Friday, May 11, 2012

Random Hitchcock: The Trouble With Harry (1970)

When this movie came out, it caused a bit of a stir because either audiences didn't expect a straight forward black comedy from Hitchcock, or the way that it was marketed from the beginning got the movie going public thinking that this was "unexpected" from Hitch (just take a look at the movie poster).  In any case, if you view Hitchcock's movies to date (1955), it's not really all that unexpected.  He had experimented with dark, and sometimes down right black humor (British humour) in his films even before he made the transition to Hollywood director; he continued to use it throughout the rest of directing career.  So at the time, I don't think this film would have stood out as anything really strange from the director, but the studio system was concerned enough about it to go on an all out campaign to make sure people knew it was still a Hitchcock film....I mean it starred a seriously almost toddler Jerry Mathers for Heaven's sake! [Actually he was 7...he's was just a peanut, like my kid.] It should also be noted that this was Shirley MacLaine's film debut.   Of course, "the trouble with Harry" was that he was dead.  Looking back on Hitchcock's films, it does stand out as actually being different.  For one thing it has some toned down slapstick elements to it--something Hitchcock was never involved with in his film career.  It also has some very twisted moments that are genuinely funny in regards to the multiple hiding of Harry's body!  The only other film that comes to mind that is similar is a "silly" way is last one:  Family Plot.  I would also like to mention that my grandfather Karl was a big fan of this movie.  The south had TBS longer than any other part of the country, and my grandfather lived in Valdosta GA, south of Atlanta.  When TBS was a young cable channel it offered all types of old movie (Shock:  even silent films!), and my grandfather area was apparently one of the first cable companies to carry the station...when they showed this, he wouldn't miss it.  Yes, he was a strange a good way!

Really nice visible gas pump!!

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