The Man Who Knew Too Much

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (PG)
D: Alfred Hitchcock
GFD/Gaumont (Ivor Montagu)
UK 1934
84 mins

Thriller

W: A.R. Rawlinson, Charles Bennett, D.B. Wyndham-Lewis, Edwin Greenwood & Emlyn Williams
DP: Curt Courant
Mus: Arthur Benjamin

Leslie Banks (Bob Lawrence), Edna Best (Jill Lawrence), Peter Lorre (Abbott), Frank Vosper (Ramon), Hugh Wakefield (Clive), Nova Pilbeam (Betty Lawrence)

Twenty-two years before Alfred Hitchcock remade his own film for a 1950's audience, The Man Who Knew Too Much was originally British-produced, in gloomy black and white, and without a Doris Day song which would go on to be an enormous hit (Que Sera, Sera).
A family, on holiday at a ski resort, have their daughter kidnapped to silence them when they discover that a group of gangsters plan to carry out an assassination at the Royal Albert Hall.
The first act is laboured by its unconvincing interior locations, but the film comes to life with its tense set-pieces, particularly at the Royal Albert Hall and the gunfight showdown on the foggy streets of London.
Obvious restraints prevented this from becoming the film it could potentially be, so it's understandable why the master of suspense tackled it again in 1956, and to much greater effect.
6/10

Leslie Banks & Edna Best in The Man Who Knew Too Much
Leslie Banks & Edna Best in The Man Who Knew Too Much
THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (PG)
D: Alfred Hitchcock
Paramount (Alfred Hitchcock)
US 1956
120 mins

Mystery/Thriller

W: John Michael Hayes & Angus MacPhail [based on a story by Charles Bennett & D. B. Wyndham-Lewis]
DP: Robert Burks
Ed: George Tomasini
Mus: Bernard Herrmann

James Stewart (Dr. Ben McKenna), Doris Day (Jo McKenna), Bernard Miles (Mr. Drayton), Brenda de Banzie (Mrs. Drayton), Daniel Gelin (Louis Bernard), Ralph Truman (Buchanan), Mogen Wieth (Ambassador), Alan Mowbray (Val Parnell), Hillary Brooke (Jan Peterson)

Alfred Hitchcock, not a stranger to experimental film techniques and production, remade his own film of 1934, adding 30 more minutes of added suspense and tailoring the plot for the new stars, most notably Doris Day singing the Oscar-winning song "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)". Most importantly, Hitchcock replaces the interior set-bound economics of the original film with bigger budget locations.
James Stewart & Doris Day are a married couple whose holiday in Morocco takes a turn for the worst when they witness a fatal stabbing and the victim whispers a cryptic message into Stewart's ear.
To buy Stewart's silence, a group of spies kidnap the couples son, leading to a race against time to both save their boy and thwart an assassination plot, leading to a tense finale in the Royal Albert Hall.
Despite not being entirely limited by budgetary restraint, the original was made before Hitchcock was dubbed "The Master of Suspense", with the remake he proved yet again why he was honoured with the nickname.
7/10

James Stewart & Doris Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much
James Stewart & Doris Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much