The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

PG   |    |  Drama, Thriller


The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) Poster

An American physician and his wife take matters into their own hands after assassins planning to execute a foreign Prime Minister kidnap their son.

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7.5/10
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  • "Man Who Knew Too Much, The" Doris Dayn. 1956 Paramount
  • "Man Who Knew Too Much, The" Director Alfred Hitchcock. 1956.
  • "Man Who Knew Too Much, The" Doris Day on Location. 1956.
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  • Doris Day and James Stewart in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  • Doris Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

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23 July 2001 | Snow Leopard
Star Power Carries the Remake
Both versions of Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" have their strong points, and are well worth watching. This 1950's remake is carried mostly by its star power, with Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day being convincing and very sympathetic as the parents of the kidnapped child. It also has more lavish settings and better (not just because it is color) photography than the earlier version. On the other hand, it lacks the wittiness of the British version, and moves more slowly.

The remake spends much more time setting up the story than the original did, with the family spending a lot of time on their vacation in Morocco before the crisis occurs. It makes possible some colorful scenery and settings, and allows you to get to know the family a bit more, although the quicker pace in the original established more tension and kept your attention throughout. The Albert Hall sequence works well in both films, with this one having the added bonus of allowing the audience to see Bernard Herrmann, who wrote so many great scores for Hitchcock's films, conducting the orchestra.

Despite having essentially the same story, the two versions of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" have a much different feel. Which one you prefer is largely a matter of taste - while neither is usually considered among Hitchcock's very best, they are both good movies with a lot of strong points. Take a look at both if you have the chance.

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Drama | Thriller

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