The Man Who Knew Too Much Review

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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) movie posterSynopsis
While Ben (James Stewart), his wife Jo (Doris Day) and son Hank (Christopher Olsen) are vacationing in Marrakesh, they get entangled in an international assassination plot.

Review
My journey so far through my Alfred Hitchcock collection has been full of excitement and surprises. I guess it was only a matter of time before I found one that wasn’t as exciting to me. The Man Who Knew Too Much is very Hitchcockian but there is just something about it that didn’t tickle my fancy. The two leads, James Stewart and Doris Day, are fantastic. Stewart, a staple of Hitchcock films at this point, captures the every man character so well. I was surprised by Doris Day. I recognize her primarily as a singer but her acting here was incredible. The mystery it built was intriguing and the climax was exciting, especially in the backdrop of the Royal Albert Hall and with the score having such a prominent presence. However, I didn’t find it as thrilling or suspenseful as Hitchcock’s previous films. The plot of the characters traveling from place to place, learning more about a secret plot at each stop reminded me of a similar format in Saboteur. Maybe it was because I wasn’t absorbed by this film but it felt like it ran too long. Several of the stops made by Ben (James Stewart) and Jo (Doris Day) could have been taken out and it probably wouldn’t have affected the plot too much.

I thought The Man Who Knew Too Much was OK 😐 This has all the hallmark staples of a film by Alfred Hitchcock but there is just something about it that didn’t capture my attention. I never found myself on the edge of my seat like other Hitchcock films. I know this sounds like blasphemy but I don’t see myself revisiting this particular Hitchcock film any time soon, not when there are several other movies of his that do the plot better.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Alfred Hitchcock – Director
John Michael Hayes – Screenplay
Bernard Herrmann – Composer

James Stewart – Dr. Benjamin McKenna
Doris Day – Josephine Conway McKenna
Christopher Olsen – Hank McKenna
Brenda de Banzie – Lucy Drayton
Bernard Miles – Edward Drayton
Ralph Truman – Inspector Buchanan
Daniel Gelin – Louis Bernard
Reggie Nalder – French Marksman

6 thoughts on “The Man Who Knew Too Much Review

  1. I always enjoy your posts…terrific here as always…I have been doing a series of posts called “Hitch Hiking”, which involves a great outdoor hike followed by a classic Hitchcok film…this is one of the great ones – what a cast!

    Like

  2. I agree it’s not one of Hitchcock’s absolute best, but he sets such a high standard even his “less good” films are still great! Although I enjoy the plots of some other Hitchcocks more, I love James Stewart and Doris Day so I still count this film among one of my many favourites.

    Like

    • Very true, Rhiannon! Hitchcock has such a high standard that this was still enjoyable for me even though I didn’t enjoy it as much as some of his other films. And I agree, Stewart and Day were a fantastic pair together. Hitchcock always seems to get the casting spot on!

      Liked by 1 person

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