The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Mystery, Thriller  |  15 April 1935 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 11,992 users  
Reviews: 97 user | 69 critic

A man and his wife receive a clue to an imminent assassination attempt, only to learn that their daughter has been kidnapped to keep them quiet.



(by), (by) (as D.B.Wyndham Lewis) , 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Edna Best ...
Frank Vosper ...
Hugh Wakefield ...
Nova Pilbeam ...
Betty Lawrence
Cicely Oates ...
Nurse Agnes
D.A. Clarke-Smith ...
Binstead (as D.A.Clarke Smith)
George Curzon ...


While holidaying in Switzerland, Lawrence and his wife Jill are asked by a dying friend, Louis Bernard, to get information hidden in his room to the British Consulate. They get the information, but when they deny having it, their daughter Betty is kidnapped. It turns out that Louis was a Foreign Office spy and the information has to do with the assassination of a foreign dignitary. Having managed to trace his daughter's kidnappers back to London, Lawrence learns that the assassination will take place during a concert at the Albert Hall. It is left to Jill, however, to stop the assassination. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Public Enemy No. 1 of all the world... See more »


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Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

15 April 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre que sabía demasiado  »

Box Office


£40,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(British Acoustic Film Full Range Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The dentist scene was originally intended to take place in a barber shop. However, Alfred Hitchcock saw I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932), in which there is a scene exactly like it, so he changed it to a dentist's office. See more »


During the shoot-out when Peter Lorre goes over and stands by the window, the pane closest to his right shoulder is broken; only half of it remains. The shot cuts away and then back, and now the pane is intact. See more »


Abbott: You know, to a man with a heart as soft as mine, there's nothing sweeter than a touching scene.
Bob Lawrence: Such as?
Abbott: Such as a father saying goodbye to his child. Yeah, goodbye for the last time. What could be more touching than that?
See more »


Spoofed in The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997) See more »


Storm Clouds Cantata
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Arthur Benjamin
Words by D.B. Wyndham-Lewis
Performed by London Symphony Orchestra
Under the direction of H. Wynn Reeves
See more »

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User Reviews

Classic Early Hitchcock...
10 February 2004 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Perhaps a bit hard to watch for younger generations, but this is the superior version of the yuppie couple whose only child is kidnapped and held for ransom (remade under the same title in the 50s by the same director, Alfred Hitchcock).

The film doesn't live up to "The 39 Steps" or "The Lady Vanishes" as one of Hitch's early works, but it is a superb example of classic low-budget filmmaking at its best. Yes, the effects (like the opening ski slope run) are incredibly laughable, but hey--it was filmed on a virtually empty budget by a relatively unknown director at the time with a low-budget cast in Britain.


5/5 stars.

  • John Ulmer

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