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Man Who Knew Too Much

The Man Who Knew Too Much

4.0 11
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie


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The debate still rages as to whether Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much is superior to his own original 1934 version. This two-hour remake (45 minutes longer than the first film) features more stars, a lusher budget, and the plaintive music of Bernard Herrmann (who appears on-camera, typecast as a symphony conductor). Though the locale


The debate still rages as to whether Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much is superior to his own original 1934 version. This two-hour remake (45 minutes longer than the first film) features more stars, a lusher budget, and the plaintive music of Bernard Herrmann (who appears on-camera, typecast as a symphony conductor). Though the locale of the opening scenes shifts from Switzerland to French Morocco in the newer version, the basic plot remains the same. American tourists James Stewart and Doris Day are witness to the street killing of a Frenchman (Daniel Gelin) they've recently befriended. Before breathing his last, the murder victim whispers a secret to Stewart (the Cinemascope lens turns this standard closeup into a truly grotesque vignette). Stewart knows that a political assassination will occur during a concert at London's Albert Hall, but is unable to tell the police: his son (a daughter in the original) has been kidnapped by foreign agents to insure Stewart's silence. The original script for Man Who Knew too Much was expanded and updated by John Michael Hayes and Angus McPhail.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
British-born director Alfred Hitchcock made two versions of this taut espionage thriller. The first served as his international breakthrough in 1934, and while the debate goes on over whether or not his 1956 Hollywood remake is better, there is no denying that the later, bigger-budgeted take finds the master at the height of his powers. After an American doctor (James Stewart) and his wife (Doris Day) accidentally stumble onto an assassination plot while vacationing in Morocco, their young son is kidnapped in an attempt to keep them from talking. Day's character is a singer, and with typical ingenuity Hitchcock makes her voice an integral part of the action. In the famous concert hall scene, her screams as she witnesses a stabbing coincide with the orchestra's crashing cymbals; later she sings the film's Academy Award-winning song, "Que Sera Sera" in a desperate ploy to locate her son.
All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The 1956 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much is so polished a production that it gleams. That very fact may bother some, who would prefer a bit more grit in their filmmaking or who feel that the wheels that drive the plot mechanisms may be well oiled but are also a bit too visible, but most viewers won't really care. If Man misses being an absolute classic, it's so close -- and so entertaining -- that it doesn't really matter. Hitchcock was in wonderful form here, stacking the thriller deck with incredible skill and aplomb, and coming up with a stunning and unforgettable 12-minute climax that is played without a single word of dialogue. (Indeed, the climax is so draining that the action that follows it comes across as a bit drawn out.) James Stewart is marvelous, capturing both the naïve innocence of his middle-American doctor and the tortured tenseness of a man in a crisis, and playing each of his scenes with nary a false note. If Doris Day is a wee bit forced in her big scenes, she's still more than adequate, and she does some truly impressive nuanced work early in the film that is important in establishing her character. The leads also have a special chemistry between them, slightly sexual but more like that which develops among two people who love and care for each other but also have their differences. Man is engrossing, intriguing, and captivating, and a film that has many surprises even on repeated viewings.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Sales rank:

Special Features

The making of The Man Who Knew Too Much; Production photographs; Trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Stewart Dr. Ben MacKenna
Doris Day Jo McKenna
Brenda de Banzie Mrs. Drayton
Bernard Miles Mr. Drayton
Daniel Gélin Louis Bernard
Ralph Truman Insp. Buchanan
Mogens Wieth The Ambassador
Alan Mowbray Val Pamell
Hillary Brooke Jan Peterson
Christopher Olsen Little Hank MacKenna
Reggie Nalder Rien, the assassin
Richard Wattis Assistant Manager
Noel Willman Woburn
Alix Talton Helen Parnell
Yves Brainville Police Inspector
Carolyn Jones Cindy Fontaine
Frank Atkinson Actor
John Barrard Workmen in Taxidermist Shop
Clifford Buckton Sir Kenneth Clarke
Peter Camlin Headwaiter
Albert Carrier French Policeman
Harry Fine Edington
Alex Frazer Man
Milton Frome Actor
Walter Gotell Guard
Harold Kasket Butler
Barry Keegan Patterson
Lou Krugman Arab
Lloyd Lamble General Manager of Albert Hall
Donald Lawton Desk Clerk
John Marshall Butler
John O'Malley Uniformed Attendant
Wolfgang Preiss Aide to Foreign Prime Minister
Alma Taylor Box Office Woman
Guy Verney Footman
Patrick Whyte Special Branch Officer
Peter Williams Police Sergeant
Betty Baskcomb Edna
Eric Snowden Special Branch Officer
Mayne Lynton Actor
Alexis Bobrinskoy Foreign Prime Minister
Enid Lindsey Lady Clarke
Patrick Aherne English Handyman
Lewis Martin Detective
Louis Mercier French Policeman
Anthony Warde French Police
Richard Wordsworth Ambrose Chappell, Jr.
George Howe Ambrose Chappell, Sr.
Gladys Holland Bernard's Girlfriend
Barbara Burke Girlfriend of the Assassin
Leo Gordon Chauffeur
Bernard Herrmann The Orchestra Conductor

Technical Credits
Alfred Hitchcock Director,Producer
Charles Bennett Original Story
Henry Bumstead Art Director
Robert Burks Cinematographer
Herbert Coleman Associate Producer
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Ray Evans Score Composer
John P. Fulton Special Effects
John Michael Hayes Screenwriter
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Bernard Herrmann Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Howard Joslin Asst. Director
Arthur Krams Set Decoration/Design
Jay Livingston Score Composer
Angus MacPhail Screenwriter
Richy Mueller Cinematographer
Hal Pereira Art Director
George Tomasini Editor
Wally Westmore Makeup
D.B. Wyndham-Lewis Original Story


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4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A good movie which has a fast-moving plot. The locations move from Morocco to London. Of course Doris Day is in her prime and beautiful. Her presence gives the movie some eye-candy, as well as her singing. Not the normal genre of movie she is usually known for, but she does as always, a great job.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Man WHo Knew Too Much is one of Hitchcock's best films. To me, it has a great story, an awesome murder scene, a wonderful song, and excellent acting. It's even better than the 1934 version.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anytime Jimmy Stewart and Alfred Hitchcock are involved in something together, the audience is in for a real treat. I have never seen the original 1934 edition, but I do enjoy this version. There are many nail-biting scenes with great score and no dialogue. The locale is great in a story about international espionage and kidnapping. Good acting with a lot of comedy. The behind the scenes footage is very informative as are the great behind the scenes photos.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Man Who Knew Too Much is a remake of Hitch's own 1930's movie about an American couple vacationing with their son find out about an asassination at the Albert Hall. But before they can tell the plans, their son is kidnapped to keep them quiet. The Man who Knew Too Much isn't a PSYCHO or REAR WINDOW, but this movie will hold you to the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
.....At least that is my prediction if you carried the plot of this film beyond the ending we see! Any little boy who reacts so powerfully to Doris Day's now classic rendition of "Que Sera Sera" is NOT headed for a career as a neurosurgeon or to the altar with a woman! And count me in as a component of the aforementioned! Hey, I should know! Seriously, I had avoided seeing this film for years, thinking it would not be that interesting. My sole reason for doing so was to see how a seemingly innocuous song like "Que Sera Sera" could be incorporated into a Hitchcock thriller. I will not ruin it for anyone except to say it is done brilliantly. What I was surprised to discover was that overall, while not one of Hitchcock's masterpieces it is vastly underrated in his canon. The suspensful pacing is breathless from first frame to last, the performances of the two leads genuinely moving, the villains truly sinister, with lush color photography plus a climactic sequence in Albert Hall that rates all the kudos having been written about it. I can think of no better example of a story embodying the horror that can happen through circumstance to ordianry people in ordinary surroundings. I found the church scene disturbing and creepy. Help me here--anyone have any idea who the Draytons' grotesque female creature is? A retarded daughter? A neurologically impaired servant? A grotesque spinster sister? She is never named, so who is the actress who plays her? We first see here at the airport when the Mackennas arrive in London; she goes to a booth and calls the Draytons. In many ways she is the story's most fascinating yet least developed character. If you have negelected this work from the Hitchcock canon you owe it to yourself to catch up with it. You will not be disappointed. When the going gets tough I use this film and "Love Me Or Leave Me" to get in touch with my inner Doris!!!!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
THe Man who knew to much is about a family vacationing in Africa, Doctor Ben Mcena, his wife Jo Macena and there 6 year old son Hank vacation in Morroco, after a incident on a bus the family is helped by a man named Mr. Bernared. After he is invited to dinner with the family he rufuses. The next day the family leaves there son with people they met the lastr night, but after the murder of Mr. Bernard The Macenas find out that there son was kidnapped and taken to England, after that they are not sure who to trust.