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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sowing the seeds of greatness.
There is something quite disconcerting about watching a Hitchcock film, the man who has the reputation, rightly, as the best maker of suspense films ever; a man whose work has irrevocably changed how the world sees filmmaking as a whole through the suspense medium, and knowing also that one is watching a comedy.
Watching 'The Trouble With Harry' one gets a similar...
Published on 26 Feb 2005 by samcaird

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Hitchcock Curio: his only screwball comedy!
First off you might note that this movie was made early in Hitchcock's American career as a favour to Carole Lombard. Poignant too, as Lombard was killed in a plane crash between this film's completion and its release.
It's odd Hitchcock fare, but fluff enough to keep you engaged. Mr and Mrs Smith are constantly at each other's throats, but with one condition -- they...
Published on 19 Nov 2000 by Nettlewine


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sowing the seeds of greatness., 26 Feb 2005
This review is from: Mr. & Mrs. Smith [DVD] [1941] [2005] (DVD)
There is something quite disconcerting about watching a Hitchcock film, the man who has the reputation, rightly, as the best maker of suspense films ever; a man whose work has irrevocably changed how the world sees filmmaking as a whole through the suspense medium, and knowing also that one is watching a comedy.
Watching 'The Trouble With Harry' one gets a similar feeling and that film too, accompanying the comedy, however dated some of it can be at times, has a real sense of the macabre, a quite horrible darkness to the overall feeling of the film. The way in which the couple, (having spilt up, Mr. wants to get back together with his uninterested wife), and particularly him, treat each other, the constant dogging, spying and overalll attempt at malicious sabotage is quite disconcerting if also fairly funny.
There's no getting away from the fact that the film isn't a great. Though there are echoes in some of the symbolism, though some images bring others from greater films to mind, Vertigo, Psycho, still, like HItchcock's films as a whole from that era, we aren't treated to a wonderful cinemtaic experience but a good one, and, far more interestingly, we are shown, like most of Hitchcock's earlier and less successful film, the seeds of the future, those reminders, fleeting though they may be, of what comes out of this work and one can hardly fail to wonder at it.
Working with, shall we say, not the best screenplay ever made, the actors performances are all strong, as macabre as they needed to be, when they needed to be and likewise for the comedy. That is perhaps what gets the film through, the very decent balance between the seriousnees of the film and the comedy.
It is well worth the watching and, as with virtually all of his work, essential for any true Hitchcockians.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Hitchcock Curio: his only screwball comedy!, 19 Nov 2000
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This review is from: Mr And Mrs Smith [VHS] (VHS Tape)
First off you might note that this movie was made early in Hitchcock's American career as a favour to Carole Lombard. Poignant too, as Lombard was killed in a plane crash between this film's completion and its release.
It's odd Hitchcock fare, but fluff enough to keep you engaged. Mr and Mrs Smith are constantly at each other's throats, but with one condition -- they never leave the bedroom until their score has been settled.
But what do they do when they find that their marriage was not legal in the first place? Batten down the hatches, kids, this one's not pretty.
The virtues of this film are to be seen in Hitchcock's dealing with the married couple. There aren't that many married-couple stories in film, because all that lusting has been tamed. But Hitch has his own way of telling these tales. This film is in good company with earlier English attempts Rich & Strange, The Lady Vanishes and The Man Who Knew Too Much pitching themselves on the far side of the marriage boundary.
That said, this is a particularly lusty marriage, and of course when it is annulled, the lust goes mad. Only in different directions.
Worth checking out for the farce -- but don't approach it with your Hitchcock-snobbery head on.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably one of the nastiest screwball comedies ever made., 4 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Mr And Mrs Smith [VHS] (VHS Tape)
A gloriously acidic screwball comedy, with three astonishingly good lead performances. Probably my favourite Hitchcock, easily his most underrated.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The original, 1 May 2006
This review is from: Mr. & Mrs. Smith [DVD] [1941] [2005] (DVD)
Lots of people don't seem to like this film. Perhaps they were expecting something different from Hitchcock. However, I find it a brilliant comedy, and Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery are superb in this. This film isn't perfect, and it especially lags in the last half. Agreed that it is a departure from Hitchcock's normal style of film, but that makes it all the more better. Hitch made this film so he could work with Carole Lombard his favourite actress, and I think that it wasn't a half bad attempt. People, stop trying to view this as a Hitchcock masterpiece, just watch it as a hilarious screwball comedy!
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2.0 out of 5 stars If you had it all to do over again, would you still have married me?, 16 Oct 2011
By 
IWFIcon - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mr. & Mrs. Smith [DVD] [1941] [2005] (DVD)
Whilst Alfred Hitchcock is universally known as the Master of Suspense (and indeed he was) not all of his films can remotely be presented as suspense features. 1941's Mr & Mrs Smith marks his one and only foray into screwball comedy (unless, perhaps, one see's his skewing of Waltzes from Vienna in that light). It's not an entirely successful one.

Hitchcock was lead to the production at the behest of leading lady Carole Lombard who had only agreed to star in the movie on the conditions that it was shot in six weeks and had Hitch as director. Documents at the time show that the film was not high on Hitch's wish list but a desire for a paycheck inbetween other movies and his eagerness to fulfill his RKO contract led him to accept. He dismissed it later as a "friendly" gesture to Lombard and regarded it as a weak moment in his career. (It has to be pointed out, of course, that some argue that Hitch was actually desperate to do the movie and it was only with hindsight that he said he never wanted to).

And whilst he could often be surprisingly modest about some of his greatest films, he was in many ways right to dismiss this one.

Mr and Mrs Smith are a married couple, infamous for their epic arguments but also for resolving the arguments in the end, who find out that due to a technicality their marriage has been voided. Cue mishaps and complications before, shock horror, everything is resolved.

The problem with the film is largely the fact that Mr & Mrs Smith aren't all that likable. Lombard, in her penultimate film (she was tragically killed in a plane crash at the age of 33 before this film was released) is very good in her role and is seemingly having the time of her life but she is not exactly a likable character, coming across as little more than a spoilt madam at times. Robert Mongomery is little more than a buffoon either and it's perhaps relief at the end of the film when they inevitably get back together simply because you don't fancy their chances much of finding anyone else who would put up with either of them!

There are a couple of genuinely funny moments and Lombard is generally very good but that's not enough to make this film anything more than an average battle of the sexes comedy that was already a cliche when it was made 70 years ago.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The queen of screwball comedy meets Hitchcock, 26 Feb 2007
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bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mr. & Mrs. Smith [DVD] [1941] [2005] (DVD)
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard) have a marriage with many ups and downs. One day at the office Mr. Smith finds out that he is not legally married. Surprise Mrs. Smith finds out also and waits for Mr. Smith to propose the make it legal. Somehow he forgets to do this and drives her into the arms of his friend and partner.

Why won't the cat eat the soup?
How will all this turn out?

This formula was popular in the time the movie was made. This version is a tad more complex but still is necessary to suspend reality. We do get a good look at the 1939 World's Fair. Carole Lombard is not quite as noisy. Robert Montgomery is good at almost slapstick situations.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange Relationship, 17 April 2009
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Brian Connor (Adelaide, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mr. & Mrs. Smith [DVD] [1941] [2005] (DVD)
I am a longtime fan of Mr Hitchcock and own most of his works on DVD but had shied away from this one as I generally detest the romantic/screwball comedy genres. I finally relented and purchased Mr & Mrs Smith. Picture and sound quality are comparable to other Hitch's of this vintage (fine/alright) but what a strange concoction the film is. I didn't hate it. Mr & Mrs Smith have a very strange relationship indeed. For its period the movie has an unusual darkness of mood and coldness of character in places - I guess these elements are the Hitchcock touch at work. Certainly not the froth and bubble lightweight fare I had imagined it would be. Not a film you'll want to watch often but if you're anything like me and something of a completest you may watch this every few years when you chronologically watch your way through the entire Hitch catalogue.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor DVD presentation of this film, 21 April 2009
By 
stickinsect (Sydney NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mr. & Mrs. Smith [DVD] [1941] [2005] (DVD)
Unfortunately this UK DVD edition contains a mediocre print and no extras. Avoid this at all costs and instead get the US R1 Warner Bros edition which has a better print transfer, and contains the theatrical trailer and a making of documentary "Mr Hitchcock Meets The Smiths". At least it's good to see that Universal have ditched the appallingly bland cover art for their Hitchcock titles and gone back to their original design.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Be careful what you say to your wife at breakfast., 22 May 2006
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mr. & Mrs. Smith [DVD] [1941] [2005] (DVD)
"Mr and Mrs Smith" is a tiresome 1940's cockamamie,screwball,etc. Hitchcock rom-com which doesn't quite work. It is not particularly funny or heart warming ,in fact it is just simply dull and boring , one thing that a Hitchcock film can rarely be accused of being. None of the characters are very likeable and the plot is somewhat far fetched and silly. If Jennifer Aniston was alive in the early 1940's , this is the sort of film she would be in. Don't know which latter day actor would star alongside her though ; perhaps someone like Kevin Bacon or Ben Stiller. The storyline is a bit farcical ; Mr Smith drops a big clanger by remarking to his wife over breakfast that , if he had to do it all again, he wouldn't have married her. A legal technicality concerning their marriage then gives Mr Smith the opportunity to do just that and this is the cue for a series of predictable and somewhat irksome series of events to occur. "Mr and Mrs Smith " is a very atypical Hitchcock film; only "The Trouble With Harry" from his oeuvre bears any resemblance to it and I didn't like that film either.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can you spot Hitch ?, 2 Mar 2013
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C. TURRALL - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mr. & Mrs. Smith [DVD] [1941] [2005] (DVD)
Not a work of over comic mirth but a very interesting little bit of social observation from times past when Hitch went State side.
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Mr. & Mrs. Smith [DVD] [1941] [2005]
Mr. & Mrs. Smith [DVD] [1941] [2005] by Alfred Hitchcock (DVD - 2003)
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