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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hitchcock masterpiece
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 -...
Published on 28 Oct 2003 by muttmummy

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't you realize that Americans dislike having their children stolen?
The arguments rage amongst Hitchcock fans as to which version of The Man Who Knew Too Much is the better, with no real clear winner being declared. I, personally, prefer the first version but this 1956 attempt has much to recommend it as well.

The star power is certainly greater, with James Stewart giving his usual excellent performance as Dr Ben McKenna,...
Published on 28 Aug 2008 by IWFIcon


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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hitchcock masterpiece, 28 Oct 2003
This review is from: The Man Who Knew Too Much [DVD] [1956] (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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Remake, 25 Jan 2003
By 
J. Skade "joeskade" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hitch at his best: a family suspense thriller, 15 Feb 2012
By 
rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Man Who Knew Too Much [DVD] [1956] (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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock's only remake, a skillful update to 1934 classic, 13 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This film is Alfred Hitchcock's only remake, out of his 53 films. An excellent choice in my opinion. Bernard Herrmann's score is phenomenal as always, be sure to pay attention to the overature at the opening credits of the film, this will prove useful during the film's extrodinary Albert Hall sequence, in which Hitchcock uses no dialogue for 15 minutes (a feat few filmmakers are capable of since the advent of sound). Jimmy Steward's acting is near flawless, much like his other Hitchcock films "Rear Window" and "Vertigo." Doris Day, although not Hitch's best or most famous blonde, sings an award winning song that is compelling. Overall a great film, and a must own for all Hitchcock fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic, 3 April 2011
By 
Michaela Stossberger (Tel Aviv/Israel) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I always liked that movie and changed it now from video to dvd. I find it very interesting and watched it very often. I do like Doris Day and for me it's one of her best movies. The plot is interesting, it doesn't give anything away until the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Glad My Vacations Are Nothing Like This, 11 Oct 2008
By 
Mark Baker (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Man Who Knew Too Much [DVD] [1956] (DVD)
Dr. Ben McKenna (James Stewart) has turned a medical conference in Paris into an extended family vacation. After several other stops in Europe, he and his wife Jo (Doris Day) and son Hank (Christopher Olsen) head to Marrakech, Morocco. Within their first few hours there, they befriend Frenchman Louis Bernard (Daniel Gelin) and British couple Edward and Lucy Drayton (Bernard Miles and Brenda De Banzie).

But things turn sinister the next morning when a man dies in Ben's arms. Before he does, the dying man whispers something in Ben's ear. And with that, the McKennas find their vacation is anything but relaxing. Instead, they are caught up in international intrigue that leads them from Africa to London. What's going on? And will they survive?

I will admit that the first half hour can be rather slow going. There are some funny scenes, however, that do establish character. And the plot is placed in motion at this early date. Once the murder takes place, things pick up. The tension never lags once the action moves to London. The master of suspense proves himself during one 12 minute sequence. Even without dialogue, I was on the edge of my seat with my heart racing.

The acting is equally good here. While I did feel that Doris Day got a little over emotional a couple of times, she was a strong lead most of the time. And we get to hear her sing "Que Sera, Sera," one of her signature songs, a couple of times. James Stewart is great as the male lead. And the rest of the cast does a great job as well.

Director Alfred Hitchcock originally made this story in a movie with the same name in 1934. Since I haven't seen that one, I don't know how the 1956 version compares. But I can tell you that this is an excellent suspense film well worth your time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Knew Too Much, 22 May 2012
By 
Patrick G "PJG" (Ardrosson, Ayrshire) - See all my reviews
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Great film. Jimmy Stewart and Hitchcock at their very best. Cant discus the story line that would be unfair to all Stewart/Hitchcock fans who I know are going to bye the film (Great value for money from Amazon) anyway I am sure you know the story by now, its been around since 1956. The remasterd version is very good with great sound. Go get it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film., 7 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Man Who Knew Too Much [DVD] [1956] (DVD)
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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Thriller, 19 Jan 2006
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Man Who Knew Too Much [DVD] [1956] (DVD)
"The Man Who Knew Too Much" is an enjoyable thriller featuring good acting performances from James Stewart and Doris Day ,as Mr and Mrs McKenna ,and several memorable and indeed famous scenes. These include the dramatic finale in the Royal Albert Hall and Doris Day's emotional rendition of the song "Que Sera Sera" at the Embassy. The action shifts from Marrakech in French Morocco to London as Stewart and Day's characters follow a lead left by a dying man as they attempt to find their son who has been kidnapped by a mysterious British couple. The suspense is maintained to the very end superbly well by Hitchcock. If the film has one flaw , it concerns the confusion over the identity and motivations of the group who kidnapped the McKenna boy and whose Embassy it was. The film doesnt really reveal that adequately. Other than that , "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is a classic film that stil holds up well today , fifty years after it's release.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't you realize that Americans dislike having their children stolen?, 28 Aug 2008
By 
IWFIcon - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Man Who Knew Too Much [DVD] [1956] (DVD)
The arguments rage amongst Hitchcock fans as to which version of The Man Who Knew Too Much is the better, with no real clear winner being declared. I, personally, prefer the first version but this 1956 attempt has much to recommend it as well.

The star power is certainly greater, with James Stewart giving his usual excellent performance as Dr Ben McKenna, whilst Doris Day packs a good set of lungs for the role of his wife Jo. One place where this film cannot compare with its predecessor however is in the villainous stakes. There is nothing in here to match Peter Lorre's performance from the earlier film and, to be honest, the main villain here (played by Bernard Miles) is weak, and his death particularly so.

The set pieces are wonderful (the chase at the Market in Marrakech, the scenes in Ambrose Chapel and the Albert Hall) and certainly crank up the suspense, but this has to be tempered with the fact that the film does take its time to get going and, as mentioned before, the villain's themselves aren't particularly memorable.

Ultimately though, even personally preferring the original, I can see why people would prefer this effort. It's a much "bigger" movie and Hitchcock always said that whilst a "talented amateur" made the first one, this one was made by a professional. In many ways, you can see his point.
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The Man Who Knew Too Much [DVD] [1956]
The Man Who Knew Too Much [DVD] [1956] by Alfred Hitchcock (DVD - 2005)
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