Classic Film Guide

The Trouble with Harry (1955)

The quintessential "black" humor film from director Alfred Hitchcock. With a story line later copied (poorly, I might add), the "trouble with Harry" is that he's dead and his corpse is a bother. For various reasons, Edmund Gwenn (his fourth & last Hitchcock film), John Forsythe, Mildred Natwick, and Shirley MacLaine (her first film) can't quite decide what to do with the body; they bury it and dig it back up again nearly half a dozen times! Mildred Dunnock, Royal Dano, and Jerry Mathers (the "Beaver" plays MacLaine's son) also appear. This was a labor of love for Hitchcock who particularly enjoyed the nonchalance with which the characters deal with the body. Unfortunately, it was not well received despite the popularity of his TV show at the time, though the director did receive a Directors Guild of America nomination. Written by John Michael Hayes (Rear Window (1954)) from the novel by John Trevor Story.

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