The Man Who Knew Too Much
The Man Who Knew Too Much is a 1934 suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It was one of the most successful and critically acclaimed films of Hitchcock's British period, and was an important step in paving the way for his move to America. Hitchcock remade the film in 1956.
The film's copyright has expired, and it is now in the public domain.
The plot concerns a British couple on vacation in Switzerland, who witness the assassination of a spy. Before dying, the spy passes on to them some vital information. In order to maintain their silence, a group kidnaps their daughter. After following a series of leads, the couple discovers that the group intends to assassinate a European ambassador during a concert at the Royal Albert Hall. They manage to prevent the assassination. Meanwhile, police find the hideout of the kidnappers and recover the young girl.
Peter Lorre was unable to speak English at the time of filming (a German Jew, he had fled from Nazi Germany only recently), and learned his lines phonetically.
The shootout at the end of the film was based on the Sidney Street Siege, a real-life incident which took place in London on 3 January 1911.
Hitchcock hired composer Arthur Benjamin to write a piece of music especially for the climactic scene at Royal Albert Hall. The music, known as the Storm Clouds cantata, is used in both the 1934 and 1956 versions.
The Man Who Knew Too Much is the only one of Hitchcock's films to be remade by himself. The remake is in colour and stars Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day. Hitchcock considered his remake to be superior, saying that the 1934 version was the work of a talented amateur, while the 1956 version was the work of a professional. However, many film critics prefer the 1934 version, due to its charm, and its more concise storytelling.
Cast and crew:
* Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
* Written by Charles Bennett and D. B. Wyndham-Lewis
* Associate Producer: Ivor Montagu
* Photography: Curt Courant
* Editor: H St. C Stewart
* Music: Arthur Benjamin
* Lawrence - Leslie Banks
* Jill - Edna Best
* Abbott - Peter Lorre
* Ramon - Frank Vosper
* Clive - Hugh Wakefield
* Betty Lawrence - Nova Pilbeam
* Louis - Pierre Fresnay
* Nurse Agnes - Cicely Oates
* Binstead - B.A. Clarke Smith
* Gibson - George Curzon
* Alfred Hitchcock cameo: A signature occurrence in almost all of Hitchcock's films, he can be seen walking across the screen in a dark trench coat, with his back to the camera, at about 30 minutes into the film.