A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.
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
When Mrs. Lawrence faints, her right arm, holding the letter, is straight. In the next close-up shot her arm is bent. See more »
The arm of the English law needed help in taking our friend to the station - very, very reluctantly. I've given him in charge.
For disorderly conduct in a sacred edifice.
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British Version is Fast-Paced, Witty, & Atmospheric
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
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
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
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