The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

PG  |   |  Thriller  |  1 June 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 39,568 users  
Reviews: 191 user | 73 critic

A family vacationing in Morocco accidentally stumble on to an assassination plot and the conspirators are determined to prevent them from interfering.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brenda de Banzie ...
Ralph Truman ...
Louis Bernard (as Daniel Gelin)
Mogens Wieth ...
Hillary Brooke ...
Christopher Olsen ...
Reggie Nalder ...
Richard Wattis ...
Assistant Manager
Noel Willman ...
Yves Brainville ...
Police Inspector


While attending a medical conference in Paris, American physician Dr. Ben McKenna, his wife, retired musical theater actress and singer Jo McKenna née Conway, and their adolescent son Hank McKenna decide to take a side trip to among other places Marrekesh, French Morocco. With a knife plunged into his back, Frenchman Louis Bernard, who the family met earlier in their bus ride into Marrakesh and who is now masquerading as an Arab, approaches Ben, cryptically whispering into Ben's ears that there will be an attempted assassination in London of a statesman, this news whispered just before Bernard dies. Ben is reluctant to provide any information of this news to the authorities because concurrently Hank is kidnapped by British couple, Edward and Lucy Drayton, who also befriended the McKennas in Marrakesh and who probably have taken Hank out of the country back to England. Whoever the unknown people the Draytons are working for have threatened to kill Hank if Ben divulges any information ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Alfred Hitchcock strikes the highest note of suspense the screen has yet achieved! See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

1 June 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much  »

Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Doris Day had a fear of flying that stemmed from tours with Bob Hope in the 1940s that resulted in some close calls in impenetrable winter weather. She almost turned down her role in this film because it required travel to London and Marrakesh. Her husband and manager, Martin Melcher talked her into accepting it. See more »


Although the assassin and the ambassador are seated in the same tier of boxes, the assassin's view of his target through the opera glasses is from below and not across. See more »


Jo McKenna: So, what do you do?
Louis Bernard: I buy and sell.
Jo McKenna: I see. And what do you buy and sell?
Louis Bernard: Whatever gives the most profit.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Partly because the rights to this film were acquired from Paramount by Universal, the Paramount VistaVision fanfare is played over the opening Universal logo. This is the way it is currently (2005) shown on television in the re-release version (1984). See more »


Edited into The Unauthorized Hagiography of Vincent Price (2014) See more »


We'll Love Again
By Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Performed by Doris Day (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Hitchcock strikes again!
24 September 2006 | by (Indiana) – See all my reviews

I don't know if this is Hitchcock's worst film but it comes close. Much of it is so terrible one actually feels embarrassed for the actors. It is as if Hitchcock deliberately wanted to make them look bad. One scene that stands out in particular is when James Stewart climbs out of the bell tower at the church. It is hard to imagine a clumsier sight than this; plus it makes his character seem particularly stupid. Another scene is when the little boy is told to whistle in order to attract his mother's attention. This is so contrived as to make one shudder in disbelief. Finally, there is the matter of Doris Day. She simply is not believable in a so-called serious role, and her constant whining of "Que Sera Sera" eventually makes one want to throw rocks at the TV. But Hitchcock was probably so bored by re-making one of his lesser British films he just didn't care how ridiculous all of this was. So he struck back at the audience, then took the money and ran!

24 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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