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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

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2:10 | Trailer
An American physician and his wife take matters into their own hands after assassins planning to execute a foreign Prime Minister kidnap their son.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

John Michael Hayes (screenplay), Charles Bennett (based on a story by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,989 ( 320)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Stewart ... Dr. Benjamin McKenna
Doris Day ... Josephine Conway McKenna
Brenda de Banzie ... Lucy Drayton
Bernard Miles ... Edward Drayton
Ralph Truman Ralph Truman ... Inspector Buchanan, Special Branch
Daniel Gélin ... Louis Bernard
Mogens Wieth Mogens Wieth ... Ambassador
Alan Mowbray ... Val Parnell
Hillary Brooke ... Jan Peterson
Christopher Olsen ... Hank McKenna
Reggie Nalder ... French Marksman
Richard Wattis ... Albert Hall Assistant Manager
Noel Willman ... Woburn, Special Branch
Alix Talton ... Helen Parnell
Yves Brainville Yves Brainville ... French Police Inspector
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Storyline

While in London, for a medical convention, Dr Ben McKenna, his wife, Jo, a former singer, and their teenage son, Hank decide to take a quick trip to Marrakesh. Whilst there, hanks kidnapped by a British couple. A man, who the McKenna's had met the same day, is stabbed, in front of them, but before he dies, he tells Ben there's a plan to assassinate on a politician. Fearing for his son's safety, the McKenna's don't tell this to the police. As the he clock grows ever closer - to the l both the speed time of the assassination, and to dealt find Hank, the tension ratches up. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A little knowledge can be a deadly thing! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic | French

Release Date:

1 June 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,190
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scenes where his character speaks in English, Daniel Gélin was dubbed (with what appears to be the voice of Anton Walbrook), but in the brief moments where he speaks in French, Gélin's own voice can be heard. See more »

Goofs

When Ben is looking at the sleeping Jo, his shadow can be seen clearly on the wall. There would have to be a strong light source behind him for this, but there is none - only the bedside table lamps. See more »

Quotes

Jo McKenna: [after Hank accidentally pulls off a woman's veil on the bus] Why was he so angry? It was just an accident.
Louis Bernard: But, eh, the Muslim religion allows for few accidents.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: A single crash of Cymbals and how it rocked the lives of an American family. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original film opened with the Paramount logo followed by their patented wide screen process, Vista Vision. In the 80's, Universal re-issued the film with their logo, and dropped the reference to Vista Vision. The Blu-Ray edition retains the Paramount/Vista Vision logos at the start, but carries the 80's Universal logo at the end. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Avengers: The Bird Who Knew Too Much (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Whatever Will Be
(1956)
by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Performed by Doris Day (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Despite the slow pace at the start this is tighter and better than the original
15 October 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Whilst on holiday in Morocco the McKenna family meet the mysterious Louis Bernard. Later the next day the same man stumbles into the marketplace, stabbed and dying. With his last words Bernard whispers the details of a conspiracy to assassinate a statesman in London. To keep McKenna quiet the criminals kidnap his son. The McKenna's go to London to try and track down their son with the one clue they have – Ambrose Chappell.

If you are looking for someone to remake a Hitchcock film then probably Hitchcock himself is your best bet. Here he takes his black and white British film and updates it to the 50's. Much of the plot stays the same but it's a little padded out. This is particularly evident in the first half where it does go a bit too slow for my liking and feels like a travelogue film for some parts! The majority though moves along nicely and is more dramatic than the 1934 version. Where that was a little still and very British, this has a lot more emotion and is pretty tense at times.

Stewart does very well in the lead and is convincing as the man becoming increasingly desperate as he hunts for his son. Day is OK but is a little annoying. I'm not a big fan of her so that may have something to do with it, but her singing was stretched and caused the film to drag and I only felt for her character in the Albert Hall scene where she showed her conflicting emotions very well. The villains are less than the original – but who could compete with Peter Lorre?

Overall this colourful version starts slowly and feels padded with African footage. However once the drama actually starts it works very well and is actually tighter and better than the 1934 film of the same name. Like I said, if you want someone to make a good remake of a Hitchcock film then surely the man himself must be your first stop.


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