July 27, 2009

Summer of Hitchcock: The Man Who Knew Too Much

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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Which should be title The Couple Who Knew Too Much since it revolves around a married couple and their young son on vacation in Morocco. James Stewart, Dr Ben McKenna, and his wife Jo, played by Doris Day, encounter a Frenchman who befriends them. Unbeknownst to them their new friend is a spy. When he is murdered in the marketplace, he shares some information with Ben that will put his family in danger.

This isn't my favorite Hitchcock film although I thought there were some great parts. The scene with Doris and the orchestra was pretty dramatic. One part that I thought would never make it nowadays is when the Ben makes his wife take a pill before he tells her their son has been kidnapped. Like, keep the woman from getting hysterical (hello, her kid was taken!) and then later he gets annoyed with her because she can't focus! Don't drug her then!

I thought Doris was the actor who stole this show. She was really good and her character pretty sharp. The assassin dude was so creepy- he looked like a mummy!

This was the second time Hitchcock made this film. The first time was in 1934. He once said that the first version was "the work of a talented amateur and the second was made by a professional." Ha!

4 comments :

  1. I haven't seen this one one, but I love Stewart and Day so I'll have to look for it. Even if it wasn't your favorite I'm guessing from your review that it was still good.

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  2. I never knew Doris Day was in a Hitchcock film.

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  3. Stacy- Yes, it was still pretty good. It won an Oscar.

    Kathy- Her song Que Sera, Sera was in it.

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  4. Interesting, I didn't know about Doris Day being in this either. and slightly off-topic, I was looking through a list of his literary influences (http://www.infloox.com/person?id=31cb2bb0) and all I have to say is - my god, is there anyone Hitchcock did NOT read??

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