Permalloy films in the thickness range 5…40 Å are evaporated at about 10−5 Torr and investigated by the torque method. In the thinner films there is a marked easy direction perpendicular to the film plane. Since just in these films the magnetization is thermally very instable, it is difficult to saturate the torque amplitude. The inverse shape anisotropy is evidently due to a surface effect. The maximum torque depends on the measuring field in a manner, which is typical for an anisotropy of the intergrain coupling; hence this coupling is essentially due to magnetostatic forces.