|The Man Who Knew Too Much
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- Not one of The Master's best, but nonetheless a masterful thriller
"The Man Who Knew Too Much" is one of those rare occasions when the sequel surpasses the original. It is also one of those far rarer occasions when the film is remade by the director of the original. It's a remake of one of Alfred Hitchcock's earlier films, with the same title, released in 1934.
James Stewart and Doris Day play a couple vacationing in Morocco with their young son, played by Christopher Olsen. On their first day in Morocco, the couple meets the mysterious Louis Bernard (Daniel Gelin), of whom Day is immediately suspicious. One day later, while at the market, Bernard dies in Stewart's arms - but not before whispering him a message. The problem is that Stewart cannot tell the message to the police, because the assassins behind Bernard's murder have kidnapped his son and promised to kill him if Stewart speaks one word of the message to the authorities. So, unable to seek assistance from the police, Stewart and Day rush to London to find the man Bernard spoke of in his message. Hopefully, he can help them retrieve their son - that is, if they stay alive long enough to do so.
Stewart and Day have some fine on-screen chemistry, making them a believable couple. The script is well-written and thanks to Hitchcock's directing, the film is very suspenseful. Without a doubt the highlight of the film is a scene at an opera house, where Stewart and Day rush to stop an assassin from killing the Prime Minister. It's a masterfully directed, heart-pounding scene. What less would you expect from the Master of Suspense?
"The Man Who Knew Too Much" is not one of The Master's best, but nonetheless it's a masterful thriller that won't disappoint Hitchcock fans or any moviegoers looking for an exciting film.
HITCHCOCK CAMEO: Hitchcock appears in the marketplace, watching the acrobats with his back to the camera. ...more info
- One of few remakes that surpass the original...
I am a great fan of this film. I feel that it is truly one of Hitchcock's best films (I do prefer Vertigo and Notorious, for sure though). It's hugely entertaining and exceptionally involving. The film begins almost as a travelogue, and lulls you into a relative ease as you get to know the average American family that makes up the picture's leads. By the time the suspense begins, you're truly involved in the plot. Doris Day gives an exceptionally convincing performance. The plot merely connects together a string of set pieces, but those sequences are masterfully done. The film is scored well and looks great (making you wonder why Technicolor ever went out of style). I give it my highest reccomendation, and think it would appeal to nearly anyone....more info
- THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
EXCELLENT HITCHCOCK MOVIE, BUT THEN ALL HITCHCOCK MOVIES ARE.
JAMES STEWART & DORIS DAY ALWAYS ARE GOOD IN ANY MOVIE.
- Hitchcock is...Amazing
The "Master of Suspense", Alfred Hitchcock, hits another bullseye with his 1956 production of "The Man Who Knew Too Much". Purists have been known to complain that they prefer Hitchcock's original 1934 version of the story to the lavish, widescreen, color version starring James Stewart and Doris Day, but if viewed side by side, both films stand on their own as classic Hitchcock.
The 1956 "Man" unfolds like a beautiful book, methodically, deliberately, and compellingly. Stewart plays an American doctor and Day is his wife, a retired singer. They are vacationing with their young son, Hank, in Morocco, when they become embroiled in an International incident involving a planned assasination. Their son is kidnapped and taken to London. Day and Stewart follow, where they attempt to get some answers and to locate their son, on their own, without the help offered by Scotland Yard. The film reaches it's exciting climax during a concert at Albert Hall in which Day suddenly realizes what is about to occur.
Without giving away some of the intricate plot twists and turns, "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is like a breathtaking ride on a state of the art rollercoaster. You cannot help but get caught up in the plight of Stewart and Day.
James Stewart and Doris Day seem like a real married couple, so easy and comfortable is their onscreen chemistry. They banter and interact convincingly but there is also a strong indication that there may be some tensions lurking beneath the outer veneer. Both actors play their roles with expertise and Day, in particular, shows range and versatility in her performance, being especially memorable in the justly celebrated Albert Hall scene and in an earlier scene when Stewart informs her that their son has been kidnapped. The growing realization as to what he is telling her is reflected in Day's facial reactions.
Hitchcock has once again assembled a first-rate cast of supporting players including his long time musical collaborator, Bernard Herrmann, who appears onscreen for the first time, playing himself while conducting an original piece of music during the Albert Hall sequence. The team of Livingston and Evans composed a song for Day to sing to her son as part of the plot. The tune, "Whatever Will Be, Will Be"(Que Sera, Sera), became a megahit, selling millions of records, winning an Oscar as best song and becoming one of Day's signature tunes. It plays an intricate role in the storyline, being introduced naturally and being reprised as part of the picture's denouement.
The queues that formed at box-offices all over the world when "The Man Who Knew Too Much" opened in the summer of 1956, were a tribute to the talents of Hitchcock, Day, and Stewart, and to the public's continuing fascination with quality entertainment. To this day, the film remains one of Hitchcock's best films from his 1950's period. A movie that is well worth viewing.
- Hitch Masterpiece Remade....By Hitch
This review refers to the Widescreen DVD(Universal) edition of "The Man Who Knew Too Much"(1955)...
A masterpiece is reworked an updated by Hitch, the result?... another masterpiece! "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is a magnificent remake of his earlier work from the 30's(The Man Who Knew Too Much). It stars Doris Day and Jimmy Stewart as parents desperate to get their child back from kidnappers, but must also prevent an assassination. Whew!, who else could handle that?
The film is pure Hitch. The edge of your seat suspense, the trademark staircase scene, the brillant camera angles, and all the special touches that make it definitive Hitch. The famous scene at the Albert Hall concert is one of the most chilling in film history. No matter how often it's viewed, your heart is in your throat waiting for the clash of those cymbals. Hitch has that way of always making the viewer want to warn the characters that something sinister is about to take place. You want to yell.."Now Doris..NOW!"
Doris sings her beautiful rendition of "Que Sera, Sera"(a wonderful treat), and the exotic location of French Morocco and Bernard Hermann's score also add greatly to this fine thriller.
Looking for Hitch: ... taking in the sights in Morocco. Be careful Hitch!... there's going to be a murder!
Universal has made a beautiful transfer of this classic and cherished work. It is presented in the original widescreen and the colors are brillant.The sound is in DD2.0(MONO), and is good but could be better in stereo. The DVD includes a documentary "The Making Of The Man Who Knew Too Much". There are captions in English and subtitles in Spanish. It may be viewed in English, French, and Spanish.
The film is perfection. Only the master himself could have made it even better then the original classic.
A must have for your Hitch collection....enjoy...Laurie
Here's the original with 3 other early greats:Alfred Hitchcock: 4 Tales of the Macabre - Secret Agent / The Lady Vanishes / The Man Who Knew Too Much / Sabotage
Hitchcock's Notebooks: An Authorized and Illustrated Look Inside the C
- fun, but dated
I was surprised by how weak the story was, for a suspense classic. James Stewart was very entertaining but not especially sympathetic as the loud-mouthed, confrontational, trouble-making stereotype of 1950s American self-righteousness. The much-lauded Albert Hall scene is a flop, suspenseful only because it pointlessly and artlessly postpones its climax. Still, it's a fun movie for all its flaws, and worth checking out....more info
- Hitchcock's deep human art
The Man Who Knew Too Much is known as one of the most "suspenseful" films of Alfred Hitchcock.
Nevertheless like all other films of Hitchcock this film is not merely a film full of "suspense" (which is a very superficial term to characterize the art of Hitchcock) but also a beautiful and distressing example of the deep human art of Hitchcock.
The DVD is excellent as regards the visual quality of the film. I recommend it. ...more info
- Hitchcock 's fine irony!
The clinical eye of this hyper gifted director resided in his avidness for avoiding to remain petrified under the simple label of Suspense Master. He loved to convince us the suspense is everywhere, and even in the most unexpected places.
An American couple vacationing in French Morocco ( a hidden tribute to Casablanca, perhaps) will experience the major disturbance of their secure lives when, due that trickeries of the destiny be involved in a complex web of assassinations, murder, kidnapping when accidentally James Stewart listens the last words of a dying man.
Doris Day `s charisma and the well elaborated script will allows us to know the affective interiorities and enjoy of pleasant tour in that seductive and mysterious land, nest and witness of so many historical events.
The evolving humor evinces the successful experience he had respect his previous work "How to catch a thief", (a work visibly influenced by Rififi) although the Cold War environment and the impressive filmed material of his colleagues induced him to turn his eyes around this plot, the first of a Trilogy completed by Torn curtain and Topaz.
The climax sequence is brilliant; don 't miss it.
- Hitchcock at his finest!
This is my favorite Hitchcock film. It is full of suspense, emotion and great acting. Doris Day and Jimmy Stewart team up as a perfect couple on a leisurely vacation and wind up in the middle of political warfare. This film will keep you on the edge of your seat as you pray that everything will be resolved in the end. Doris Day is charming and Jimmy Stewart is the level-headed father that always does what he must to ensure the safety of his family. This film should be in every home!...more info
- International Intrigue from Hitchcock
This movie is marvelously entertaining. James Stewart and Doris Day make for the All American couple. The Albert Hall sequence is a great highlight. Bernard Herrmann's score is outstanding. There are some truly frightening scenes. This is a real nail biting movie. ...more info
- A thrilling climax at London's Royal Albert Hall...
Many people have the irritating habit of dying before completing a vital message, thus confusing the hero, not to mention the audience...
Dr. Ben McKenna (James Stewart) and his wife Jo, a former musical star (Doris Day) are vacationing in Morocco with their son, Hank (Christopher Olsen), when they meet Mr. and Mrs. Drayton, a British couple (Brenda de Banzie and Bernard Miles). They are also befriended by a charming Frenchman, Louis Bernard (Daniel Gelin), who invites them to dinner but then cancels at the last minute...
The MacKennas go to a restaurant and end up having their meal with the Draytons, when they spot Louis Bernard...
The next day in the market place, they are caught in an assassination intrigue... While they are wandering in the local market, the crowds suddenly scatter to reveal an Arab fleeing from his pursuers... Dr. McKenna stands amazed as the Arab falls into his arms, a knife sticking out of his back...
Gulping his last breath, the dying man mutters some words and collapses... Dr. McKenna is completely taken aback when the Arab's hood falls from his head and he is revealed as Bernard in disguise... McKenna is left knowing too little, but as far as the assassins are concerned, too much...
To prevent Dr. McKenna from revealing what he knows, the conspirators kidnap his son as a hostage... The film is primarily concerned with the dilemma of kidnapping--how to get the little boy back safely... The subplot about the assassination is just the setup...
The film is a breathless escapade... The death of Bernard comes suddenly and points out that death comes when we least expect it...
Stewart is charged with emotion as the Midwestern doctor, accidentally involved in political intrigue... His perceptive facial expressions and indignant delivery made him convincingly human--a person we could easily identify with... It is his temperament that actually sets the pace for the entire film...
By 1956, the lovely Doris Day had won increasing esteem as an actress as well as a singer... She had been particularly strong opposite James Cagney in the Ruth Etting's biopic, 'Love Me or Leave Me,' but she was still unsure of her basic Thespian talents...
The casting of character actor Reggie Malder as the assassin, is brilliant... The man looks like a menace and his effusive portrayal radiates evil...
- One of Hitchcock's "entertainments," and a pleasant two hours it is
I like The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956; I've never seen the 1934 version) the same way I like To Catch a Thief. Both are big, fat, satisfying entertainments made by professionals at the top of their game but perhaps without much to chew on afterwards. This isn't much of a criticism; I just don't put the film in the same category of some of Hitchcock's other, greater films. One weakness (which also is a strength) is Doris Day. When she's sobbing and being hysterical she gets on my nerves. It's too much and too "actorly." Her strength in the movie is that for most of the time she's good company, and she's believable as a woman who will do what it takes to rescue her son. She paired well with Stewart in both star power and likable personality.
I do think the movie is too long, the curse of so many movies beginning in the Fifties. For me, this undermined some of the set pieces; I wanted Hitchcock to get a move on. The scenes I particularly liked were the unease and suspicion that developed in the church, the cocktail party chit chat, the build-up in the Albert Hall and the rescue of Hank.
And let's hear it for some fine actors who made appearances. I have a lot of admiration for Brenda de Banzie who played the wife of Bernard Miles. She was a fine actress; just see her in The Entertainer as Olivier's wife or in Hobson's Choice when she makes a man of John Mills and masters Charles Laughton (who detested her). Bernard Miles was a first class actor who could play just about anything but aristocrats. For those who like medals and honors, Miles was made a Sir in 1969 and became a lord in 1979 (the first actor to do so after Olivier). Not bad for the son of a farm laborer and a cook. The cocktail party had some old friends it was good to see. Among the familiar faces were Alan Mobray, Hillary Brooke and Carolyn Jones. And among the best of the best is Reggie Nalder, who played the assassin. According to IMBd, he was a handsome guy who, when a young man, was burned severely over the bottom third of his face. He was a chilling killer in The Man Who Knew Too Much who made the premise of the film -- a political assassination -- believable and dreadful....more info
- Edge of Your Seat HITCHCOCK
1956'S THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH is Hitchcock's effective remake of his own 1934 version. An American couple (James Stewart and Doris Day) visiting Morocco have their young son kidnapped as part of an international murder plot which they can not help but be drawn into. Doris Day's performance is brilliant as the mother whose son has been taken from her. Her initial reaction to the news is almost unbearable to watch. This film is very suspenseful and disturbing, as the odds against the family regaining their boy seem insurmountable as the film progresses. This is reinforced by Bernard Herrmann's almost minimal score, which adds an undercurrent of discomfort to the psyche of the viewer. There are some very memorable scenes such as when James Stewart is followed by echoing footsteps in the empty London streets on his way to finding Ambrose Chappell. The suspenseful Albert Hall assassination scenes are brilliantly filmed and edited. The face of Reggie Nalder as Rien the Assassin is unforgettable. Brenda de Banzie turns in a complex performance as Mrs. Drayton. Bernard Miles as Mr. Drayton also gives an effective performance through the various identities he goes through. And that is one of the strengths of this film: people and places are not exactly as they seem. Characters constantly evolve. Some grow in strength while others are mere shadows of virtue.
- One Of The Few Remakes That Is Bteer Than The Original
Hitchcock wa never a big fan of remakes. However, I guess he couldn't resist remaking his 1934 film "The Man Who Knew Too Much", and he did so in 1956 for a newer generation. The result is a film that topped the original.
Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day play Ben and Jo Mackenna, who are on a vacaton with their son in Morocco. While there they make some friends, including a mysterious Frenchman. It turns out the Frenchman is a spy, and is killed in Ben's arm at a market. Ben and Jo are now targets of the men who killed him, and have kidnapped their son and taken him to England. Several twists and turns ensue, leading up to a magnificant climax at the Royal Albert Hall.
This is truly Hitchcock at his best. Stewart and Day are in top form as well. I have seen both versions of the film, and this is clearly the better of the two. The song "Que Sera, Sera" was also made famous in this film, and won an Oscar.
The extras are awesome, as with most Hitchcock dvds. "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is a fim I'd recommend to all lovers of suspense movies....more info
- Another Masterpiece from the Master!
An all-time classic that is much better than the original, ironically reworked by the man who made the original... Alfred Hitchcock himself, truly outdone himself here!
Doris Day and Jimmy Stewart turn in oscar-worthy roles. Doris herself has rarely turned in a serious, or non-comedic, performance. She did well with 'Midnight Lace', and does even better here.
'Que Sera' was made famous in this film. Rightfully so. It is the signal to her kidnapped son that help is on the way.
Very intricate plot, great acting, wonderful music all combine to make this film take it's place among the classics....more info
- One of Hitchcock's best!!!
James Stewart and Doris Day star in this very entertaining and suspenseful thriller from Alfred Hitchcock that is a remake of his 1934 film with Peter Lorre.
James Stewart plays Ben MacKenna, a Doctor from Indianapolis and Doris Day plays Jo Mackenna who are on vacation on Marrakech ,Morocco after spending a special Doctor's meeting in London. They have a boy called Hank MacKenna ,played by Christopher Olsen who for a young age, acts pretty well in the movie. They take a bus to Marrakech, when by accident ,their son Hank accidentaly removes the veil of a Muslim woman whose husband is very upset.
As you may know Muslim woman wear veils on their faces because they don't have as much rights as they do men, and they are seen as mostly servants in these countries.
An arabic man called Louis Bernard who sees the situation, intervenes and explains to the man that it was an accident.
As a sign of gratitude, Ben and Jo invite Mr. Bernard for dinner and become friends with him.
On their vacation of Marrakech, Ben and Jo meet an elderly couple called the Drayton's who seem like nice people. Afterwards they offer to babysit Hank while Ben and Jo go to the outdoor markets. As Ben and JO are on the outdoor markets, they witness a crime in progress. A man stabbed in the back comes to Ben and as Ben looks closer at this man , he says that it is his good friend Louis Bernard.
Before Louis dies, he whispers into Ben's ear "A stateman's shall be killed, you must go to London to Ambrose Chappel". Soon the Marrakech/French police question Ben and Ben learns that his friend Louis is actually an FBI agent who was investigating an attempt to kill the Prime Minister.
The FBI aren't very helpful as they think Ben knows more than he's letting on. As Ben and Jo go home they learn that the Drayton's have left their hotel and Hank
is nowhere to be found.
As Ben becomes worried (who wouldn't be after their son gets kidnapped) he gets a phone call from the Drayton's saying that Hank is ok,but that he should keep
his mouth shut if he ever wants to see his son again.
Instead of telling the police/FBI about this turn of events Ben and Jo go to London and try to find out where they're son is on they're on.
Relying back to what Louis told him before Ben and Jo search for Ambrose Chappel.
In a comical scene, Ben thinks he has found Chappel but it is not. In fact with the help of Josephine's friend ,he learns that Chappel is a church not a person.
Ben goes to the church and just as he gets close to getting his son, he is knocked out senseless. Without giving the good parts of the movie (there is plenty), Hitchcock being the "Master of Suspense", provides
so many twists and turns that you never know what's going to happen until the end of the film.
The movie itself is best well known for Doris Day's singing of "Que Sera, Sera" which won the Academy Award for best song in this picture and elevated Doris Day
into not only a good actress but a good singer as well.
The DVD is full of bonuses:
Biographies of Doris Day, James Stewart and Alfred Hitchcock.
Trailers for other Hitchcock classics like "The Birds", "Rope", "Rear Window"
and many more in widescreen format.
A documentary on the making of the movie.
Probably the best, personal production photographs during the making of the film, accompanied by tunes of the film.
There is even a DVD Rom for DVD players for the pc, which include more bonuses including sound clips and more interactive menus.
A nicely done DVD by Universal Pictures. ...more info
Doris Day es una excellente artista y James Stewart es un artistazo me gustan los dos y las peliculas las viven trabajan muy natural y se integran en el papel.
thank you T.P.H....more info
- The Man Who Knew Too Much DVD
As always, Director Alfred Hitchcock amazed us with The Man Who Knew Too Much. I can't say enough about any of his movies !! I watch this one and all of his other mysteries over and over again and never tire of any of them....more info
- Hitchcock Sleeper Classic now on WIDESCREEN DVD!!!!
The 1956 Widescreen Color "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is a remake of Hitch's 1934 Standard Screen Black & White British version. (Hitch didn't come to the United States until 1939). As he stated, "the 1934 version was directed by an amateur and the 1956 version by a professional."
This was to be the second of 5 brilliant films made from 1954 - 1960. (the others are; Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959) & Psycho (1960)). This was Hitchcock at his best, in fact these last 4 were voted to AFI's (American Film Institute's) top 100 films in the last 100 years (1998). So you can see why "The Man Who Knew Too Much" was overlooked. A definite sleeper classic!!!
Summary: James Stewart, wife Doris Day and son are on a vacation in Morocco. They are accidently swept up in an assassination plot to occur in London. The assassin group kidnaps their son as insurance of their silence and hold him hostage. Doris Days rare dramatic role is outstanding and her singing the Oscar winning song, ("Que Sera, Sera") high light this brilliant spy thriller. Jimmy Stewarts natural acting ability (Hitchcocks favorite male actor) pulls off being Doris Days husband.
The Anamorphic Widescreen Color presentation is excellent. The "Making of - with Patricia Hitchocks (Hitch's daughter) comments is very interesting & informative....more info
- Minus Doris Day This Would Be Classic
I suppose if you were to pick anyone to remake the classic Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much Hitchock himself would not a bad choice. And that is just what the master of suspense did in 1956. In fact this version feels more like an extended, director's cut than a remake. The story is essentially the same. Ben (James Stewart) and Jo MacKenna(Doris Day)are vacationing in French Morocco with their son (Christopher Olson). They are quickly caught up in international intrigue and must try to stop an unknown diplomats assassination and keep their son from being harmed.
While the original stays mainly indoors keeping its action to a few set pieces. In this new version Hitchcock thrills in taking his characters, and the audience, to wild, colorful places around the world. It begins in Northern Africa and here we see many lovely shots of the country side. The action moves to London where there numerous shots inside enormous, gorgeous buildings like the Royal Albert Hall.
The opening credit sequence is beautifully done. Hitchock shoots a half orchestra playing the opening music. It takes a few moments to realize that the typical orchestrated number you are hearing over the credits is visibly being played by real people on the picture. This inventive bit is promptly ruined by an uninteresting title card played over the cymbalist.
I own the original 1934 version and recently watched it. There are many debates raging over the internet on which version is superior. Frankly, I find both version to be lacking. The original was paced quicker but suffered from several jolts in plot which created some confusion and no sympathy for the protagonists. The newer version tries to help this out by giving us over long and unmoving scenes in which the protagonists try to stretch out their characters. Jimmy Stewart does a marvelous job as usual, but Dorris Day is annoying in nearly every scene. She is pretty and plays the part of a normal, cheerful American girl, but she grits my teeth while she's on the screen. Maybe I'm just not a fan. In a scene towards the end she sings "Que Sera Sera" and to my ears it sounds like she's howling the number. One could argue that she is singing loudly for a plot purpose, but I would say it would serve the movie better if it was pretty and not harsh. In an interesting bit of trivia Ms. Day apparently didn't like the song to the point of nearly refusing to record it. It turned out to be her biggest hit, and won the Oscar that year.
There is an ingenious bit of film making in the latter 3/4ths of the movie filmed in the Royal Albert Hall. There is some 12 minutes when not a word of dialogue is spoken and the only sound heard is the music played by the orchestra. It is a beautifully crafted scene that builds tension like a bullet.
There are several plot elements that make me ill at ease. The Scotland Yard seems terribly inept. We are made to believe that these detectives are willing to allow the MacKenna's to run around the streets of London trying to solve the crime by themselves even though Mr. MacKenna knows important details about the assassination of an important diplomat. Why would an assassin use a small pistol to kill the diplomat from a long distance? After the assassination attempt why is everyone allowed to run free? There are other questions and inaptitude that go unanswered except to allow a movie to tie up loose ends quickly and move the plot along.
Hitchcock was a master at manipulating audiences. He is in fine form throughout this movie quickly moving the viewer through the scenery with a good bit of humor and suspense. This is not a bad movie by any stretch. There is a great deal to enjoy as a carefree audience member and for anyone interested in the craft and art of film. However, it is far from Hitchcock's greatest film, and I find its flaws to be more disappointing considering the masterful hands that created it.
- Trademark Hitchcock
If this is not the most stunning Hitchcock - Mr Freud does not get a look in and their is very little blood - it is a film that is superior to 90 % of Hollywood fare and stands up remarkably well to reviewing. The English setting works very well and a number of memorable scenes include hero James Stewart escaping a church by climbing its bell rope! and a tussle in the workroom of a taxidermist with staff attempting to save the wild animals from the humans! Good old Hitch. Well worth owning....more info
- International Intrigue from Hitchcock
This movie is marvelously entertaining. James Stewart and Doris Day make for the All American couple. The Albert Hall sequence is a great highlight. Bernard Herrmann's score is outstanding. There are some truly frightening scenes. This is a real nail biting movie. ...more info
- Classic Suspense.
The plot is great and so much better than Hitchcock's original. Doris Day is great and James Stewart is too, as usual. For some reason, it seems like his characters are always the same in his films with Hitchcock....more info
- My Favoirte Hitchcock Film
"The Man Who Knew Too Much" is another of those classic Hitchcock thrillers. It has all the ingredients: a suspenseful plot, first-class acting, dramatic scenes, even great locations and an award-winning song by Doris Day. Day is a weepy as a woman should be whose child has been kidnapped by terrorists. Perhaps it's because the assasins seem, when all is said and done, a little less ruthless than they ought to be.
Still, this is an excellent movie. The scene in the Royal Albert Hall, leading up to the assasination attempt, is justifiably famous and a great example of Hitchcock's ability to draw out a key scene for maximum dramatic impact. He had truly mastered his craft by this point in his career. ...more info
- Should be placed on par with Hitchcock's other greats
Although not always tauted as heavily as films like Vertigo, Psycho, Rear Window, North By Northwest, etc. this movie is every bit as stunning. You will not be disappointed. Hitch uses the music aspect directly in the plot to add a very original flair. Stewart is amazing, as usual, navigating a simple but highly effective plot. The restoration/dvd transfer looks quite good....more info
- A Hitchcock movie for the family and the ears
This is a unique Hitchcock masterpiece - it happened to an ordinary family (James Stewart, Doris Day and Christopher Olsen) on vacation in Morocco; its leading lady was a renowned singer; the movie was thus blessed with a beautiful, unforgettable and Oscar-winning theme song "Whatever will be, will be".
In addition to the guaranteed suspense and action, the focus on this ordinary family, rather than two lovers on the run or spy game etc., succeeded in adding a new dimension to the story, making it the warmest Hitchcock movie ever. The tension and pressure the parents endured when the young son was beseiged simply drew emotional resonance from the audience. James Stewart and Doris Day were the desperate mom and dad, exhausting all their options, employing every skill and trying to balance between national security and his son's safety. Each of them had an important role to play in defusing the spy's plot as well as rescuing their son.
One important and up-to-date note (so many travel abroad nowadays) the mom and dad learned from the whole incident - do not believe in first impression of strangers. What is perceived as wrong characters may after all be right and vice-versa. ...more info
- Classic Hitchcock Suspense!
Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew too Much (1956) is a true classic. A remake of Hitchcock's British film of the same title from the 1930s, I believe it better than the original!
The film begins with Dr. Ben McKenna (James Stewart), his wife Jo (Doris Day), and their young son Hank (Christopher Olsen) on vacation in Morocco. By chance the McKennas meet a Frenchman by the name of Louis Bernard (Daniel Gelin) who seems to have something to hide. Later, in a marketplace, it is revealed that Bernard is actually a spy when he approaches the McKennas after being stabbed in the back. In his dying words, he tells Ben a terrifying secret: there is a plot to assassinate an important foreign ambassador in London very soon. A short time afterward, the McKennas discover that their son has been kidnapped by the conspirators to keep their mouths shut. From there, the couple go to London to find Hank and stop the assassination before it's too late.
The suspense builds up to a dramatic concert sequence at the Royal Albert Hall in London near the end of the film. That scene alone runs for 12 minutes entirely without dialogue. James Stewart and Doris Day both give excellent performances in the movie. In the scene where Ben tells Jo about their son's kidnapping for the first time, Doris Day's strong performance seemed so real that it almost brought me to tears.
The Man Who Knew too Much stands out as a classic Hitchcock thriller. A must-see for fans and movie buffs alike! ...more info
- Enjoyable Hitchcock Adventure
Less a thriller than an colorful adventure with suspenseful elements, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH should not be really be compaired with such Hitchcock masterpieces as VERTIGO, REAR WINDOW, or PSYCHO; it is instead more akin to such enjoyable romps as TO CATCH A THIEF and NORTH BY NORTHWEST. Shot largely on location in Morocco and London, the film tells the story of a married couple (James Stewart and Doris Day) whose holiday is interrupted when they innocently run afoul of an assasination plot--and when their young son is kidnapped in order to insure their silence.
James Stewart and Doris Day are quite effective in their roles of the All-American couple, and the characters are given an unusual twist: Stewart, a midwestern doctor, is outgoing but has a touch of "the ugly American abroad" about his personality; Day, who plays a popular stage and recording star who retired upon her marriage, has a suspicious nature. These qualities of personality and background play extremely well into the story.
THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH contains a number of famous scenes; both the scene in which Stewart drugs Day before telling her of the kidnapping and the very complex Albert Hall sequence, involving what seems hundreds of cuts, are very powerful. Less often noticed, although to my mind equally if not more satisfactory, are the more subtle scenes in which Hitchcock combines an edge of suspense along with perverse humor, as when Stewart attempts some detecting at a taxidermist shop and Day belts out "Que Sera, Sera" (written for this film) in a most unsuitable way at a pivitol embassy cocktail party. Although THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH lacks the depth and impact of Hitchcock's greater work, it remains an enjoyable film and one that compares very well with his work as a whole. It's Hitchcock-light, but recommended....more info
- Well Worth It
Not Hitch's best but still a fun romp. Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day give fine performances and the movie moves at a brisk pace. ...more info
- Terrific Version of Hitchcock Thriller
This was a story that Hitchcock made in England in the 30s that he redid here. And it is extremely well done.
James Stewart and Cary Grant were Hitchcock's favorite actors and that shows in all the films they did together. Stewart is outstanding as a tourist in Marrakech with his wife (Doris Day)
and son. The tension builds with a death and kidnaping of the son. And the conclusion is very well done. Recommend seeing this.
Doris Day proved to be a wonderful dramatic actress, which she also showed in the previous year's Love Me or Leave Me (playing opposite James Cagney). And she continued Hitchcock's penchant for blonde leading ladies which started way back but intensified with his association with (Princess) Grace Kelly. Later films showcased Kim Novak, Eva Marie Saint, Janet Leigh and Tippi Hedren.
But this is an excellent film that is among Hitchock's best and should be seen....more info
- A teriffic movie that should be a masterpiece!
This movie is very suspensful, has a good plot, and has a good amount of action. I loved the rol of Dorris Day and Jim Stewart, and all the others. Also, this movie is quite scary at times, but still it can't be turned down, no matter how scary. Well, I don't want to spoil this teriffic Hitchcock, so you'll have to experience "The Essential Hitchcock" yourself. Enjoy!...more info
- Some Parts Don't Add Up, Though...
...even though on the whole, it's a good movie.
The part that doesn't make sense to me is the plot device of wife Doris Day's having been a singing star before her marriage to James Stewart. Yet when we first encounter her in the bus with Stewart and afterwards, she seems only like a doctor's wife. Then comes the info that before she tied the knot, she was known throughout Europe. Well, how realistic is that? How many singing stars just chuck it all to marry a doc from Indianapolis and then go on about how her trip to Morocco was paid for by an appendectomy? It just wouldn't ever have happened, period. I think (and this doesn't spoil anything for those who haven't seen the movie; they can just hold this idea in their mind) a better way to have worked this was that she IS a singing star still, but her doctor husband is a RICH doctor, not some country bumpkin type. Because she's not travelling under her stage name, that's why the secret agent makes his initial mistake about the two couples. Everything else that hinges upon her singing can fall into place neatly after that.
Otherwise, "The Man Who Knew Too Much" has lots of suspenseful moments, very much in the vein of "North by Northwest". Yet, it is not as good as that movie, because it seems more episodic, less like a single thread. Really, the movie is one big chase scene, as Doris and Jimmy track down the kidnappers of their son from Morocco to the Albert Hall and beyond. I will say, though, that the movie really is Doris'. The husband could've been played by anyone--all the intensity is contained within her. She is quite excellent in the scene when he tells her that the child has been kidnapped. I guess she can be considered yet another talent not fully utilized in Hollywood, acting-wise. She got to be hysterical again in "Midnight Lace", but I'm sure she could move beyond hysteria into something else--although I thought she did a poor job in "Love Me or Leave Me" with another James, James Cagney.
Closing remark: Should've been "The Woman Who Found Out Too Much", but still entertaining....more info