrageous, especially the elders (Gwenn and Natwick) who give perceptive comic turns that actors nowadays just don't seem to have the range to do. Forsythe and MacLaine are delightful too (the latter in her movie debut), and Royal Dano rounds off the cast as a gullible cop who nearly finds out that the other four have been up to no good. There's no doubt that The Trouble With Harry is an acquired taste; but if this taste is to your liking then you're in for a delectable treat!


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