Dr Ben McKenna (James Stewart) is on holiday in Morocco with his wife, former singer Jo (Doris Day), and son Hank when he meets friendly but mysterious Frenchman Louis Bernard (Daniel Gelin). The McKennas are also befriended by the Draytons, an English couple who take them to the local bazaar. There Ben is confronted by an Arab who, after being shot in the back, whispers a dying message to him. It transpires that the Arab is in fact a disguised Bernard, and that he has entrusted Hank with the identity of a British politician who is due to be assassinated. After being questioned by the police Ben and Jo return to their hotel, only to discover that the Draytons have checked out and taken Hank with them in order to ensure Ben's silence.
Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 remake of his own 1934 spy thriller is an exciting event in its own right, with several justifiably famous sequences. James Stewart and Doris Day play American tourists who discover more than they wanted to know about an assassination plot. When their son is kidnapped to keep them quiet, they are caught between concern for him and the terrible secret they hold. When asked about the difference between this version of the story and the one he made 22 years earlier, Hitchcock always said the first was the work of a talented amateur while the second was the act of a seasoned professional. Indeed, several extraordinary moments in this update represent consummate film-making, particularly a relentlessly exciting Albert Hall scene, with a blaring symphony, an assassin's gun, and Doris Day's scream. Along with Hitchcock's other films from the mid-1950s to 1960 (including Vertigo
, Rear Window
, and Psycho
), The Man Who Knew Too Much
is the work of a master in his prime. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com