The Trouble With Harry (Alfred Hitchcock, 1955)

31Jul10

Edmund Gwenn (Capt. Albert Wiles), John Forsythe (Sam Marlowe), Mildred Natwick (Miss Ivy Gravely). Screenplay by John Michael Hayes. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Rating: PG. Running time: 99 minutes.

God this is boring. I actually hated this film. The still I picked above is about as visually striking as it gets, and the plot line is just as dull. What made Hitchcock think this would be funny? It’s dark humour of some sort, and maybe in the 50s it would have been amusing. But to me, today, it’s about as funny as I’m expecting Triumph of the Will to be when I finally get around to watching it.

It really is this mind-numbingly simple: a body appears in the New England countryside, and three different locals from the nearest village think they are the ones that caused the man, Harry’s, death. None of them give a damn that he is actually dead, not even his wife (ha – is this supposed to be funny too?) But one thing they do all care about is stopping the police finding out at all costs, leading them to burying, digging up, reburying and then bath-tubbing the body, again in a way that’s somehow supposed to be laugh-out-loud calamitously hilarious.

In the end we find out the guy actually died from natural causes, so it was all a waste of time anyway. Sorry, I just ruined the ending. Rest assured that if you’re a serious man, you’ll give about as much of a damn that I spoiled this bore as Harry’s wife did that he was dead. This really is awful, awful stuff.

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