Man Who Knew Too Much

Man Who Knew Too Much

5.0 1
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Alfred Hitchcock, Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Peter Lorre

     
 

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The first film version of The Man Who Knew too Much proved to be the international "breakthrough" film for British director Alfred Hitchcock, transforming him from merely a talented domestic filmmaker to a worldwide household name. While vacationing in Switzerland, Britons Leslie Banks and Edna Best befriend jovial Frenchman Pierre Fresnay. Not long afterward,See more details below

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Overview

The first film version of The Man Who Knew too Much proved to be the international "breakthrough" film for British director Alfred Hitchcock, transforming him from merely a talented domestic filmmaker to a worldwide household name. While vacationing in Switzerland, Britons Leslie Banks and Edna Best befriend jovial Frenchman Pierre Fresnay. Not long afterward, Fresnay is murdered. He whispers a secret in Banks' ear before expiring. This is witnessed by several sinister foreign agents, who kidnap Banks' daughter Nova Pilbeam to keep him from revealing what he knows: That a diplomat will be assassinated during a concert at London's Albert Hall. Unable to turn to the police, Banks desperately attempts to rescue his child himself, still hoping to prevent the assassination. The film's now-famous setpieces include the "Siege of Sidney Street" re-creation and the climactic clash of cymbals at Albert Hall, followed by the crucial scream of Edna Best. German film star Peter Lorre made his English-speaking debut in The Man Who Knew Too Much, though he was still monolingual in 1934 and had to learn his lines phonetically. Written by A. R. Rawlinson, Charles Bennett, D.B. Wyndham Lewis, Emlyn Williams and Edwin Greenwood (an impressive lineup for a 75-minute film!), Man Who Knew Too Much was remade by Hitchcock himself in 1956.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Though Alfred Hitchcock would remake the movie himself in 1956 with a bigger budget, the original 1934 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much is arguably a more historically significant and aesthetically interesting film. It was Hitchcock's first true international hit. Though he wouldn't have a major success in America until The Lady Vanishes, Man and the subsequent The 39 Steps helped establish the director's distinctive style and lay the groundwork for his popularity. Along with Hitchcock's trademark blend of suspense and humor and blurring of the normal and abnormal, the film also features his characteristically grand showpieces, most memorably the recreation of the true-life "Sidney Street Siege" and the famous Albert Hall scene. The film was also significant as German actor Peter Lorre's first English-language part. Having fled Nazi Germany in 1933, Lorre had to learn his lines phonetically, but he steals the film as the cruel but melancholic bad guy, and his difficulties with English barely show. The actor would go on to give memorable turns in such notable Hollywood productions as Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/15/2013
UPC:
0715515101714
Original Release:
1934
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:15:00
Sales rank:
2,568

Special Features

New Audio Commentary featuring Film Historian Philip Kemp; New interview with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro; The Illustrated Hitchcock, an extensive interview with Director Alfred Hitchcock from 1972, conducted by journalist Pia Lindstrom and film historian William K. Everson; Audio excerpts from filmmaker François Truffaut's legendary 1962 interviews with Hitchcock; Restoration demonstration; ; Plus: A Booklet featuring an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Leslie Banks Bob Lawrence
Edna Best Jill Lawrence
Peter Lorre Abbott
Frank Vosper Ramon Levine
Hugh Wakefield Clive
Nova Pilbeam Betty Lawrence
Pierre Fresnay Louis Bernard
George Curzon Gibson
Cicely Oates Nurse Agnes
D.A. Clarke-Smith Insp. Binstead
Celia Lovsky Actor
Henry Oscar Dentist
Guillermo del Toro Interviewee

Technical Credits
Alfred Hitchcock Director
Michael Balcon Producer
Arthur Benjamin Score Composer
Charles Bennett Screenwriter
Curt Courant Cinematographer
Edwin Greenwood Screenwriter
Alfred Junge Art Director,Set Decoration/Design
Louis Levy Musical Direction/Supervision
Peter Proud Art Director,Set Decoration/Design
A.R. Rawlinson Screenwriter
Hugh Stewart Editor
Emlyn Williams Screenwriter
D.B. Wyndham-Lewis Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Man Who Knew Too Much
1. Opening Credits [2:01]
2. Close Call In St. Moritz [5:12]
3. "Don't Breathe a Word" [3:26]
4. Secret Messages [5:30]
5. Back in London [3:20]
6. Gibson, of the Foreign Office [6:45]
7. G. Barbor, of Wapping [7:23]
8. The Tabernacle of the Sun [6:30]
9. Chair Fight [4:19]
10. Calling Jill [5:33]
11. "Listen Carefully" [3:35]
12. Royal Albert Hall [5:52]
13. Back at the Hideout [2:58]
14. Surrounded [6:35]
15. Betty [6:53]
1. Color Bars
1. Locating the Audience [2:01]
2. "The First Real Hitchcock Film" [5:12]
3. Michael Balcon [3:26]
4. Bulldog Drummond's Baby [5:30]
5. The Cast [3:20]
6. "A Recurring Theme" [6:45]
7. Peter Lorre [7:23]
8. The Film's Screenwriters [6:30]
9. Penrose "Pen" Tennyson [4:19]
10. Two Versions [5:33]
11. Big Set Pieces [3:35]
12. "Storm Cloud Cantata" [5:52]
13. Siege of Sidney Street [2:58]
14. "Ordinary Police Methods" [6:35]
15. Hitchcock's Nemesis [6:53]
1. Part One/Actors [8:32]
2. Suspense [3:55]
3. Humor [7:55]
4. Fame [1:29]
5. Part Two/The Beginning [8:03]
6. The Man Who Knew Too Much [3:52]
7. The Audience [5:39]
8. Hollywood [6:42]
9. "The Need To Get It Right" [3:35]
1. "A Careless Mood" [3:57]
2. "I Owe It To Balcon" [3:28]
3. The Man Who Knew Too Much [2:56]
4. "The One-Note Man" [6:54]
5. Suspense and Surprise [5:39]

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