A French intelligence agent becomes embroiled in the Cold War politics first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missle Crisis, and then back to France to break up an international Russian spy ring.
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
In 1965, Alfred Hitchcock and James Stewart filed a $4,000,000 lawsuit against Paramount Pictures, arguing that their eight-year agreement with the studio had ended and that Paramount had breached their copyright by televising the film. The director and actor also requested that Paramount return the film's original negative to them. The final disposition of this suit has not been made public, but the film remained unavailable for commercial exhibition for many years. See more »
When Jo, who is in a hurry to get to the Albert Hall, gets out the taxi, she quickly walks past a man and woman wearing black and brown coats. When Jo soon arrives at the Albert Hall, the same couple is ahead of her again. See more »
[to Louis Bernard]
If you ever get hungry, our garden back home is full of snails. We tried everything to get rid of them. We never thought of a Frenchman!
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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 »
Not one of my favorite Hitchcock movies, but worth seeing.
I'm not sure why I didn't have a more enthusiastic reaction to The Man Who Knew Too Much. Hitchcock is the director that got me interested in classic cinema, and Rear Window, Notorious, Psycho, The Birds, Rebecca, and The Lady Vanishes are all among my favorite movies. It's a globe-trotting adventure with all the tension, intrigue, assassinations, conspiracies, and suspense you could want, but there's something about it that just didn't really catch my interest until the last 30 minutes, or so. The ending is great, but the rest of the movie was just missing something, in my opinion.
The problem certainly wasn't with the two lead actors. James Stewart gave another great performance under Hitchcock's eye (he was my favorite Hitchcock leading man), and Doris Day was charmingly determined and convincing as a confused wife and mother, desperately searching for her son.
The Man Who Knew Too Much certainly isn't a bad movie (is there such a thing as a bad Hitchcock movie?), and I expect that other people might have a more favorable response to it than I did. I suspect this is just one of those times when a good film just doesn't completely "click", with me, for whatever reason. I recommend it to anyone who is interested, though.
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