Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Trouble With Harry

Little Arnie (Jerry Mathers) is the first to discover Harry's body in the opening scene from the film

So I'm slightly obsessed with the fabulous Alfred Hitchcock and it was only a matter of time until I reviewed one of his films, so I thought why not do it now.

Last week I was watching a documentary on his film-making style and the people who spoke on it were directors of today who talked about their favourite films of his and so on. At one point they brought up his 1955 film, The Trouble With Harry and mentioned how Hitchcock decided to try something new by making a comedy. Of course I was quite intrigued by this as Hitchcock is of course the master of suspense; not comedy! So the following day I grabbed a copy from work and watched it that night.

Naturally going into it I was a little weary not knowing what to expect from my favourite director. The beginning was actually rather humorous, I chuckled quite a bit.
The story revolves around a dead man's body who goes by the name Harry and what makes the story so unusual is the fact that no one really seems to mind that he's dead. In fact one character doesn't even notice him when he's walking around engulfed in his book. He trips over him more than once only to apologise and to continue on walking and reading. Even a homeless man takes Harry's shoes and casually walks away.
What makes it slightly Hitchcock is the Whodunit? storyline. Some characters think that it may be them, others are not really sure who it was, either way, the audience are left guessing. When the character Captain Albert Wiles (Edmund Gwenn) believes it to be him that murdered Harry, his fellow character Sam Marlowe (John Forsythe) is more than happy to help him bury the body and forget the whole thing happened so he can go off and be with Harry's wife, Jennifer Rogers (Shirley MacLaine), who also couldn't careless about the death of Harry.

The story is a clever one and quite original but I couldn't help but feel disappointed as I just really wanted to feel like I was watching a Hitchcock film but that just wasn't the case. I'm sure if it was made by another director I would have enjoyed it far more, but I'm just too attached to Hitchcock's suspenseful style. The second half of the film also got quite tedious and I was kind of hanging out for it to finish, which is never a good thing.
I think I can forgive poor old Alfred though as he did make many fabulous films following The Trouble With Harry, so I think he made up for it.

Rating 2.5/5

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