- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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The Man Who Knew Too Much
Overall-3 1/2 out of 5 Lead Performers-3 and 1/2 out of 5 Supporting Cast-3/5 Director-5/5 Score-3/5 Titles-3/5 Screenplay-3/5 Cinematography-3/5 Importance-2/5 Recommendation for fans of genre-3/5
The Man who Knew too Much
- Dashiell Barnes
Hitchcock's remake of his '34 film is more extravagant, but not as good as the original. It's obvious that Stewart & Day don't have the best chemistry, but their performances are good, as is Miles & De Banzie. More of an entertaining piece makes this a less important work of his, but most famous for the Oscar-winning song "Que Sera Sera." Some powerful scenes are covered by lavishness. I give it a 3/5.
Not classic Hitchcock but fine entertainment
Not classic Hitchcock but by most standards, a fine movie with some gripping scenes, particularly when the action shifts from Morocco to London. The Man Who Knew Too Much is considered lightweight entertainment, coming in the midst of a fertile period for its director Alfred Hitchcock. It is a remake of a movie of the same name, made in the mid-1930's. I am only slightly familiar with the original but to me the remake is superior. The slow pace of the movie in the early stages might be attributable to Hitchcock's love of exotic locales and he takes ample time to photograph Morocco. The all-American couple of Dr. Ben McKenna and his wife Jo Conway, a musical star, are from Minneapolis. They are played by Doris Day and Jimmy Stewart, as innocents abroad with their young son Hank. Not entirely comfortable being away from familiar territory, they become distraught once caught up in an international plot. They befriend a British couple, the Draytons (Brenda de Banzie and Bernard Miles) who feign to be fellow tourists and end up double-crossing them. The McKenna family tries to pursue the conspiracy once they land back in London. This takes them to some backstreets and alleys in the British capital and eventually to the Royal Albert Hall, where the climax of the movie takes place. Along the way they stop at a neighbourhood in London, where we witness some surprise action. The harrowing finale at the Royal Albert Hall comes with the clash of cymbals amidst the grandeur of the great edifice. Interesting trivia: On the billboard outside the Albert Hall, we see the name of the director of the London Symphony, Bernard Hermann, who wrote the music for many of Hitchcock's greatest movies. This is an alert to shrewd Hitchcock fans of his appearance in the finale.
Great use of close-ups for suspense
- Jarrod McDonald
A film professor once said that today's directors over-use the close-up. I think maybe that's a result of television's influence, where we are drawn into the intimacy of characters by focusing on facial expressions so much...it might also be a way to hide the fact that TV set designers haven't put much detail into room decor. But we cannot accuse Hitchcock of over-using the close-up. In fact, he uses it very sparingly...usually for moments created to generate the greatest amount of suspense for viewers. These were the key close-ups I noted: the street scene when Jimmy Stewart leans down and the man whispers in his ear; the scene where we see the gun at the music hall; we also see Doris Day's face close-up when she's screaming to avert the assassination; and we see a close-up when Stewart's character breaks into the room holding his son.
A NEAR-GREAT HITCHCOCK CLASSIC
- Bob C.
While it's not considered one of the TOP FIVE Hitchcock classics (Vertigo, Rear Window, North by Northwest, Pyscho, Rebecca) it sure has got to be #6 or #7, definitely in the Top 10. I love it. Two of my favorite scenes: In Albert Hall when James Stewart has to fill in wife Doris Day on all that he has learned is brilliant. At the last minute Hitchcock decided to forego the dialogue and just let us hear the beautiful music playing in the concert hall (we already know the info anyway). And when Doris Day lets out a bloodcurdling scream at the climatic moment in the symphony, she stops the assassination cold.