The Man Who Knew Too Much

1956 | Drama | 120 minutes | English

Info

Dr. Ben McKenna, his wife Jo, and son Hank are vacationing in French Morocco. On the bus ride from Casablanca to Marrakesh, they meet a local, Louis Bernard. They also have a Moroccan dinner with a friendly English couple, Lucy and Edward Drayton. The next day, at the Marrakesh market, the McKennas witness the brutal stabbing of a Frenchman. He turns out to be Louis Bernard. Before Bernard dies, he whispers in Ben’s ear a warning: A foreign prime minister is going to be assassinated. Ben now becomes the man who knew too much. To make sure Ben doesn’t go to the police, the Draytons, who are part of this intrigue, kidnap Hank. While Jo becomes hysterical, Ben is determined to find a way to rescue his son. After a few blind leads, the McKennas eventually  find out that the prime minister was to be assassinated during a concert at the Royal Albert Hall. When Jo notices the gunman in the balcony aiming his weapon at the prime minister, she screams. The prime minister is saved. But the excitement doesn’t end here. The Draytons are still holding Hank, this time in the prime minister’s residence. The grateful prime minister invites the McKennas to a reception at his residence. Jo seizes the opportunity. She has just the way of freeing Hank from the clutches of the Draytons. 

Cast
James Stewart (Ben McKenna) / Doris Day (Jo McKenna) / Christopher Olsen (Hank McKenna) / Daniel Gelin (Louis Bernard) / Brenda de Banzie (Lucy Drayton) / Bernard Miles (Edward Drayton)
Why Stream This Film?
Perhaps Hitchcock felt his first version of The Man Who Knew Too Much in 1934 was not good enough. So, in a rare decision, he decided to remake the film in 1956. When asked about this, he replied, “Let’s say the first version is the work of a talented amateur and the second version was made by a professional.” And how!
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 87%
  • Metacritic Score: 78
Accolades
  • Accolades: Winner, Best Original Song (Que Sera, Sera)
A suspense film that can run two hours without the audience getting restless must be pretty good. Alfred Hitchcock’s THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956) meets the test. Hitchcock fans have reached the point where they practically challenge him to bring forth enough new cinema inventiveness to hold them on the edge of their seats all through the show. In his latest production the old master of suspense and mystery proves he has plenty of tricks left in his bag.

The Hollywood Reporter staff

James Stewart tops his job in REAR WINDOW as the man who knows too much and Doris Day is surprisingly effective as the mother who is frantic about her child. The old Hitchcock thriller-stuff has punch.
Bosley Crowther

The New York Times

Doris Day is among the most wonderful performers of the 1950s and 1960s and here she tears through Hitchcock’s control. What is so striking about this film is for once, at the very center of a Hitchcock film, the lead actress is a figure of passionate humanity.
Philip Hensher

The Guardian

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