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USA, 1956 (MIFF 1984)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

The trouble with Harry is that he is dead Near a small, picturesque New England town some residents discover a corpse In the course of events it becomes apparent that a few people actually knew this man—and every single one feels responsible for his death.

No one regrets his passing, as he had been a thoroughly bad egg, the main concern now for those involved is how to dispose of the body.

Haye's screenplay was based on a English novel which seemed the perfect vehicle for am morality play in which a serious situation is treated with understated humour. Not many changes were necessary: even the dialogue adhered closely to the original. The English setting of the novel was shifted to Vermont, and Hitchcock made the location as much a part of of the story as the characters, feeling that the sensuous russets and purple of Autumns countryside would counterpoint the plots macabre elements.

Convinced that the project needed no stars, Hitchcock's cast the unknown Shirley McLaine, who had been spotted by associate producer on Broadway. Herbert Coleman in “The Pyjama Game”. John Forsythe's experience was principally that of a stage actor. Other cast members were Hollywood regulars who relished playing major roles. Edmund Gwenn had acted for Hitchcock previously as the jolly assassin in “ Forgien Correspondent”, 1940.

See also...


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Hitchcock's first film in colour, and his first as producer/director, remains one of the most extraordinary technical achievements m the history of the cinema. The entire action takes place within a ... More »


The film's source was a novel by the French virtuoso team, Boileau and Narcejac.Although the psychological murder mystery had been written with the director in mind, he never intended to retain more ... More »


The first version of this thriller, produced in 1934 in England,was a critical and popular success which helped to establish ... Hitchcock's reputation. The storyline, based on a Bulldog Drummond ... More »


Hitchcock took O'Casey's great ... tragedy in his capable stride. His script kept closely tothe play and his casting of Sara Allgood as Juno was an inspiration. An almost unknown film actor, Edward ... More »

Asian Artists in Crystal

The 1956 exhibit of Steuben Glass of the first American crystal engraved with designs by leading contemporary artists of 16 nations of the Near East. ... More »

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