FILM 1603: THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY
TRIVIA: One of Alfred Hitchcock's favorites of all his films.
Originally designed by Alfred Hitchcock as an experiment in seeing how audiences would react to a non-star-driven film. He was of the opinion that oftentimes having a big star attached actually hindered the narrative flow and style of the story. He also developed the film with a view to test how American audiences would react to a more subtle brand of humor than that which they were used to.
Location filming in Vermont was hampered by heavy rainfall. Many exterior scenes were actually filmed on sets constructed in a local high school gymnasium. Much of the dialogue recorded there was inaudible due to the rainfall on the tin roof, so much post-recording was necessary.
The film was unavailable for decades because its rights (together with four other pictures of the same period) were bought back by Alfred Hitchcock and left as part of his legacy to his daughter. They've been known for years as the infamous "5 lost Hitchcocks" among film buffs, and were re-released in theaters around 1984 after a 30-year absence. The others are The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Rear Window (1954), Rope (1948) and Vertigo (1958).
"What seems to be the trouble, Captain?" was Alfred Hitchcock's favorite line from all his movies.
Due to the indifferent weather conditions in Vermont, boxes and boxes of autumnal leaves were shipped back to California where they were painstakingly pinned onto trees on a studio soundstage.
Unlike some of Hitchock's other leading ladies, Shirley MacLaine became his "eating buddy", and he took her for breakfast every day before shooting. He never propositioned her, but thought of her as "a girl who needed to be fed". After living the poverty-stricken life of a Broadway chorus girl that she had just been plucked from, it was a pleasant change for MacLaine, and as a result she gained 15 pounds during shooting. Ultimately ending in a phone call from the studio telling her to stop eating so much as she was going to "ruin her career before it had even begun".