Sunday, September 24, 2006

Busy Body

Hitch Part 6 of 15

While dark comedy is a part of every Hitchcock movie, it is seldom its focus, in fact only twice in his career did the great director set out to make a comedy picture, the first was Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 1941, the second and better known was The Trouble with Harry in 1955. Harry is a kind of screwball comedy about death with British sensabilites. Set in rural Vermont, the movie concerns a number of people who come across the recently deceased body of a man, most of these characters come to think that they were somehow responsable for the persons passing. For example retired Captian Albert Wiles (a beardless Edmund Gwenn) thinks he shot the man while hunting rabbits, while Miss Ivy Gravely (Mildred Natwick) thinks she killed him with the heal of one of her hiking boats, after the disoriented man attacked her in the woods.

While the mystery of what caused the death of the films star corpse (played by actor Philip Truex, who ironicaly at the time of this writing is still alive and 95 years old) must be maintained throughout most of the movie, his identity is quickly reveled. The body is that of Harry Worp, estranged husband of the towns new arriaval Jennifer Rogers (Shirley MacLaine in her film debut). Jennifer is only to glade to have her husband dead, who as a we learn later in the film was the brother of her late first husband, who had fatherd her 5 year old son Arnie (Leave it to Beavers Jerry Mathers). Eventully struggling artist Sam Marlowe (John Forsythe) gets involved, both to romance the widow Rogers and help bury Harry, several times.

Far from typical Hitchcock Harry is a likable novelty, that boasts Bernard Herrmanns first score for the master of suspense. Something I particulary noticed in this, my second viewing of the film (I saw it first in 1999 I belive), was the unusal cutting. on multiple occasions during the course of the film a complet fad to black is made, only to fad back in on the same characters in the same place a short time later. Quite litearly Hitch was 'cuting the boaring parts' out of the lives of these characters, and keeping the action of the film (which take place over the course of roughly 24 hours) at lesuraly but attention maintaining pace. But to me the best part of this film is how all the characters seem to take the events of the day with remarkable stride, it is all really quite delightfull to watch, and worth your 99 minutes.


Post a Comment

<< Home