7.5/10
50,009
222 user 87 critic

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Trailer
2:09 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The trouble with Harry is that he's dead, and everyone seems to have a different idea of what should be done with his body.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: John Forsythe, Shirley MacLaine, Edmund Gwenn
Marnie (1964)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Mark marries Marnie although she is a habitual thief and has serious psychological problems, and tries to help her confront and resolve them.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Martin Gabel
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young woman discovers her visiting uncle may not be the man he seems to be.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey
Rope (1948)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger
Frenzy (1972)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A serial murderer is strangling women with a necktie. The London police have a suspect, but he is the wrong man.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Barbara Leigh-Hunt
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When a reformed jewel thief is suspected of returning to his former occupation, he must ferret out the real thief in order to prove his innocence.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis
The Wrong Man (1956)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1953, an innocent man named Christopher Emmanuel "Manny" Balestrero is arrested after being mistaken for an armed robber.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Anthony Quayle
Torn Curtain (1966)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An American scientist publicly defects to East Germany as part of a cloak and dagger mission to find the solution for a formula resin before planning an escape back to the West.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Paul Newman, Julie Andrews, Lila Kedrova
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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
Stars: Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Peter Lorre
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A psychotic socialite attempts to force a professional tennis star to prove a theory that two complete strangers can get away with murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman
Notorious (1946)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
Topaz (1969)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A French intelligence agent becomes embroiled in the Cold War politics first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and then back to France to break up an international Russian spy ring.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Frederick Stafford, Dany Robin, John Vernon
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Stewart ... Dr. Benjamin McKenna
Doris Day ... Josephine Conway McKenna
Brenda de Banzie 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
Edit

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:

Alfred Hitchcock strikes the highest note of suspense the screen has yet achieved! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Albert Hall sequence drew some inspiration from Henry Mayo Bateman's comic "The One-Note Man", which followed the daily life of a musician who only plays one note in a symphony, similar to the cymbal player in this movie. 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

Louis Bernard: [dying] A man... a statesman... is to be killed... assassinated in London. Soon... very soon. Tell them in London... tell them to try Ambrose Chapel...
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 Simpsons: The Dad Who Knew Too Little (2003) 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

See more »

User Reviews

 
Remake Is Entertaining, But Not Deep
31 May 2011 | by slokesSee all my reviews

Alfred Hitchcock saw this remake of his 1934 film as a more professional job, and thus an improvement. It's certainly more polished, and pitched for maximum audience engagement, yet also a tad off the high standard the Master was setting for himself by the 1950s.

Dr. McKenna (James Stewart) and his wife Jo (Doris Day) are vacationing with their boy in Marrakesh when they become witnesses both to a murder and to a secret so dangerous their boy is kidnapped to secure their silence. Can they save their child by themselves? And will they be able to prevent the crime from happening without costing their son his life?

It's tough to discuss this movie, since so much that happens in it is better seen for the first time with minimal foreknowledge. Rest assured that there are some fine setpieces on display, and that Hitchcock is indeed very clever with his camera and his way of building suspense.

Yet the film seems less than completely successful. For one thing, there's an unusually slow build-up, almost a Hitchcock loyalty test, in the first thirty minutes of the film, with some particularly strained bits of comedy around a Moroccan restaurant. There are more than the usual number of plot holes and improbable coincidences on display here.

The biggest problem I have are with the two leads. While Day shows us she can be more than a perky comedienne in her more demanding scenes, both she and Stewart seem uncomfortable in their roles. The McKennas appear at times to be a singularly unhappy couple: he a domineering type who doesn't like the fact his wife was a famous singer known by something other than his last name; she a paranoid hysteric prone to winding her husband up unnecessarily. The idea of their domestic misery is gently presented ("Ben, are we about to have our monthly fight?") and then just as quickly abandoned, ironically after a scene where he arguably pulls a rather cruel stunt to keep her in line.

I'm not sure if this George-and-Martha-type film would have been better than the one I actually saw, but it would give us more of a rooting interest in the McKennas getting their act together while saving their son. Here, in the main, they are played so squarely they seem more likely to hail from Disneyland than Indianapolis.

But give the second hour credit for being one of Hitchcock's best. It could have used a bit more humor, but there's ample misdirection and a mischievous spirit guiding the proceedings. Add to that one of the great climaxes of any suspense film here, ironically not a climax here but a set up for another which is almost as good. The villains are appropriately seedy, if lacking the menacing charm of Peter Lorre in the 1934 version.

If you are a fan of Doris Day or her hit song "Que Sera, Sera," you may enjoy this film even more than I did. As a Hitchcock enthusiast, I was entertained enough not to mind the feeling of shallowness. Hitchcock was a master of surfaces as well as depth; you get a riveting example of the former here.


16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 222 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed