The Man Who Knew Too Much [VHS]
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Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 remake of his own 1934 spy thriller is an exciting event in its own right, with several justifiably famous sequences. James Stewart and Doris Day play American tourists who discover more than they wanted to know about an assassination plot. When their son is kidnapped to keep them quiet, they are caught between concern for him and the terrible secret they hold. When asked about the difference between this version of the story and the one he made 22 years earlier, Hitchcock always said the first was the work of a talented amateur while the second was the act of a seasoned professional. Indeed, several extraordinary moments in this update represent consummate filmmaking, particularly a relentlessly exciting Albert Hall scene, with a blaring symphony, an assassin's gun, and Doris Day's scream. Along with Hitchcock's other films from the mid-1950s to 1960 (including Vertigo, Rear Window, and Psycho), The Man Who Knew Too Much is the work of a master in his prime. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • Hitchcock remakes Hitchcock
    I'm so used to thinking of Doris Day in her roles as ing¨¦nue that I'd forgotten she actually had plenty of acting chops. They are perfectly displayed here, along with her singing talent, in this Hitchcock remake--of a Hitchcock movie. She and James Stewart as perfect as a couple of American tourists who find themselves accidentally involved in an assassination plot, and whose son is kidnapped to guarantee their silence. The climax scene, at Albert Hall, is hair-raising, pulse-quickening and vintage Hitchcock. ...more info
  • Classic Hitchcock touch in well thoughtout thriller
    I always enjoy Alfred Hitchcock's work and when he casts actresses against their normal "type" the results are usually very pleasing. It is never more evident than in his casting "against type" of Doris Day in one of my favourite later films by this legendary director, "The Man Who Knew Too Much". Hitchcock's 1956 remake of his own 1934 feature was a way for him to right some of the supposed short falls that he felt remained in the original which he was never totally happy with. Here he has updated the story and while not his best work it makes an engrossing and thrilling film to watch with its many twists and turns and unexpected red herrings thrown in.

    The casting of James Stewart and Doris Day in the leads was inspired and while some reviewers have complained about Doris Day being miscast in this role I believe she does an excellent job and in her career had often played women under a great deal of distress as seen in films like "Julie", and "Midnight Lace". "The Man Who Knew Too Much", relates the story of an American couple holidaying in Morocco after the doctor husband has attended a medical conference inParis. Once there they find themselves unknowingly involved in an elaborate assassination attempt to take place at a later date in London. Learning more than they want to about those involved, they find themselves the helpless targets of those wishing them to keep quiet about what they now know which results in their son being kidnapped and taken off to London to ensure the couples silence or else. The story climaxes in London where the two have gone in a desperate effort to uncover where their son is being held. The London sequences build to the climax to the story whereby it is revealed that the assassination attempt will take place during a performance at Royal Albert Hall and it becomes a race against time for the harrassed couple to save the targeted diplomat while still ensuring the safety of their captive son. The climax that takes place during the performance which is performed without any dialogue at all really is riverting Hitchcock at his very best and is one of Doris Day's finest moments as an actress.

    The chemistry between James Stewart and Doris Day is wonderful and they make a very believable couple both in the beginning when they are ordinary tourists and then when the action shifts to where they find themselves hunting down the kidnappers and trying to foil the assassin. Doris indeed has a field day in the role as the anguished mother not knowing who she can trust, and her signature tune of "Que Sera Sera", also was especially created for this film. It figures importantly in the plot during the sequences when they are rescuing their son. Doris Day originally was very unimpressed with the lyrics of this song and wanted something else used in the story but as she admitted herself in her wonderful autobiography "Doris Day: Her Own Story", she was never more wrong about anything in her life and it not only became her signature tune but went on to win the Academy Award for best song that year.

    The supporting cast help also to add weight to the dramatic proceedings and first and foremost the mysterious Drayton couple played by Brenda de Banzie and especially Bernard Miles are superb. Miles becomes a master of disguise throughtout the story turning from jovial tourist, to preacher, to accomplise to an assassin to great effect. It succeeds in keeping not only the worried parents but also us as the viewers wondering just who is to be trusted, what is actually real, and what will possibly happen next to surprise us. These twists and turns are the earmarks of a good thriller and here as the action accelerates Hitchcock does not disappoint us. Another strength in this story are the wonderful visuals provided by great on location photography in both Morocco and London. According to reports it was not an easy shoot for any members of the crew in particular during the Morocco sequences. The effort however was worth it as these locations add tremendously to the overall sense of mystery and danger in the story resulting in the interest in what is happening never letting up.

    This Hitchcock thriller provides a very non-traditional role for Doris Day to tackle but it's one of her more appealing pieces of work in my opinion. Made just prior to her great success in the "bedroom comedies" such as the classic "Pillow Talk" it showed her dramatic talents like no other film has. If you love a good mystery with good acting, strong direction and eye popping locales then you can't go past Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much"....more info

  • Doris Day and James Stewart in a murder mystery.
    Alfred Hitchcock remade his own 1934 motion picture. The black & white 75 minute version was good. But now we have this glorious Technicolor 1956 version with a new cast and is 2 hours long. Doris Day and James Stewart are traveling to Marrakech with their son, Hank (Christopher Olsen). Aboard the bus, their son accidentially had removed the black veil (absolutly forbidden) of a native woman. A Mr. Louis Bernard (Daniel Gelin) steps in to save the boy and his parents from disaster. Mr. Bernard turns out to be a kind man from France and helps the family on their vacation. There first stop is in Morocco. Doris is very suspicious of Mr. Bernard because he asks so many questions. Her husband assures his wife it's just small conversation. While the couple goes to dinner without Mr. Bernard, who had a sudden matter to attend to, they meet a couple at dinner who befriends them and helps with dinner etiquette and shopping at the Trade Market Place. Ultimatly, the couple gets involved in a murder mystery.
    This is an excellent Alfred Hitchcock motion picture. Very serious. Doris Day ofers a fine dramatic performance. She also debuts the tune, "Que Sera Sera", which plays a very key role in the film. Christopher Olsen was also in "I'll See You In My Dreams" (1951) and is the brother of Susan Olsen of "The Brady Bunch" tv series....more info
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much DVD
    As always, Director Alfred Hitchcock amazed us with The Man Who Knew Too Much. I can't say enough about any of his movies !! I watch this one and all of his other mysteries over and over again and never tire of any of them....more info
  • Doris Day Shines!
    Alfred Hitchcock did a wonderful job on this 1935 remake of The Man Who Know Too Much. Dr. Ben McKenna, played by James Stewart, his wife, Jo (Doris Day), and their son are vacationing in French Morocco. They meet up with many suspicious charaters, but they befriend one man, played by Daniel Gelin. Their friend was a detective and was shot in front of many people while in the midst of trying to solve a case. Then the McKenna's son is kidnapped by some other "friends". The police aren't helping with the case so Ben decides to figure out who the kidnappers are by himself. This is the only Alfred Hitchcock film in which a song is sung. The song "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)" won an Acadamey Award. Doris Day's acting is brilliant. She really got me to feel like I was her. That my son had just been kidnapped and I could not go on living. The movie was so good that I cried because I was deeply affected by the charaters feelings and emotions. This is one of my favorite Alfred Hitchcock thirllers and one of my favorite Doris Day films....more info
  • Excellent
    Doris Day es una excellente artista y James Stewart es un artistazo me gustan los dos y las peliculas las viven trabajan muy natural y se integran en el papel.
    thank you T.P.H....more info
  • Classic Hitchcock.
    Excellent. Shows off the true dramatic ability of Doris Day. She truly can act....more info
  • Classic Hitchcock Suspense!
    Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew too Much (1956) is a true classic. A remake of Hitchcock's British film of the same title from the 1930s, I believe it better than the original!

    The film begins with Dr. Ben McKenna (James Stewart), his wife Jo (Doris Day), and their young son Hank (Christopher Olsen) on vacation in Morocco. By chance the McKennas meet a Frenchman by the name of Louis Bernard (Daniel Gelin) who seems to have something to hide. Later, in a marketplace, it is revealed that Bernard is actually a spy when he approaches the McKennas after being stabbed in the back. In his dying words, he tells Ben a terrifying secret: there is a plot to assassinate an important foreign ambassador in London very soon. A short time afterward, the McKennas discover that their son has been kidnapped by the conspirators to keep their mouths shut. From there, the couple go to London to find Hank and stop the assassination before it's too late.

    The suspense builds up to a dramatic concert sequence at the Royal Albert Hall in London near the end of the film. That scene alone runs for 12 minutes entirely without dialogue. James Stewart and Doris Day both give excellent performances in the movie. In the scene where Ben tells Jo about their son's kidnapping for the first time, Doris Day's strong performance seemed so real that it almost brought me to tears.

    The Man Who Knew too Much stands out as a classic Hitchcock thriller. A must-see for fans and movie buffs alike! ...more info
  • Riviting from beginning to end........never a dull moment!
    There is nothing negative to say about this movie. You will enjoy it from the start to the finish and then you may just want to watch it again.....and again! It's one of my all-time favorite movies!...more info
  • robin
    I wanted this movie because I remembered the Que Sera song but could not remember the movie. Both are excellent....more info
  • Hitchcock is...Amazing
    The "Master of Suspense", Alfred Hitchcock, hits another bullseye with his 1956 production of "The Man Who Knew Too Much". Purists have been known to complain that they prefer Hitchcock's original 1934 version of the story to the lavish, widescreen, color version starring James Stewart and Doris Day, but if viewed side by side, both films stand on their own as classic Hitchcock.

    The 1956 "Man" unfolds like a beautiful book, methodically, deliberately, and compellingly. Stewart plays an American doctor and Day is his wife, a retired singer. They are vacationing with their young son, Hank, in Morocco, when they become embroiled in an International incident involving a planned assasination. Their son is kidnapped and taken to London. Day and Stewart follow, where they attempt to get some answers and to locate their son, on their own, without the help offered by Scotland Yard. The film reaches it's exciting climax during a concert at Albert Hall in which Day suddenly realizes what is about to occur.

    Without giving away some of the intricate plot twists and turns, "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is like a breathtaking ride on a state of the art rollercoaster. You cannot help but get caught up in the plight of Stewart and Day.

    James Stewart and Doris Day seem like a real married couple, so easy and comfortable is their onscreen chemistry. They banter and interact convincingly but there is also a strong indication that there may be some tensions lurking beneath the outer veneer. Both actors play their roles with expertise and Day, in particular, shows range and versatility in her performance, being especially memorable in the justly celebrated Albert Hall scene and in an earlier scene when Stewart informs her that their son has been kidnapped. The growing realization as to what he is telling her is reflected in Day's facial reactions.

    Hitchcock has once again assembled a first-rate cast of supporting players including his long time musical collaborator, Bernard Herrmann, who appears onscreen for the first time, playing himself while conducting an original piece of music during the Albert Hall sequence. The team of Livingston and Evans composed a song for Day to sing to her son as part of the plot. The tune, "Whatever Will Be, Will Be"(Que Sera, Sera), became a megahit, selling millions of records, winning an Oscar as best song and becoming one of Day's signature tunes. It plays an intricate role in the storyline, being introduced naturally and being reprised as part of the picture's denouement.

    The queues that formed at box-offices all over the world when "The Man Who Knew Too Much" opened in the summer of 1956, were a tribute to the talents of Hitchcock, Day, and Stewart, and to the public's continuing fascination with quality entertainment. To this day, the film remains one of Hitchcock's best films from his 1950's period. A movie that is well worth viewing.
    ...more info
  • The Man Who Know To Much
    One of his best! This movie along with Rear Window and Phycho were prime exanples of why Hitchcook will live on forever as one of the best directors in the history of film....more info
  • I'm Glad My Vacations Are Nothing Like This
    Dr. Ben McKenna (James Stewart) has turned a medical conference in Paris into an extended family vacation. After several other stops in Europe, he and his wife Jo (Doris Day) and son Hank (Christopher Olsen) head to Marrakech, Morocco. Within their first few hours there, they befriend Frenchman Louis Bernard (Daniel Gelin) and British couple Edward and Lucy Drayton (Bernard Miles and Brenda De Banzie).

    But things turn sinister the next morning when a man dies in Ben's arms. Before he does, the dying man whispers something in Ben's ear. And with that, the McKennas find their vacation is anything but relaxing. Instead, they are caught up in international intrigue that leads them from Africa to London. What's going on? And will they survive?

    I will admit that the first half hour can be rather slow going. There are some funny scenes, however, that do establish character. And the plot is placed in motion at this early date. Once the murder takes place, things pick up. The tension never lags once the action moves to London. The master of suspense proves himself during one 12 minute sequence. Even without dialogue, I was on the edge of my seat with my heart racing.

    The acting is equally good here. While I did feel that Doris Day got a little over emotional a couple of times, she was a strong lead most of the time. And we get to hear her sing "Que Sera, Sera," one of her signature songs, a couple of times. James Stewart is great as the male lead. And the rest of the cast does a great job as well.

    Director Alfred Hitchcock originally made this story in a movie with the same name in 1934. Since I haven't seen that one, I don't know how the 1956 version compares. But I can tell you that this is an excellent suspense film well worth your time....more info
  • I could watch it forever
    Hitchcock in rare form--but isn't he most of the time? That's what I think of when I watch, for the umpteenth time--"The Man Who Knew Too Much." It moves like lightning and nearly every frame provides intrigue and excitement for the viewer. Stewart and Day are phenomenal, as is the amazing supporting cast. If you love Hitch, and like your mysteries spiced with humor and terror, this is one you should not miss. Only "Vertigo," in my opinion surpasses it....more info
  • A disappointment
    I like Doris Day and I like Jimmy Stuart and I like Alfred Hitchcock. I do not like this movie. Boring, stupid, and trite. Buy Dial M for Murder instead. A infinitely better movie. ...more info
  • Careful with what you sharey
    The McKenna's are on vacation in Europe and they have decided on visiting the lively north African country Morocco where Dr. Ben McKenna (James Stewart) once was stationed during World War II. On the trip to the city of Marrakech the family meets Louis Bernard through an accident caused by Hank, their son. Louis seems to be very interested in the who they are and what do. Jo (Doris Day), Bens wife, thinks it seems odd that a man wants to know so much, but do not disclose anything about himself. Later on the McKenna's meet another British couple who they spend the day with, and during the day in a large marketplace Louis appears dying from a stab wound. Before Louis dies he reveals for Ben through a whisper that a murder is about to take place in London. However, someone kidnaps Hank, so Ben and Jo have to approach the dangerous situation with caution. The Man Who Knew Too Much provides suspense that is built up slowly, but done so with shrewd awareness of what the audience expects. This leaves the audience with a noteworthy cinematic experience, however, the film is still far from Hitchcock's best creations....more info
  • Great performances all round
    This is a very fine film. OK --we know this is definitely from the 50's and we can tell Stewart and Day are sitting in a studio wagon surrounded by artificial backgrounds etc. etc. But the drama is palpable and characters are great, all the acting fine from the leads down to just about every character actor.
    Jimmy Stewart is his usual believable, natural self as an ordinary American tourist typical of that era (rather well off but, as usual, the everyman).
    Don't believe that Doris Day doesn't do a wonderful job too. So it's annoyinig that she is weepy -- how would YOU react if spies (or today's terms -- international terrorists) kidnapped your only child? I find it far, far more unbelievable when movie heroes (and heroines) react as if they are not human, only slightly stressed, never faultering, never too emotional, never fumbling or irrational in the middle of incredibly extreme situations. I found her entirely believable and normal.
    Judging the scene where she is at the back of the hall (Royal Albert Hall) but doesn't run to tell someone, consider the situation -- anything she did could have repercussions against her son. You are frozen with fear and horror, and there is no clear-minded, cool solution that would also guarantee your son's life. The scream is a simple reaction of horror to something she did not know how to stop.
    The person who commented about the actor portraying Mr. Drayton was spot-on, too. He seems to transform himself throughout the movie. I also like the humor that manages to assert itself here and there. My only reservation is with the end -- it is unsettling. You have been along for the long suspenseful ride and then are thrown out of the car. Seems rather quirky. ......more info
  • A great song
    The man who knew too much is the one film that was directed two times. This film is the second version. The story is slightly different form the first version. James Stewart and Doris Day are very good. The story is very simple but also so effective. The song titled "Che Sera Sera" is very very good. Do not hesitate to see this film....more info
  • Nothing beats the classics!
    In my humble opinion, some of the best movies I've ever seen were good old classics like this one. Although I am only 22 years of age, Jimmy Stewart is one of my favorite actors, and this is my favorite of Hitchcock's works. Doris Day outdid herself as the mourning mother, and the two of them did a very good job playing a married couple. I think this movie, as far as the acting is concerned, was way ahead of its time. Method acting was still in its infancy (if that) but the two of them did such an outstanding job, especially in the scene when Jimmy Stewart's character first tells Doris Day's character that their son has been kidnapped. The boy was my only complaint about the whole movie. Kids really didn't know how to act back then. So if you're looking for a good mystery/suspense as only Hitchcock can deliver, then this movie is definitely for you. Oh, and the ending will definitely make you giggle like a maniac. All I can say there is: Wow, there were actually people back then that were pretty cool! Imagine that! ^_^...more info
  • A CHORUS FOR DORIS
    `Good, not great Hitchcock film is a colorized version of his 1934 production. The picyure starts slowly, giving the viewer the impression of a real stinker to follow. Just the opposite is true. Stewart, Day, and son Hank are vacationing in Morocco when a French undercover agent is knifed in a public square. His dying words to Stewart tell of a secret plot to kill the Moroccan ambassador in Aubert Hall. In succession, Hank is kidnapped by 2 co-conspirators, flown to Londoon in a private plane, and is held as ransom, so that his parents will not divulge the plot to the authorities. Aided by Bernard Hermann's usual superb musical background, the story proceeds logically, with Day saving the ambassador's life and Stewart finally tracking down his son inside the Moroccan embassy. The production still holds up well after 52 years and is a must see for all Hitchcock fans....more info
  • Never Too Much
    Hitchcock excels in this remake of The Man That Knew Too Much. In classic Alfred Hitchcock style, the film takes us to Africa and Europe while keeping us hot on trail. Suspense, glamour, star quality, and depth all make up this great sleeper....more info
  • Hitchcock at his best!
    I have seen many of Alfred Hitchcock's movies and this is my all-time favorite! It is very suspenseful and I would definitely recommend it!...more info
  • Great Movie for every collection
    Jo McKenna (Doris Day), and her husband Dr. Ben McKenna (James Stewart), and their little son Hank McKenna (Christopher Olson) go on holiday to a small mid eastern country! While their they get tied up in a fight for right full of intrigue, kidnapping, murder! Their they meet a detective that is on the tail of an American Family supposedly going to be bombing the British Royalty He first expects the McKenna family but then he is mysteriously murdered! They then find out that their dear friends that they make are actually the people who are planning the nasty deed! Well they kidnap Hank and Jo and Ben follow them to London this movie has a touching ending! Jo is playing Que Sera Sera at a big party in London at Buckingham Palace and Hank hears it and Hank's captors wife tells him to whistel the tune and he does it and Ben hears it and follows the tune up to find his son! Great classic movie and Tear Jerker! I highly suggest it to everyone!...more info
  • "Whatever will be, will be..."
    " A single crash of the cymbals and how it rocked the live of an American family."
    The Man Who Knew Too Much was the first Alfred Hitchcock movie I had ever seen. One of the reasons I rented it - Doris Day - I have seen many of her musicals (which I love!), but this was Doris in a dramatic role. Of course, no movie she is in would be complete without her singing! - She sings the Oscar-winning song "Que Sera Sera" which became one of her most famous songs, and fits into the movie perfectly.
    Doris plays Jo McKenna, who is touring Morocco with her husband Dr. Benjamin McKenna (James Stewart, who is also great in this part) and their son, Hank. While in Marrakesh Hank gets kidnapped by a couple involved in a plan to assassinate a statesman in London. The McKenna's immediately rush to London as they desperately try to find their little boy. Will they find Hank? And will the statesman be assassinated? You'll have to watch the edge-of-your-seat climax as they frantically rush from Ambrose Chapel to the Royal Albert Hall in London and again to the foreign embassy. ...more info
  • James Stewart is "The Man Who Knew Too Much"
    In 1934, Alfred Hitchcock made a masterpiece in filmaking called "THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH" and needless to say, it was a huge hit with audiences. In 1956, Hitch was practically forced to make a remake of the original. He never wanted to remake any of his pictures, and "The Man Who Knew Too Much" was no exception. Amazingly, even though he did not want to make it, the remake is great. James Stewart stars as Dr. Ben McKenna who is vacationing in Morocco along with his wife, (Doris Day) and his son Hank (Christopher Olsen). They stumble upon an insidious plot of murder. To keep them quiet about what they know, Hank is kidnapped. What follows is an exciting rollercoaster of endless thrills as Hitchcock works his magic. One of his absolute best!




    SPECIAL FEATURES
    Theatrical Trailer
    Re-release Trailer
    Production Notes
    The Making of "The Man Who Knew Too Much"
    Production Photographs





    Also Recommended: THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1934), ROPE (1948), REAR WINDOW (1954), VERTIGO (1958), NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)







    THIS REVIEW IS DEDICATED TO ANYONE, LIVING OR DEAD, INVOLVED IN THE MAKING OF "THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH"....more info