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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

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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
492 ( 5,126)
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 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 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)

Gross USA:

$10,250,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

The Marksman uses a Finnish Lahti L-35 9mm semi-automatic pistol. Reggie Nalder should be a familiar face to Star Trek (1966) fans as Andorian ambassador Shras in season two, episode ten, "Journey to Babel", and to horror fans as the vampire Barlow in Salem's Lot (1979). See more »

Goofs

When the two men and the woman are discussing the music arrangements with the shot to be fired at Ambrose Chapel, the cigarette she is smoking is much smaller than the one that she extinguishes before she and the men go to leave the room. See more »

Quotes

[to Louis Bernard]
Hank McKenna: 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!
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

Remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) 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

Under-rated suspense masterwork.
16 January 2001 | by boris-26See all my reviews

When you start watching the 1956 version of THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, you'll think it's a minor work by Alfred Hitchcock. The countless scenes showing a lovely, but buffoonish vacationing American couple (James Stewart, Doris Day) seem to lead nowhere. But, hold on, about thirty minutes into the film, during a very dreamlike murder sequence (which takes place in bright sunlight, and involves blue paint) the film really takes off. Personally, I find the opening "character development" sequence between protagonists James Stewart and Doris Day very charming. It sets you up for the second and third acts of the film. You get to like this couple so much, you are raelly rooting for them as they try to rescue their kidnapped son amidst a plot to assassinate a visiting diplomat. Of course, the high-point of the film is the assassination itself, a twelve minute wordless sequence. Hitchcock beautifully brings us back to silent film! The ending, which involves a rescue at an embassy, is wonderfully silly and tense. For those not familiar with Hitchcock, this is Hitchcock's own remake of a film he made under the same title in 1934 in England. This is one of my favorite Hitchcock films. It's proof that this master loved his audience and wanted to keep them thrilled!


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