The Man Who Knew Too Much

A regular guy swept up in matters from outside his world rattle it was one of Hitchcock’s favorite themes, along with Ice Queen Blondes or BiPolar Hot Mess Babes. You end up a little crazy in Hitchcock, as they are not mysteries, but suspense thrillers: shot/reverse shot.

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

A man and his wife receive a clue to an imminent assassination attempt, only to learn that their daughter has been kidnapped to keep them quiet.

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

A family vacationing in Morocco accidentally stumble on to an assassination plot and the conspirators are determined to prevent them from interfering by kidnapping their son.

 

There doesn’t appear to be a lot different and both movies were directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

The first was a British Film and Peter Lorre starred as his Archetype Self and the mother in the story is a champion skeet shooter and makes the shot that saves the day when the police who used truncheons normally.

In the American remake, it’s a star vehicle movie rather than a film, everyman Jimmy Stewart is the doctor hubby to Doris Day, a singer turned wife and mother, who sets up Stewart to save the day by singing her signature tune “Que Sera Sera” to a group of European Aristocrats who showed amusement and vague horror at this American idea of an unplanned life or of getting to be anything outside of one’s station.

Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant were regular Hitchcock leading men who ranged from the everyman to the crazed man, an edge they rarely showed in other movies for other directors.

Doris Day was a cheerful girl next door blonde and didn’t do the Hot Mess Kim Novak or the coolness of Tippi Hedren or that Hitchcock perfection: Grace Kelly.

 

Between the two versions, I prefer the earlier one, and admittedly, partly because the mother saves her child, women rarely getting to hero.

I found the scenes with Stewart’s doctor career nullifying Day’s singing career and the dialog bits about she is Mrs Doctor and he is not Mr Singer inexcusable even for 1955 – but the scene of Day and Stewart measuring their finances by patients and treatments, almost make them as goulish as the British Terrorists based in a community church.

Although as a comedy it works for the clash of manners and social assumptions spanning French Morocco and London, England with an American upper middle class couple in the middle of international terrorism.

What a difference the decades make, eh?

 

For me, the biggest That The Fuck Scenes was Dr Stewart opening up a box full of bottles of pills, because doctors are not pharmacies, they write prescriptions not count pills.

He then hands them to Mrs. Doctor before he will tell her that their son has been abducted.

WTF? at the time when one needs their wits and resources about them, he sedates his wife into an infantile state, which of course, he has already reduced her to.

which of course is then contrasted with the constant they are Dr and Mrs, and Missues and him.

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One Response to The Man Who Knew Too Much

  1. Pingback: When a Girl Buys TechnoGadgets | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

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