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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 8 August 2016
In some ways a desperately dated film, it is however a great tense and funny thriller, whose manner of dealing with its limitations is part of its charm. Peter Lorre makes a fantastic and interesting terrorist, and the rest of the cast are very good too, as they take you on an international tale of intrigue, menace, thrills and a shoot out finale, with black and slapstick humour along the way. As long as you can stomach an old movie, you'll find this a tasty one. Hitchcock later remade it with James Stewart and Doris day in the US,but many regard this original as the best version.
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on 19 September 2013
PETRONIUS SAYS.
This is the first,and superior version of THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. Hitchcock remade it 20 years later with Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day, but this is better. It is a European film,with a stellar cast of Leslie Banks,Peter Lorre and Nova Pilbeam. It is greatly
influenced by the German school of Lang and Pabst. I recommend it highly, if you like a real thriller!
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on 12 February 2016
Disappointing as a Hitchcock film
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VINE VOICEon 24 January 2015
This review is for the recent Blu Ray release of The Man Who Knew Too Much from Network. I'm very happy with this restored version of such a classic early Hitchcock film. The picture is very clear without any obtrusive digital clean up evident retaining the film as best as possible. The sound is clear and defined. Well worth the upgrade if you only have this on DVD.

Although Hitchcock would remake this film (in my opinion no where near as well) this still stands as an absolute classic alongside his other British masterpieces The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes. Peter Lorre steals the show as the evil conspirator with an excellent performance from Leslie Banks as the man who knew a little more than he perhaps should of. Essential viewing for any fans of classic cinema.
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on 11 April 2014
First of the 2 Hitchcock films on this theme. A starker film than the later one, very good screenplay. Not a word wasted, and generally understated. Sometimes nowadays modern movies tell everything, and leave nothing to the imagination. This film is not guilty of that.
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on 6 July 2015
Hitch, you are in a league of your own. This atmospheric spy thriller is an enjoyable romp back into the pre war years when the world was a much more civilised place. Hitch was very young when he directed this and you can see his brilliance starting to shine. The bluray transfer was impeccable.
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on 16 January 2016
Brilliant Hitchcock
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on 20 December 2016
Good morning
DVD The Man Who Knew Too Much arrived in time at my address. DVD is in very good condition.
This movie is important for my Hitchcock collection.
Thank you very much.
With regards
Jiri Skoda
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on 31 December 2016
Good dvd
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 January 2013
This 1934 Hitchcock film was the first of a string of classic crime/espionage thrillers made by the master director and whilst it does not (for me) quite rank with the likes of The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes or Sabotage (which followed in short order after TMWKTM), it is nevertheless an absorbing tale which has rightly gained notoriety for its superb climactic sequence in London's Albert Hall, and is a film version which stands up well against Hitch's later Hollywood remake.

As in The Lady Vanishes, The Man Who Knew Too Much kicks off its action in continental Europe, this time in St Moritz, Switzerland, where Pierre Fresnay's (he of La Grande Illusion fame) Louis is spectacularly ski-jumping and trying to avoid young Betty Lawrence's (Nova Pilbeam) wandering dog. Unbeknown to Betty's parents Bob (Leslie Banks) and Jill (Edna Best), Louis is actually a secret agent, whose rather casual assassination (accompanied by Best in the slowest fainting sequence in motion picture history) leads to the discovery by Bob of a hidden message warning of a potential assassination of a prominent politician, a discovery which prompts the kidnapping of Betty by the said foreign agents (thereby creating the audience tension of personal family interests vs. wider political significance).

Being an early British Hitchcock, the film is littered with nicely upstanding Englishmen (none more so than Lawrence, who later refuses to 'make a scene' on an emotional reunion with Betty) and (on returning to London) chirpy cockney characters (many of them here policemen), together with their native banter. On the acting front both Banks and Best are solidly reliable, but, for me, the honours go to Peter Lorre (not for the first time) as the 'chief baddie', Abbott, whose mercurial temperament includes bouts of sinister, maniacal laughter, mixed with the odd amusing quip, and in whose close-ups, with scarred face, cigarette drooping and a haircut worthy of Hitler, Hitchcock excels magnificently. Similarly effective is Abbott's chief henchman Ramon played by Frank Vosper effectively as Lorre, but without the laughs.

For a Hitchcock film, TMWKTM is relatively low on trademark (i.e. brilliant) set-pieces. In addition to the opening ski-jumping scene, there is a nice double-header as Bob and friend Clive track the gang of saboteurs to Wapping, and Bob first has to don a dentist's coat to avoid detection and then the two pursuers engage in some hilarious exchanging of surreptitious messages (in the guise of hymn singing) in the church posing as the gang's lair. But it is of course the (near) final assassination attempt scene in the Albert Hall that is the film's highlight, as Hitch slowly builds the audience tension until the (already heard) passage in the music approaches and with it a Luger is slowly revealed from behind a theatre box curtain. Actually, for me, one of the film's weaknesses is that Hitch did not put this scene nearer the end - the subsequent Wapping siege and shoot-out, whilst making for some nice cockney police banter, is I feel rather too long.

Nevertheless, given its many elements of merit, plus its place at the start of an outstanding series of Hitchcock thrillers, this British version of TMWKTM is an essential part of Hitch's oeuvre.

As a DVD Extra, there is a very interesting interview with Hitchcock on 1972's arts programme Aquarius (at the time of the making of Frenzy), during which he expounds in detail on his approach to film-making.
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