A quaint autumnal stage for a all the charm and wackiness of murder in paradise and blissful ignorance. Plenty of delightful characters, wonderful dialogue, and delightful quirkiness - one line in particular "if you think she's pretty, you should see my slingshot" is gold. Not really something to rewatch, and another side of Hitchcock which confirms how much of a cultural impact he has had on modern trends.
The trouble with this film is that it's just not as good as so many other Hitchcock films. I thought I might enjoy it more this time around, having not seen it for a good few years, and I did. But I still didn't love it as some people do. Mr & Mrs Smith is the Hitchcock comedy to see, because it deserves to find a wider audience AND it's simply funnier.
The issue with the film is really that it becomes fairly sentimental about halfway through; and that kind of drains away some of the darkness that makes the movie fun at the outset. That's also the point at which the delightful symbolic evocations (like the man as the rabbit and the boy interacting with the rabbit) start to taper off, a bit. But it's a fun movie, overall, and a good debut for Shirley Maclaine.
Hitchcock tries farce—like Bringing Up Baby, say, with a corpse instead of a leopard. The bizarro tone of the film put me off at first. But the weirdness gets richer and richer as it goes along, and it sheds light on Hitch: all the manners, niceties, and daily rituals papered over morbid fears and carnal desires. Nice touch: the artist who uses academic doublespeak to hide his guilt. "From my subconscious" indeed.