Monday, November 07, 2011

My Halloween: The Trouble With Harry

Thanks to a healthy dose of professional-grade guilt trip served up by mom, I spent Halloween night at my parents' house helping my dad hand out candy. My mom couldn't be there because she was at the rehabilitation facility with my grandmother because my grandmother had guilt-tripped my mom into staying until she (my grandmother, not my mom) went to bed for the night.  It's true what they say--guilt rolls down hill.
But the night before Halloween, RR and I celebrated by watching The Trouble With Harry, our favorite Hitchcock film.  
It's not a Halloween movie, but it is a fall movie, and it seemed appropriate.  I haven't met many people outside of my family who like this movie, and I think it has something to do with expectations.  This movie isn't like any other Hitchcock movie other than the fact that the sense of humor that runs through it.  It's not a suspense movie like Rear Window or a scary movie like Psycho.  It's a comedy, the only one Hitchcock ever made to my knowledge.  But TTWH is a black comedy, and that may be another reason some people don't like it.  

Not a lot happens in the movie (one more reason some people may not like it); the whole point of the movie seems to be to showcase the quirky inhabitants of a picturesque New England town.  The trouble with Harry is that he's dead, and nobody is quite sure what to do about it, and the question of how he died and, more importantly, what to do with his body are basically the entire plot of the movie.  I can't explain why we like the movie so much, but it might be because we love dark comedies, and we love the dialogue. And the skeptical and deadpan reactions of Mildred Dunnock, the actress playing Mrs. Wiggs.

I want to be this woman.

And everything about John Forsythe's character. And Shirley Maclaine, charming the socks off of everyone. And the adorable Edmund Gween and Mildred Natwick. 

And of course, Jerry Mathers in his pre-"Leave It To Beaver" days.  Here he is trying to explain to Sam Marlowe (Forsythe's character) about days of the week (see about a minute in).

And last but not least, the score by Bernard Herrmann is absulutely perfect for the movie. I defy anyone to listen to it and not feel the urge to get into mild mischief.  (You can listen to it online if you have Spotify.)
All in all, I'd say it was a perfect way to celebrate Halloween.
Speaking of black comedies, if you're a fan of the genre, you should consider watching Kiss Me, Kill Me (킬미).
It's a Korean movie from 2009. The movie is about a suicidal woman who hires a hit man to do the job for her, his reluctance to carry it out, his evolving feelings about his chosen career, and the connection the two characters come to feel to each other.  I'm not sure if it's available on Netflix, but it is available online at various websites.  It's heavy on the "black" part of "black comedy," but it actually made me laugh out loud in some moments, and that's rare for me when it comes to movies.  It also made me cry, so fair warning.  I would definitely recommend it if you like that genre of movies.  
Any suggestions for good movies along these lines? 

1 comment:

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