This film certainly isn't too much — 1 year ago
The Man Who Knew Too Much, released in 1956, is Hitchcock’s remake of his own earlier 1934 film. The previous film was made in black and white, while the remake starred James Stewart and Doris Day and was filmed in colour on a bigger budget.
The film is about Ben, Jo and Hank McKenna, American tourists in Morocco who inadvertently discover secrets about an assassination plot. When Hank is kidnapped, his parents are torn between whether to reveal all or keep quiet in the hope of saving him. The film’s exciting plot never lets up and leads to some great sequences including the scenes in Jemma El Fna, the square in Marrakech, the church in London and the conclusion in the Royal Albert Hall. I’ve seen the original version and prefer this one – both are good but this one is more exciting and memorable, with tension and steady pacing.
James Stewart, a regular in Hitchcock films of this era, is as usual excellent in the role as the worried father Ben McKenna. The real surprise is Doris Day. Before this film I only knew of her as a singer (and she does sing in this film, a rather famous song called Que Sera, Sera) but her performance is very good, especially in the scene in which she first discovers her little boy’s kidnapping, which could easily have been over the top or otherwise unconvincing.
I was hooked by the film and surprised by the plot twists the first time I saw it, but the acting, pacing, scenes and fine directing mean that the film repays repeated viewing. One of my favourite Hitchcock efforts.