Monday, June 3, 2013

Movie of the Week – The Man Who Knew Too Much

This week’s movie: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).

While on vacation in Morocco, Dr. Benjamin McKenna and his family accidently bump into Louis Bernard. He seems friendly enough, but when he turns up dead the McKennas are suddenly thrown into the middle of an assassination plot.

With The Man Who Knew Too Much master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock remakes his own 1934 film (of the same name), giving it more of a refined feel and look (and personally, I like this newer version more). Hitchcock also worked with many of his greatest co-collaborators on the film, including: composer Bernard Herrmann (who also makes a cameo), cinematographer Robert Burks, art directors Henry Bumstead and Hal Pereira, and costume designer Edith Head.

The film stars James Stewart (making his third of four films with Hitchcock) and Doris Day (who may have only appeared in the film so that she could sing the Oscar-winning song Whatever Will Be, Will Be Que Sera, Sera – a song she originally did not want to record, which became the biggest hit of her career). Brenda de Banzie, Bernard Miles, and Daniel Gelin feature in support.

The Man Who Knew Too Much was not available for many years after its release due to issues with the rights to the film – the infamous ‘Five lost Hitchcocks’ which also included Rear Window, Rope, The Trouble with Harry, and Vertigo. Hitchcock was able to buy back the rights, leaving them to his daughter. They were rereleased in 1984. It is not one of Hitchcock’s many masterpieces, but it is still one of his great thrillers. James Stewart is fantastic in it. It is a must-see for fans of Hitchcock and Stewart.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray and Streaming

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