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
The stained glass lampshade that is in the Captain's house was also used for set dressing in Sir Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956). See more »
After he draws Harry's feet, Sam puts the paper block under his left arm with the beginning of his sketch barely visible. (This might be caused by the lighting.) In the next shot as Sam is leaning over Harry's body, the charcoal on Sam's sketch is darker and more complete. 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 »
Black comedy with funny moments , nice acting , gorgeous outdoors and fun dialogue
Amusing and lighthearted suspense story about the apparition a corpse on the countryside and there being many suspicious , causing all sorts of troubles for peaceful neighbors in a rural community . Problems take place in a quiet New England little town when a man's bothersome body is found in the forests . The trouble is that almost everyone in town thinks that they had something to do with his death . As Sam Marlowe (John Forsythe) , Mrs. Rogers (film debut of Shirley MacLaine , and she is marvelous as usual) , Captain Wiles (Edmund Gwenn's fourth and last film with Alfred Hitch) and Miss Gravel (Mildred Natwick , John Ford's usual actress) , all of them are suspicious people and carry out several tricks and antics to disappear the evidences , in fact , Harry gets dug up three times throughout the film . Meanwhile , Deputy Sheriff Calvin Wiggs (Royal Dano), the closest thing to law enforcement in their town attempts to finds out about Harry (Alfred Hitchcock insisted on using a real actor for the body of Harry).
Enjoyable mystery movie involves a motley group of characters who hold numerous tricks in order to disappear a corpse as well as find alibis . Entertaining suspense movie packs humor , intrigue and ordinary Hitch touches . This agreeable and often hilarious picture has some 'Black comedy nature' and results to be an unexpected change of pace from master of suspense . Alfred Hitchcock's films have become famous for a number of elements and iconography : vertiginous height , innocent men wrongfully accused, blonde bombshells dressed in white, voyeurism, long non-dialogue sequences, etc. However in this film there aren't these particularities but contains a fun intrigue and amusing situations . Hitch was famous for making his actors follow the script to the word, and in this movie the characters use their dialogue taken from an interesting as well as fun screenplay by Jon Michael Hayes based on the novel by Jack Trevor Story . Alfred Hitchcock's movies were known for featuring famous landmarks such as Mount Rushmore in North by Northwest and the Statue of Liberty in Sabotage ; however here only appears a quiet small town and some colorful outdoors . Hitch apparently decided to leave this movie location unspecific and without recognizable landmarks and filmed in Vermont , though it was hampered by heavy rainfall , as many exterior scenes were actually filmed on sets constructed in a local high school gymnasium . Alfred Hitchcock once said of this film and of ¨Family plot¨ : ¨they are treated with a bit of levity and sophistication , I wanted the feeling of the famous director Ernst Lubitsch making mystery thrillers ." The film was unavailable for decades because its rights -together with four other pictures of the same period- were bought back by Alfred Hitchcock and left as part of his legacy to his daughter. They've been known for years as the infamous "5 lost Hitchcocks" among film buffs, and were re-released in theaters around 1984 after a 30-year absence. The others are ¨The Man Who Knew Too Much¨ (1956), ¨The rear window¨ (1954), ¨The rope¨ (1948) and ¨Vertigo¨(1958). When Music Composer Lyn Murray was working on the music score for ¨Catch a thief' (1955), Alfred Hitchcock was already looking for a composer for this film, which was to be his next. So Murray suggested Bernard Herrmann. Bernard arranged his whimsical themes from this film into a concert suite he called "A Portrait of Hitch". This was the beginning of the long professional relationship between Hitchcock and Herrmann. Colorful and glimmer cinematography in Vistavision by Robert Burks , Alfred's ordinary cameraman , showing nice autumn outdoors .
The motion picture was well directed by Alfred Hitchcock . Originally designed by Hitchcock as an experiment in seeing how audiences would react to a non-star-driven film and was one of Alfred's favorites of all his films . Although this was a failure in the US, it played for a year in England and Italy, and for a year and a half in France. Rating : Better than average . Well worth watching .
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