Home     Friday Night Movies      Contents      Photos      Links      Email   

The Trouble With Harry

A Deliciously Morbid Presentation
at Friday Night Movies:

It's Hitchcock's 107th Birthday!

The Trouble With Harry

Friday the 18th of August

He looked exactly the same when he was alive, only he was vertical.
--Jennifer Rogers (Shirley MacLaine)


USA: 1955 -- Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Jack Trevor Story (novel), John Michael Hayes (screenplay)
Starring John Forsythe, Shirley MacLaine (in her screen debut), Edmund Gwenn, Mildred Natwick, Jerry Mathers (the Beaver!) and Philip Truex as Harry

Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.
--Edmund Gwenn as Capt. Albert Wiles

A busman's holiday for Alfred Hitchcock, this 1955 black comedy concerns a pesky corpse that becomes a problem for a quiet, Vermont neighborhood. Shirley MacLaine makes her film debut as one of several characters who keep burying the body and finding it unburied again. Hitchcock clearly enjoys conjuring the autumnal look and feel of the story, and he establishes an important, first-time alliance with composer Bernard Herrmann, whose music proved vital to the director's next half-dozen or so films. But for now, The Trouble with Harry is a lark, the mischievous side of Hitchcock given free reign.

Hope to see you there. I'll save you an aisle seat and an extra shovel.

Jerry Mathers and Harry


Nominated for a BAFTA Film Award (British Oscars) for Best Film from any Source and Best Foreign Actress (Shirley MacLaine)

Nominated for Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Alfred Hitchcock)

More awards

Memorable Quotes

Captain: A real handsome man's cup.
Miss Graveley: It's been in the family for years. My father always used it... until he died.
Captain: I trust he died peacefully. Slipped away in the night?
Miss Graveley: He was caught in a threshing machine.

Sam Marlowe: You're not supposed to bury bodies whenever you find them. It makes people suspicious.

More quotes

John Forsythe and Mildred Natwick


The film was unavailable for decades because its rights (together with four other pictures of the same period) were bought back by Hitchcock and left as part of his legacy to his daughter. They've been known for long as the infamous "5 lost Hitchcocks" amongst film buffs, and were re-released in theatres around 1984 after a 30-year absence. The others are The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Rear Window (1954), Rope (1948), and Vertigo (1958).

Location filming in Vermont was hampered by heavy rainfall. Many exterior scenes were actually filmed on sets constructed in a local high school gymnasium. Much of the dialogue recorded there was inaudible due to the rainfall on the tin roof, so much post-recording was necessary.

More trivia


Continuity: In the second-to-last scene there is a large wet spot on Jennifer's blouse. A few seconds later, the wet spot is completely gone.

More goofs

Rest in Peace, Harry!