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The Trouble with Harry (1955)

Edmund Gwenn , John Forsythe , Alfred Hitchcock  |  PG |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Edmund Gwenn, John Forsythe, Shirley MacLaine, Jerry Mathers, Mildred Natwick
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Writers: John Michael Hayes
  • Producers: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: June 20, 2006
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ECX0S8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,505 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Trouble with Harry" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The Trouble with Harry Isn't Over
  • Production Notes
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Academy Award winner Edmund Gwenn, John Forsythe, Mildred Natwick and Jerry Mathers star in this charming comedy mystery. The trouble with Harry is that he's dead, and while no one really minds, everyone feels responsible. Academy Award winner Shirley MacLaine makes her screen debut in this New England romp that includes romance, humor…and several unearthings of the corpse. In The Trouble with Harry, the Master of Suspense proves the range of his genius with a decidedly different work. Edmund Gwenn - 1947 Best Supporting Actor, Miracle on 34th Street, Shirley MacLaine - 1983 Best Actress, Terms of Endearment

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly different mystery comedy from the Master October 6, 2002
    Hitchcock was hardly a one-note director. He functioned in a variety of modes, and while the various films he made possessed a family resemblance to one another, they are not monolithically the same. If one only allows him or herself to enjoy the out-and-out suspense films like NORTH BY NORTHWEST or STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, this could very possibly be a film that will not bring pleasure or enjoyment. But if, instead, the viewer is able to be open to something a little bit different, this film can be a source of unexpected delight.

    I first saw this film as part of the revival of the "Five Missing Hitchcock" Films in the early 1980s, the others being THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (the Jimmy Stewart version), REAR WINDOW, ROPE, and VERTIGO. While VERTIGO and REAR WINDOW were the two films causing the biggest stir, I was pleasantly surprised by THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY. Hitchcock has always vacillated between comedy and suspense, with some films containing more, and others less, of the former. Except for MR. AND MRS. SMITH, however, this film comes the closest of any of his films to pure comedy.

    The trouble with Harry, of course, is that he is dead and won't stay buried. The other trouble is that a vast number of individuals may have had a motive for killing him. But how and why he died is decidedly unimportant. Instead, his corpse provides the basis for a series of mildly complicated situations, as his body is shifted and moved and brooded over.
    This movie was the extraordinarily cute Shirley MacLaine's film debut, and she is enormously fetching in it. John Forsythe plays the male lead, but the woodenness of his performance mars his performance somewhat (for the uninitiated, he later was the voice of "Charlie" on CHARLIE'S ANGELS).
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    20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars I'm the 11-year old Below December 19, 2000
    Format:VHS Tape
    THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY is a morbid [dark] comedy, full of witty dialogue and offbeat performances. It is a masterpiece of dreary atmosphere(set in a beautiful fall country setting)and wonderful realization. It is endearing and feel-good, morbid and dark, and funny yet subtle, too. Alfred Hitchcock does good with this film. Edmund Gwenn is perfect, John Forsythe is intelligent, Mildred Natwick is endearing, Shirley Maclaine is wonderfully offbeat, Jerry Mathers is cute, and Mildred Dunnock is marvelously bland. The soundtrack is very whimsical and sets the mood perfectly. I recommend it to everyone. Also, if you can get hold of the novel of the same name by J. Trevor Story, it is excellent also with many funny additions.
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    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Life, death, sex and lots of laughs August 17, 2000
    Format:VHS Tape
    Hitchcock was always funny, even in his darkest and most suspenseful films, but in this movie he decided to pursue all the comic possibilities lurking in what could have been a horror scenario: a corpse that won't stay buried, feelings of terrible guilt, innocent people falsely incriminated, the usual Hitchcock bag of tricks except that here it's all played for laughs. Something else worth mentioning is that without a single nude scene or crude word, this film manages to be sexier and more outrageous than anything on the screen in this free-and-easy era when film-makers keep trying to one-up eachother with outrageous shock effects. Some of the double-entendres make you laugh with sheer disbelief that they ever got past the censors. At the risk of spoiling a great laugh line, I have to mention one -- "She's a well preserved woman, and preserves have to be opened sometime!"
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    16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars delicious Hitchcock black comedy July 27, 2002
    THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY was a radical departure for Hitchcock, and proved to be a lukewarm success with audiences. Upon re-examination, we can see some of the magic that Hitchcock was trying to achieve with this delicious black comedy.
    Set in the colorful expanse of New England in the glowing hues of autumn, the story is about the troublesome corpse, Harry. Everyone in the sleepy locale believes that he or she may have had a hand in bringing about his demise, but no-one really cares what happens to him. His nonchalant wife (Shirley MacLaine) is already flirting with the handsome artist (John Forsythe) and the rest of the "suspects" also have more important things on their minds. But Harry has a way of popping the most improper of places and circumstances!
    Shirley MacLaine made her auspicious film debut inn the role of Harry's wife (after being spotted subbing for Carol Haney in a performance of Broadway's "The Pajama Game"). Her performance shows what greatness was to follow (acclaimed, award-winning and nominated performances in THE TURNING POINT, TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, IRMA LA DOUCE and THE APARTMENT).
    Mildred Natwick and Edmund Gwenn, as the older lovers, are fantastic and give sly, comedic performances. The film also featuresc a pre-"Leave It To Beaver" Jerry Mathers.
    The DVD includes the featurette "The Trouble with Harry Isn't Over", the trailer and art gallery.
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    10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Offbeat but wonderful Hitchcock November 26, 2000
    Format:VHS Tape
    Shot in a blaze of Autumn colors in Barre and Craftsbury Common Vermont, "Harry" is Hitchcock's black comedy. The story opens with young Arnie Rogers ("The Beaver" Jerry Mathers) discovering a corpse lying in a open field. He runs home tells his air-head mother Jennifer (Shirley MacLaine) what he found. Jennifer thinks she did Harry in, but so does Captain Wiles (Edmund Gwenn) and Ivy Gravely (Mildred Natwick) and as a result, Harry gets buried and dug up so many times we lose track. The film is about how these diffident denizens of a small Vermont town relate, gradually revealing more and more about themselves. The dialog is wonderful, but you have to like films that move slowly with lots of conversation, if you do, you will love "Harry." The photography is magnificent, the beauty of Vermont pours through. Vermont still looks just like it did when "Harry" was filmed, fantastic.
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