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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 15 April 1935 (USA)
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.

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(by), (by) (as D.B. Wyndham Lewis) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Frank Vosper ...
Ramon Levine
...
Clive
...
Betty Lawrence
...
Cicely Oates ...
Nurse Agnes
D.A. Clarke-Smith ...
Binstead (as D.A. Clarke Smith)
George Curzon ...
Gibson
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Lord High Minister of Everything Sinister! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

15 April 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre que sabía demasiado  »

Box Office

Budget:

£40,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(British Acoustic Film Full Range Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Lorre's first English-language film. See more »

Goofs

When the two police officers are preparing to shoot out the window, the blind suddenly goes up even though neither man had touched it. See more »

Quotes

Abbott: Tell her they may soon be leaving us. Leaving us for a long, long journey. How is it that Shakespeare says? "From which no traveler returns." Great poet.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: The Boy Who Knew Too Much (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Vastly underrated
27 September 2002 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

One of Hitchcock's best films, and entirely undervalued. I love most of Hitch's films. His bigger productions of the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s are probably best loved, but I really like his grittier, more reality-based films as well. During that period, The Wrong Man is almost entirely overlooked, despite being one of his greatest achievements. This kind of film was most common during his British career, where he had less money to work with. I myself am least familiar with the first chunk of the man's career, but I have seen enough of them. My favorite so far is definitely Sabotage (1936), which is another criminally underrated film. The first version of The Man Who Knew Too Much is a close second favorite. A terrorist group (led by Peter Lorre) kills a secret agent in Switzerland. Bob and Jill Lawrence discover that the group is planning to assassinate a foreign diplomat in London in the upcoming days, so the group kidnaps their daughter to keep them quiet. They're unwilling to tell the police about the kidnapping, and eventually take it upon themselves to find her. They have to do it quickly, for, if the diplomat is killed because they withheld information from the police, a second World War could rest upon their shoulders. The story isn't particularly complex, but Hitchcock's cinema is as spectacular as it ever was, while aiming for a low key. There are a dozen memorable scenes in the film, most notably the concert with the slowly revolving camera as Jill Lawrence scans the room for the assassin. And I love the realistic standoff near the end of the film, as the police slowly move citizens to safety as the terrorists shoot from the dark. The acting is also very good, with Edna Best (as Jill Lawrence) and especially Peter Lorre (how can you not love this guy?) standing above the rest. 10/10.


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