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
Bernard Herrmann: Conductor plays himself on-screen. Walking to the Albert Hall, Josephine McKann passes by a billboard naming the conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, and the mezzo-soprano soloist Barbara Howitt of the Covent Garden Opera Chorus. Both are in opening credits for the "Cantata Storm Clouds". This movie may be the only surviving movie of the (uncredited) Orchestra's Leader, violinist George Stratton, and Principal Cello Dennis Nisbett. See more »
After Dr. McKenna tells his wife Jo about Hank being missing, she begins to fall asleep and the shadow of the boom mic falls on the wall behind Dr. McKenna's head. See more »
A man... a statesman... is to be killed... assassinated in London. Soon... very soon. Tell them in London... tell them to try Ambrose Chapel...
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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 »
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 »
I hadn't seen it since I was in college. I remembered it like a fun, absurd movie. Now in 2018 what hit me the most was the wife played by Doris Day. She is spectacular and the absurdity becomes totally real just by looking at her. James Stewart is great of course but he seems to be the foil here rather than the center that keeps us connected to that essential leap of faith. The scene in which he gives her the tranquilizers before telling her the terrible news. What Doris Day manages to do with her character is extraordinary. Brenda de Banzie is a terrific villainess and Bernard Herrmann's score another major plus. I'm sure that even my grandchildren's grandchildren will talk about The Man Who Knew Too Much and about Doris Day.
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