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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

Not Rated | | 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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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Louis Bernard
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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:

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | 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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

£40,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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

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 »

Goofs

When Mrs. Lawrence faints, her right arm, holding the letter, is straight. In the next close-up shot her arm is bent. See more »

Quotes

Abbott: The arm of the English law needed help in taking our friend to the station - very, very reluctantly. I've given him in charge.
Nurse Agnes: For disorderly conduct in a sacred edifice.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Paul Merton Looks at Alfred Hitchcock (2009) 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

British Version is Fast-Paced, Witty, & Atmospheric
20 July 2001 | by See all my reviews

Both versions of Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" are well worth watching, and each one has its own strong points. While this British version cannot match the Hollywood remake in terms of star power and lavish production, it has several strengths of its own: it is fast-paced, filled with wit, and nicely atmospheric. Despite being 20 years older, it is also more 'modern' in its portrayal of the woman whose child is kidnapped.

Aside from Peter Lorre, always a big plus to any movie, the cast does not have too many names that would be familiar to today's audiences, but they all are good actors who fit in well with the style of Hitchcock's British films, exuding self-control and good-natured wit even in the most trying of circumstances. Edna Best as the heroine is noticeably different from Doris Day, lacking the glamour but giving a convincing performance as a more determined, resourceful mother.

There are some interesting settings in this version, too, with much of the action taking place in some interesting buildings in a less elegant neighborhood in London. A lot of it looks a bit murky in the old black-and-white print, but in a sense even that adds to the atmosphere.

Certainly there are those who have good reasons for preferring the remake, but every Hitchcock fan should watch the original, too. Hitchcock's British films had a pleasant style all their own, and while this one might not measure up to "The Lady Vanishes" or "The 39 Steps", it's still very entertaining.


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