Saturday, July 22, 2017
The Trouble with Harry
So here's this body. This quaint, picturesque locale, colored by autumn, with its leaves in their trees yellow, orange, and brown. The hilly countryside--rural, idyllic splendor--leads to a tiny, sleepy township unencumbered by the traffic of human encroachment. It is quiet, untouched by the busy world.
Harry makes the mistake of choosing to impede upon his wife, who has found this town as her hiding place to escape him. Harry is her dead [first] husband's brother. Harry offered to take care of Jennifer (Shirley MacLaine), and she thought at first it was perhaps for the best considering she had a son. Well she regretted it and fled to this town (Vermont), with Harry eventually finding her.
Trying to get in her home he takes a milk bottle to the noggin. Stumbling, bumbling off, he is in a daze, running into Ivy Gravely (the delightful Mildred Natwick), believing she is Jennifer. Trying to drag her into the bushes, Harry takes a heel to the forehead for his trouble. Tugboat Captain Albert Wiles (Edmunn Gwenn in one of the best roles of his career) really wants to nab a rabbit despite the fact that area he's hunting is illegal (says Royal Dano's deputy sheriff). Three shots go off and Wiles is afraid he hit Harry and killed him. Sam Marlowe (John Forsythe) just can't sell a painting. He's sure it isn't because of the work, but they just continue to accumulate at the front of Mrs. Wiggs' (Mildred Dunnock) general store. If just right millionaire came along... Marlowe takes a walk and finds a dead body, drawing a sketch of his face!
Everytime Wiles hopes to drag away Harry's body, someone comes along and interrupts him! One of the film's greatest joys is Wiles' witty responses to just how many people seem to show up at this particular place, of all inexplicable places, right as he attempts to carry away and bury the body of Harry. And the number of times Harry is buried, dug up, buried and dug up, adds to the absurd nature of just how so many are involved in what appears to be a cover-up of accidental murder. Marlowe is smitten with Jennifer who appears totally okay and not the least bit bothered by Harry's death. In fact she is almost relieved and shirks any sort of emotional reaction to Harry's demise! Marlowe wants to help Wiles bury Harry so that Jennifer won't be connected to his death, going as far as to allow the seaman to continue to believe he is the one responsible!
Then Gravely admits to Wiles, after the two met in the woods at Harry's body, later during a dinner date, she murdered him. Debates on telling the police or not coincide with digging and burying Harry. Eventually you have Marlowe, Gravely, Wiles, and Jennifer trying to figure out just what to do. Meanwhile Dano's deputy seems to be edging closer to the truth. Also stumbling on the body is a bookworm town doc (Dwight Marfield) often so immersed in the literature he trips over Harry, gets up, and continues on!) and a vagrant who takes Harry's shoes!
This ensemble is magnificent. The black humor, subtle and tongue-in-cheek, serves them well because they do it often deadpan and straight, but give enough wink and nod to call our attention to just how not to take it too seriously. How Wiles tries to state his case and convince those that realize he could be in trouble burial of Harry is the best option is just part of the overall black comedy. The exchanges that try to reason why Harry's burial should or shouldn't happen are often clever and surreal. This guy is dead! And what should result in horror and shock instead features indifference, casual reaction, and complete disregard.
And it all takes place on such beautiful canvas. I watched this on a widescreen television in HD and it was an eyeful of lush environs, filling the screen; this is such a rich, multi-color landscape. I was in awe. So not only could I laugh at the back-and-forth between these actors and just remain mouth agape at the audacious main plot, I could view it with such a stunning backdrop. The shovels indeed are put to work. Gwenn's face at the thought of digging up the body yet again had me in giggles. Forsythe and MacLaine have good chemistry and flirt throughout. She can be a bit ADD when conversing with him, her mind stopping in mid-sentence to see if he wants some more lemonade. Her behavior about Harry had me just side-splitting. Just nothing. Harry's dead and she's just okay with it!
I couldn’t help but think of the unease with AI and ongoing development of cybernetic beings created by man, improvements in the field o...
** / **** I agree with others as it came to my mind as well, the fact that NEVER BACK DOWN is an obvious clone of THE KARATE KID about a...
Word of warning: I have added some nude photos so if you do not like seeing a beautiful woman naked leave this blog post now. Barbara C...
* * ½ / * * * * I won't lie, at the opening of BABYSITTER WANTED, I was thinking, "Oh no, not another torture movie." Trut...
Por(Intira Jaroenpura)is a bartender(who deals and abuses drugs)who narrowly escapes a drowning after being pummeled by Ord, her sadistic ...
***/**** The unruly group led by Peter Stegman(Timothy Van Patten) of Abraham Lincoln High are a severe nuisance to teachers and stude...
Dracula's Daughter ('36)
Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)
Mad Love 1935
Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?
Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?
Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.
Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.
Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.
Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [reading card] It's a go, Dr. Go... gol. First thing in the morning.