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The Man Who Knew Too Much [DVD]

71 customer reviews

Price: £10.99
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Product details

  • Actors: James Stewart, Doris Day, Bernard Miles, Brenda De Banzie, Ralph Truman
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Producers: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 5 May 2008
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001MPH82A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,798 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

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, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD
This is one of my favorite films from childhood: a family - not exactly normal because Doris Day is an internationally famous singer - on vacation get embroiled in a caper that is unusual and complex. It starts in Morocco, where they meet a friendly if circumspect Frenchman, who wheedles his way into their room for a drink. Thus starts an outlandish adventure that is completely believable while you are watching it, leading them back into Europe and into international intrigue.

I was a bit afraid that this wouldn't stand up to my memories, but it was as fun, even as moving, as I remembered it. James Stewart is an irascible surgeon - intelligent, controlling, and competent, perhaps over-confident. Doris Day, with her Que Sera song, is a rather hysterical housewife, who when confronted with the situation gets sedated, faints, and then steels herself to the task of finding her abducted son. They have real chemistry on the screen, even their fights exude an affection and respect for the other. I think they are one of the best couples in any Hitchcock film. Their fear and desperation are completely believable as they decide to avoid the authorities and attempt to solve the mystery and face the dangers on their own. OK, the kid is basically a kid, but he is cute.

Seeing it now, there were a few loose ends that I had hoped would be filled and weren't, including the political motivations of the conspirators. These are minor quibbles, however: this is a film of Hitch at the height of his powers, a masterpiece of craftsmanship that should be in the library of every collector.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By muttmummy on 28 Oct. 2003
Format: DVD
This is my favourite Hitchcock movie - for many reasons really.
The casting is superb for a start - Hitchcock regular Jimmy Stewart is just the right choice for the unlikely hero whilst Doris Day (who may seem like an odd choice to some) is just delightful as Stewart's wife. Doris Day, in my view, steals the movie.
The storyline itself is deep and exciting - never lets up for a moment. The locations make the movie rich and colourful - ranging from Morrocco to London. The camerwork is superb - resulting in some truly suspenseful scenes and beautifully shot moments. Oddly, my favourite scene is the Moroccan restaurant scene where Stewart almost has to wrestle his dinner off the table! Delightful stuff.
OK - to the storyline then: husband and wife (Stewart - a doctor, and Day - a retired stage musical actress) go on holiday to Morocco with their son Hank. Whilst there, they are befriended by a mysterious Frenchman who is rather nosy about their identities. The next day, the Frenchman (disguised as a Moroccon) stumbles through a crowded markeplace and collapses into Stewart's arms - whispering something before he dies of a stab wound.
What he whispered is deadly news - so deadly it results in the couple's son being kidnapped and held to ransom. The ransom? That the couple DO NOT REVEAL TO ANYONE what was whispered by the dying Frenchman, or Hank will die.
The chase moves to London and to Stewart and Day hunting down the kidnappers and going all out to foil the kidnapper's ultimate plan.
Exciting, endearing and entertaining throughout. This is a classic to grace your DVD collection for life.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By J. Skade VINE VOICE on 25 Jan. 2003
Format: VHS Tape
A couple on holiday witness a murder and are entrusted with information regarding a planned assasination. In order to prevent them passing the information to the authorities their child is kidnapped - they return to England and attempt to recover the child. This is the basic plot this remake shares with Hitchcock's classic 1935 original of this movie - the differences account for the very distinct nature of this excellent version.
The most important shift is in the casting - gone are the urbane English couple to be replaced with Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day as the all American applepie family (for once Hitchcock is not casting against type), and the emotional cataclysm of the kidnapping more forcefully brought home in this movie as Hitchcock allows himself time to develop the family relationships. He has also switched from the father-daughter relationship to a mother-son. Emotional depth is earned at the price of pace ( this version is much longer than the original).
The shifting of the opening scene from a studio mock-up of Switzerland to real life Morocco says a great deal about the production values of this version - and it certainly looks good. The London scenes too benefit from location shooting.The famous Albert Hall scene is much improved in this version with Hitchcock ratcheting up the tension in his usual style. So far so brilliant.
After the Albert Hall scene, however, the movie parts from its original, jettisoning the brilliant siege, and introducing a rather silly musical finale in the embassy. Lovers of Doris Day will relish her 'Que Sera Sera' (I prefer the Sly and the Family Stone version), but I do feel the movie tails off slightly.
It is, however, a very entertaining film with a flavour of its own - falling short of the original perhaps, but only by a whisker.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lhlhht on 7 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this film for my 11 year old daughter because we have always sung Que sera and I wanted her to see the film it came from. On a day off school due to sickness we snuggled down to watch it and thoroughly enjoyed it. My daughter loved Doris Day and it was a very welcome relief from the rubbish kids tv channels !! I have now bought Calamity Jane as a christmas present which I'm sure will be just as appreciated.
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