W: A.R. Rawlinson, Charles Bennett, D.B. Wyndham-Lewis, Edwin
Greenwood & Emlyn Williams
DP: Curt Courant
Mus: Arthur Benjamin
Leslie Banks (Bob Lawrence), Edna Best (Jill
Lawrence), Peter Lorre (Abbott), Frank Vosper (Ramon), Hugh Wakefield (Clive), Nova Pilbeam (Betty Lawrence)
Twenty-two years before Alfred Hitchcock remade his own film
for a 1950's audience, The Man Who Knew Too Much was originally British-produced, in gloomy black and white, and without a Doris Day song which would go on to be an enormous hit (Que Sera,
family, on holiday at a ski resort, have their daughter kidnapped to silence them when they discover that a group of gangsters plan to carry out an assassination at the Royal Albert
The first act is laboured by its unconvincing interior
locations, but the film comes to life with its tense set-pieces, particularly at the Royal Albert Hall and the gunfight showdown on the foggy streets of London.
Obvious restraints prevented this from becoming the film it
could potentially be, so it's understandable why the master of suspense tackled it again in 1956, and to much greater effect.
THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (PG)
D: Alfred Hitchcock
Paramount (Alfred Hitchcock)
W: John Michael Hayes & Angus MacPhail [based on a story
by Charles Bennett & D. B. Wyndham-Lewis]
DP: Robert Burks
Ed: George Tomasini
Mus: Bernard Herrmann
James Stewart (Dr. Ben McKenna), Doris Day (Jo McKenna),
Bernard Miles (Mr. Drayton), Brenda de Banzie (Mrs. Drayton), Daniel Gelin (Louis Bernard), Ralph Truman (Buchanan), Mogen Wieth (Ambassador), Alan Mowbray (Val Parnell), Hillary Brooke (Jan
Alfred Hitchcock, not a stranger to experimental film
techniques and production, remade his own film of 1934, adding 30 more minutes of added suspense and tailoring the plot for the new stars, most notably Doris Day singing the Oscar-winning song
"Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)". Most importantly, Hitchcock replaces the interior set-bound economics of the original film with bigger budget locations.
James Stewart & Doris Day are a married couple whose
holiday in Morocco takes a turn for the worst when they witness a fatal stabbing and the victim whispers a cryptic message into Stewart's ear.
To buy Stewart's silence, a group of spies kidnap the couples
son, leading to a race against time to both save their boy and thwart an assassination plot, leading to a tense finale in the Royal Albert Hall.
Despite not being entirely limited by budgetary restraint, the
original was made before Hitchcock was dubbed "The Master of Suspense", with the remake he proved yet again why he was honoured with the nickname.