Topaz plays more like a Masterpiece Theater adaptation of Leon Uris‘ novel than it does an Alfred Hitchcock film. Long, deliberately paced and mostly lacking the dark humor that typified his other movies, Topaz demands patience of its audience. That patience is rewarded with an intelligent, if subdued motion picture experience.
The Trouble With Harry is a like a picturesque photo essay of a New England autumn, with a dead body just happening to spoil most of the shots. It was also such a change of pace for Alfred Hitchcock that a lot of audiences seem to strip their gears at the time. Being known for his suspense thrillers, directing such a lightweight and cheerfully dark comedy was like a high curveball sailing past the moviegoer’s head.
As a result, Harry is not usually remembered with the classics among Hitchcock’s body of work, and that’s a shame. It’s a genuinely funny film populated with an appealing cast of eccentrics (or, as they are known in New England, “just normal folk”).