The Man Who Knew Too Much

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Vintage Hitchcock, with sheer wit and verve masking an implausible plot that spins out of the murder of a spy (Fresnay) in an equally implausible Switzerland (all back-projected mountains), leaving a pair of innocent bystanders (Banks and Best) to track his secret - and their kidnapped daughter - in a dark and labyrinthine London. Where the remake had Doris Day maternally crooning with fateful foreboding, sharpshooting Best simply grabs a rifle and gets after the villains. Pacy, exciting, and with superb settings (taxidermist's shop, dentist's chair, mission chapel complete with gun-toting motherly body, shootout re-enacting the Sidney Street siege, terrific climax in the Albert Hall), it also has nice villainy from a scarred, leering Lorre (here making his British debut). At two-thirds the length of the remake, it's twice the fun. (From an original story by Charles Bennett and DB Wyndham Lewis.

Release details

Duration: 75 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenwriter: AR Rawlinson, Edwin Greenwood
Cast: Leslie Banks
Edna Best
Peter Lorre
Nova Pilbeam
Frank Vosper
Hugh Wakefield
Pierre Fresnay
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