The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)

PG  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime  |  14 November 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 22,878 users  
Reviews: 99 user | 34 critic

Wallace Ritchie is mistaken for a spy and must stop a plot to assassinate international leaders at a banquet.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Boris 'The Butcher' Blavasky
Gilbert Embleton
Dr. Ludmilla Kropotkin
Barbara Ritchie
Cliff Parisi ...
Janet Henfrey ...
Ms. Goldstein
Terry O'Neill ...
Isabel Hernández ...
Consuela (as Isabel Hernandez)


An American gets a ticket for an audience participation game in London, then gets involved in a case of mistaken identity. As an international plot unravels around him, he thinks it's all part of the act. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's on a mission so secret, even he doesn't know about it. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language, innuendo, comic violence and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Watch That Man  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,604,819 (USA) (14 November 1997)


DEM 573,393 (Germany) (5 June 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie that Consuela is watching in the kitchen is Copycat (1995), also directed by Jon Amiel. See more »


When Wally scares Lori's attacker through the window, he is shown wearing sunglasses. After Lori suggests they leave, however, he is seen in the next shot without the sunglasses. See more »


James Ritchie: Am I talking to an actor now, or a human being?
Chief Insp. Cockburn: Neither sir, I'm a policeman.
See more »


Spoofs The Shining (1980) See more »


Written by Moïse Simons (as Moises Simon) and L. Wolfe Gilbert
Performed by Los Indio Tabajaras (as Los Indios Tabajaras)
Courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

Joanne Whalley-Kilmer's really cool spoof.
10 April 1999 | by (San Diego) – See all my reviews

In the film "Scandal," Joanne Whalley-Kilmer played the part of a high priced call girl who has affairs with British politicians, movers, and shakers, and most famously with the British Minister of War. It was based on a true story and Joanne W-K's performance became the highlight of her career. In "The Man Who Knew Too Little," Joanne W-K once again plays this character but for laughs. Kind of neat considering that the two films probably don't share the same audience (which is apparent since so far I am the only reviewer to pick up on this connection, despite the obvious spoof.) When she appeared on screen and I saw she was spoofing her "Scandal" role it was like actually getting one of Dennis Miller's "intellectual" jokes. If you have only seen one of the films you should see the other one too. If you have not seen either start with "Scandal," if not for chronological sake then at least to get the inside joke in the later (plus "Scandal" is a really good film and very timely considering the Clinton-Monica thing). Bill fans (Murray that is) don't worry, he is here in fine form. For movie buffs this film is but a series of spoofs of well-known, and not so well-known mostly film-noir flicks (think watered down Mel Brooks, circa Young Frankenstein, not so broad, not so obvious, but cool when you "get it.") If you're under the age of 35 you probably won't get them (my niece, part of the "money demographic" was shocked to find out that there was actually a movie called "The Man Who Knew Too Much," which explains exactly why the film didn't do better box office.) Most of all, the interest is Joanne Whalley-Kilmer who has brought back to comedic film the wonderful French Maid costume. Once a staple of Vauldeville, Bob Hope comedies, and Pink Panther films, the French Maid's costume should be mandatory for all women endowed with great legs. Oooh La La! Even if you have not seen Hitchcock or British cinema, you never heard of film-noir (let alone pronounce it), and your knowledge of Cold War and foreign spy history is non-existent, there is Joanne W-K's killer bod and cool spoof. And oh yes, Bill Murray's good too.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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