The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) / Thriller-Mystery
MPAA rated: Not rated, but probably PG for some violence
Length: 75 min.
Cast: Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Peter Lorre, Frank Vosper, Hugh Wakefield
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay: Charles Bennett, D.B. Wyndham-Lewis
Review published December 12, 2007
Leslie Banks (Jamaica Inn, Henry V) and Edna Best (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Intermezzo) play a happily married couple who go on vacation in Switzerland when a colleague of theirs is assassinated. They receive some top secret information regarding the proposed assassination of a bigwig in London, and the bad guys kidnap their daughter in an effort to keep the couple from spilling the beans of their proposed plans.
Although director Alfred Hitchcock (The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes) utilizes reoccurring themes and plots which run through many movies throughout his career, The Man Who Knew Too Much was the only film that he later remade, so obvious reviews of the film will compare which is the best of the two.
In my opinion, they both are entertaining in their own distinct way, too different in both tone and style to really compare fully. This older version does have some of Hitch's early whimsical humor, and a very exciting climax. It takes a while to get going, but it's impressively mounted and enjoyable enough in its own quaint way. Light, fun stuff from the Master.Qwipster's rating:
©1997 Vince Leo