The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) – Encore Review


“[after the inspector grills the McKennas with questions based on his own assumptions] Boy! You not only ask the questions, you answer them too. Don’t you?” – Dr. Ben McKenna

Number of Times Seen – between 5-10 times (cable, DVD, 28 Nov 1999, 20 Nov 2013 and 24 Mar 2019)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – An American couple traveling in Morocco with their young son come across information related to an international conspiracy and are forced into trying to intervene.

My Take on it – This is a film that I have loved ever since I first saw it more than 30 years ago.

Alfred Hitchcock is truly a master of suspense and he is able to create such a great story in this film and keep things so suspenseful and thrilling from start to finish.

The fact that he was able to take an earlier film that he directed and enhance it while also modernizing and globalizing the story works really well because he is able to make things even more enjoyable and entertaining with these tweaks.

James Stewart and Doris Day are both superbly cast in this film since they both are able to easily play down to Earth characters that we can see as feeling realistic as possible when they are thrust into a world of international and political intrigue.

The fact that they are a physician and singer also helps keep them familiar and “normal” for the audience to believe their non-superhero roles here.

The famous song Que Sera Sera is sung fr the very first time here by Day and it went on to win an scar for Best Original Song while also morphing into Day’s signature sing for the rest of her career.

My favorite scene if this film is the one where she sings this song while searching for her son in the Embassy because it’s done with such emotion that it never fails to bring me to tears because it’s so moving.

They pace the film amazingly and that helps keeps the level of suspense high while also staying intriguing and thrilling since we can easily relate to these “simple” characters who we can easily feel a connection to.

This is among my favorite Hitchcock films since it is able to work on so many levels and manages to give us everything that a well made thriller should.

It’s no wonder that he was known as the master of suspense and remaking an earlier film shows what kind of perfectionist he must have been.

Bottom Line – Amazing suspense thriller that keeps things moving throughout. Hitchcock is able to enhance the premise of his previous version of this film and give us something even more enjoyable and entertaining while still keeping the thrills gripping all the way until the end. Stewart and Day are perfect in the lead roles and they keep things interesting throughout due to their “normal” backgrounds as a physician and former singer. The famous song Que Sera Sera was created for this film and won an Oscar for Best Original Song while also become Day’s signature theme for the rest of her career.  The scene where she sings it in the end of the film is so moving and heartwarming that it always brings tears to my eyes watching it. The story is paced superbly and constantly stays thrilling because we feel so connected to these down to earth characters that could be just about anyone we know because they are so “normal.  IMHO, this is among Hitchcock’s best films since it works on so many levels and delivers everything a thriller should. Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Throughout the filming, Doris Day became increasingly concerned that Sir Alfred Hitchcock paid more attention to camera set-ups, lighting, and technical matters than he did to her performance. Convinced that he was displeased with her work, she finally confronted him. His reply was, “My dear Miss Day, if you weren’t giving me what I wanted, then I would have to direct you!” (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

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One thought on “The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1956 | MovieRob

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