6.9/10
14,925
112 user 71 critic

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

Not Rated | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 15 April 1935 (USA)
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.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Charles Bennett (by), D.B. Wyndham-Lewis (by) (as D.B. Wyndham Lewis) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Sabotage (1936)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Scotland Yard undercover detective is on the trail of a saboteur who is part of a plot to set off a bomb in London. But when the detective's cover is blown, the plot begins to unravel.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Oskar Homolka, Desmond Tester
The 39 Steps (1935)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man in London tries to help a counter-espionage Agent. But when the Agent is killed, and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim
Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A man on the run from a murder charge enlists a beautiful stranger who must put herself at risk for his cause.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Nova Pilbeam, Derrick De Marney, Percy Marmont
Secret Agent (1936)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After three British Agents are assigned to assassinate a mysterious German spy during World War I, two of them become ambivalent when their duty to the mission conflicts with their consciences.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: John Gielgud, Madeleine Carroll, Robert Young
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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
Stars: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

While travelling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas
Blackmail (1929)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After killing a man in self-defense, a young woman is blackmailed by a witness to the killing.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Anny Ondra, John Longden, Sara Allgood
Number 17 (1932)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A gang of thieves gather at a safe house following a robbery, but a detective is on their trail.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Leon M. Lion, Anne Grey, John Stuart
Murder! (1930)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A juror in a murder trial, after voting to convict, has second thoughts and begins to investigate on his own before the execution.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring, Phyllis Konstam
Certificate: Passed Action | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On the eve of World War II, a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall
Jamaica Inn (1939)
Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In Cornwall in 1819, a young woman discovers that she's living near a gang of criminals who arrange shipwrecks for profit.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Maureen O'Hara, Robert Newton, Charles Laughton
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A landlady suspects her new lodger is the madman killing women in London.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: June Tripp, Ivor Novello, Marie Ault
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Leslie Banks ... Bob Lawrence
Edna Best ... Jill Lawrence
Peter Lorre ... Abbott
Frank Vosper ... Ramon Levine
Hugh Wakefield ... Clive
Nova Pilbeam ... Betty Lawrence
Pierre Fresnay ... Louis Bernard
Cicely Oates ... Nurse Agnes
D.A. Clarke-Smith D.A. Clarke-Smith ... Binstead (as D.A. Clarke Smith)
George Curzon George Curzon ... Gibson
Edit

Storyline

While holidaying in Switzerland, Lawrence and his wife Jill are asked by a dying friend, Louis Bernard, to get information hidden in his room to the British Consulate. They get the information, but when they deny having it, their daughter Betty is kidnapped. It turns out that Louis was a Foreign Office spy and the information has to do with the assassination of a foreign dignitary. Having managed to trace his daughter's kidnappers back to London, Lawrence learns that the assassination will take place during a concert at the Albert Hall. It is left to Jill, however, to stop the assassination. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Lord High Minister of Everything Sinister! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German | Italian | French

Release Date:

15 April 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El hombre que sabía demasiado See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

£40,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (British Acoustic Film Full Range Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Lorre's first English-language movie. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Abbott: You know, to a man with a heart as soft as mine, there's nothing sweeter than a touching scene.
Bob Lawrence: Such as?
Abbott: Such as a father saying goodbye to his child. Yeah, goodbye for the last time. What could be more touching than that?
See more »


Soundtracks

Storm Clouds Cantata
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Arthur Benjamin
Words by D.B. Wyndham-Lewis
Performed by London Symphony Orchestra
Under the direction of H. Wynn Reeves
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Interesting idea, not the best execution
6 August 2007 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

Hitccock's first major release in the USA and Peter Lorre's first English-speaking role are two firsts scored by this 1934 thriller. This is, of course, also Hitchcock's first attempt to to make this film. His second, released in the mid-50s was more successful and better funded. This very British and relatively pithy film retains most of the character of Hitchcock's earlier efforts, but is lean and economical, with less camera play and simpler cinematography and pacing.

The acting is generally very good. Of the main cast, Nova Pilbeam, who plays the kidnapped daughter of Leslie Banks and Edna Best, is the only survivor today, at the age of 87. Most of the action centers on Banks,and he is fine, but (and I tend to think this is Hitchcock's doing) very emotionally compressed throughout the film. Banks' Bob Lawrence has a loving, flirty, wife (Best) and a delightful young daughter (Pilbeam). They are away on holiday in the alps when a new friend of their is shot dead while dancing with Best. As he dies, he passes along some information which creates the family's predicament. Lorre and his people kidnap young Pilbeam in exchange for Banks' silence, and he must then decide what to do. It seems that no matter what he does, his daughter is likely to die.

It is remarkable that Lorre did not even know what he was saying throughout most of this performance. The legendary actor, as usual, dominates all of his scenes and gives the film a creepy, psychotic feeling that would have been difficult to achieve without him.

The plot is a bit light on logic, but brisk, satisfyingly convoluted and entertaining. The script is OK, but often maintains too stiff an upper lip. A few opportunities for elaboration were missed - probably a limitation inherent in the original Wyndham Lewis story. I think it would have been interesting (and more credible) if the authorities had followed up on their knowledge that Banks knew something and trailed him throughout the film. This could have added an extra layer of potential suspense, mystery and obfuscation, since Best's heightened paranoia might have lead him to suspect all sorts of things about anybody keeping tabs on him.

Hitchcock definitely knew he had a potential gem here, and it is a credit to him that he revitalized the film with Jimmy Stewart in the 1950s - after establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with.

Worth seeing for Hitchcock fans and those interested in early British film as well as fans of the 1950s version. O/w only very mildly recommended.


21 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 112 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching



Recently Viewed