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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

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A family vacationing in Morocco accidentally stumble on to an assassination plot and the conspirators are determined to prevent them from interfering.

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(screenplay), (based on a story by) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dr. Benjamin McKenna
... Josephine Conway McKenna
Brenda de Banzie ... Lucy Drayton
... Edward Drayton
Ralph Truman ... Inspector Buchanan, Special Branch
... Louis Bernard
Mogens Wieth ... Ambassador
... Val Parnell
... Jan Peterson
... Hank McKenna
... French Marksman
... Albert Hall Assistant Manager
Noel Willman ... Woburn, Special Branch
... Helen Parnell
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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

1 June 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$10,250,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the Moroccan extras had been mistakenly informed that they would only be paid if they were actually visible in the film. This led to a lot of pushing and shoving to get close to the camera until the crew explained to them that they would be paid no matter what. See more »

Goofs

In the climactic scene at the Albert Hall concert, when the cymbalist stands, turns and grabs his cymbals, the timpanist beside him is playing, but is clearly not hitting the drums. Also, the timpanist is not the same person who was playing (correctly) during the title sequence. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Nanny: Danny's Dead and Who's Got the Will? (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Storm Cloud Cantata
(1934)
by Arthur Benjamin and D.B. Wyndham-Lewis
Performed by London Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Bernard Herrmann
Orchestrated by Bernard Herrmann (uncredited)
Covent Garden Chorus and Barbara Howitt, soloist
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Under-rated suspense masterwork.
16 January 2001 | by See 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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