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Hitchcock and the Censors$
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John Billheimer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813177427

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813177427.001.0001

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The Trouble with Harry (1955)

The Trouble with Harry (1955)

(p.206) 27 The Trouble with Harry (1955)
Hitchcock and the Censors

John Billheimer

University Press of Kentucky

The Trouble with Harry represented a departure for Hitchcock; the film is a black comedy in which the consistently dry humor undercuts any suspense. The Code office objected to John Michael Hayes’s witty dialogue as well as the illegitimacy of the child of the Shirley MacLaine character and the description of an unsatisfactory wedding night. Hitchcock solved the problems by altering the script so that the boy’s parents were married before his father was killed and revised the objectionable description of the widowed Shirley MacLaine’s wedding night by having her new husband fail to show up because a horoscope warned him ‘not to start any new projects on that day.’ These changes satisfied the Production Code office, which allowed most of Hayes’s salty dialogue to remain as written.

Keywords:   Alfred Hitchcock, John Michael Hayes, Shirley MacLaine, Production Code Administration, illegitimacy, wedding night blues, The Trouble with Harry

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