The Man Who Knew Too Much
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The debate still rages as to whether Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much is superior to his own original 1934 version. This two-hour remake (45 minutes longer than the first film) features more stars, a lusher budget, and the plaintive music of Bernard Herrmann (who appears on-camera, typecast as a symphony conductor). Though the locale of the opening scenes shifts from Switzerland to French Morocco in the newer version, the basic plot remains the same. American tourists James Stewart and Doris Day are witness to the street killing of a Frenchman (Daniel Gelin)… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film is uncharacteristically rigid and pious for Hitchcock; it feels more like a work of duty than conviction."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Even in mammoth VistaVision, the old Hitchcock thriller-stuff has punch."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Even middling Hitchcock is a cut above most thrillers."
‑ Elliott Noble, Sky Movies
"Hitch's remake of his own film results in an equally compelling action thriller with sterling performances from Stewart and Day."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
"Each version has certain elements superior to the other, but both films rank as minor Hitchcock works."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"While drawing the footage out a bit long, he still keeps suspense working at all times and gets strong performances from the two stars and other cast members."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"James Stewart is superb, and Bernard Miles and Brenda de Banzie make admirable adversaries."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"...a decent thriller that's ultimately saved by its stellar performances and absolutely enthralling last act."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Hitchcock's scenes are beautifully framed and tautly directed."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"One of Hitch's best from his '50s period...and his only one with a hit song ("Que Sera")."
‑ Steve Crum, Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers
"Starting slowly amid colourful but rather superfluous travelogue-style Moroccan footage, the film improves no end as it progresses."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Making marvellous use of settings and locations, Hitchcock treats the viewer to superbly choreographed set-pieces."
‑ , Total Film
"This version lacks some of the economy of the first, and, unusually for Hitchcock, it sags in the middle. Fortunately, there's a marked improvement as it reaches the last third."
‑ , Film4
"Far superior to the 1934 version, The Man Who Knew Too Much, underestimated at its 1956 release, should be considered as one of Hitchcock's masterpieces."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Understated tension from the master of overstatement."
‑ James Plath, Movie Metropolis
More reviews for The Man Who Knew Too Much on Rotten Tomatoes

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