IMDb > The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
The Man Who Knew Too Much
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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
15 April 1935 (USA) See more »
Public Enemy No. 1 of all the world... See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
2 wins See more »
(3 articles)
User Reviews:
Hitch and the "Anarchist Revolt" of 1911 in London See more (94 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Leslie Banks ... Lawrence
Edna Best ... Jill

Peter Lorre ... Abbott
Frank Vosper ... Ramon
Hugh Wakefield ... Clive
Nova Pilbeam ... Betty Lawrence
Pierre Fresnay ... Louis
Cicely Oates ... Nurse Agnes
D.A. Clarke-Smith ... Binstead (as D.A.Clarke Smith)
George Curzon ... Gibson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Atkinson ... Policeman Shot Behind Mattress (uncredited)
Betty Bascomb ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Tony De Lungo ... Hotel Manager (uncredited)
Clare Greet ... Mrs. Brockett (uncredited)
Joan Harrison ... Secretary (uncredited)
James Knight ... Police Inspector (uncredited)
Arnold Lucy ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Mitchelson-Hill ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Henry Oscar ... George Barber - Dentist (uncredited)
Charles Paton ... Shopkeeper (uncredited)
Frederick Piper ... Policeman with Rifle (uncredited)
H.G. Stoker ... Police Chief at Siege (uncredited)
Jack Vyvian ... Baker - Policeman Shot at Front Door (uncredited)
Percy Walsh ... Detective Inspector (uncredited)
Hal Walters ... Postman (uncredited)
S.J. Warmington ... Rawlings - Gang Member (uncredited)
Edward Wild ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock 
Writing credits
Charles Bennett (by) and
D.B. Wyndham-Lewis (by) (as D.B.Wyndham Lewis)

Edwin Greenwood (scenario) and
A.R. Rawlinson (scenario)

Emlyn Williams (additional dialogue)

Produced by
Ivor Montagu .... associate producer
Michael Balcon .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Arthur Benjamin (music)
Cinematography by
Curt Courant (photography)
Film Editing by
Hugh Stewart  (as H.St.C.Stewart)
Art Direction by
Alfred Junge (art direction)
Production Management
Richard Beville .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Pen Tennyson .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Peter Proud .... sets (uncredited)
Sound Department
F. McNally .... recordist (as F.McNally)
Visual Effects by
Albert Whitlock .... miniatures assistant (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Ted Lloyd .... camera operator (uncredited)
Peter Sargent .... clapper-boy (uncredited)
Music Department
Louis Levy .... musical director
Charles Williams .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
75 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (British Acoustic Film Full Range Recording System)
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 (1995) | Finland:(Banned) (1935) | Germany:12 | Ireland:PG | Sweden:(Banned) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1998) | USA:Approved (PCA #620) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

The dentist scene in this film was originally intended to take place in a barber shop. However, Alfred Hitchcock saw the film 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. The film was originally intended to be another film in the Bulldog Drummond series entitled "Bulldog Drummond's Baby". However, Alfred Hitchcock and writer Charles Bennett did not get the rights to use the Drummond name.See more »
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
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 »
Storm Clouds CantataSee more »


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36 out of 43 people found the following review useful.
Hitch and the "Anarchist Revolt" of 1911 in London, 2 January 2006
Author: theowinthrop from United States

In the novel, THE SECRET AGENT, Joseph Conrad had dissected the world of anarchists, double agents and spies, and police in the East End of London of 1894, the year that an attempt to destroy the Greenwich Observatory occurred. Alfred Hitchcock used Conrad's novel for his film SABOTAGE in 1936. But two years earlier he did the film THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. It was the first of two films in which Peter Lorre was directed by him. It was also the only one of his movies that he remade complete with title. But he decided to use the film to film a scene from British criminal history - the January 1911 "Siege of Sidney Street".

There had been an incident in December 1910 when several Russian aliens were involved in a burglary in Houndsditch. The proceeds of their robberies (aside from supporting themselves) helped fund anti-Tsarist activities in Russia. They killed three constables in making their escape from the shop. They were eventually tracked down to a house on Sidney Street, and fired at the police who tried to get them to surrender. The Home Secretary of the day (a politician named Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill) sent out troops, sharp shooters, and artillery. The cannon set the house on fire, and the men found inside were found to be dead. The best account of the event is Donald Rumbelow's THE SIEGE OF SIDNEY STREET called THE HOUNDSDITCH MURDERS in Great Britain.

Here, instead of radicals (called anarchists in 1911) we have foreign conspirators planning an assassination in London of a foreign head of state. Peter Lorre is the leader. Leslie Banks and his family are on vacation to Switzerland. Banks witnesses the murder of a Frenchman (Pierre Fresney, a great French star of the period - this English film is a rarity for him). Fresney reveals the assassination plot to Banks, and Lorre and his associates kidnap his daughter (Nora Pilbeam) to keep his mouth shut. But the police are aware that he heard something from Fresney, and try to pressure him to talk.

So we watch Banks try to track down his daughter (and get captured himself) while his wife goes to the Albert Hall to see what she can do.

The finale of the film is based on the Siege - with some exceptions (one of the bobbies in the Houndsditch tragedy is shot and killed in the start of the movie's version of the incident). But Hitchcock maintains the suspense to the end, when the last villain is taken care of.

It's an interesting film - not a great one. And it is somewhat different from the 1956 remake.

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