The Man Who Knew Too Much
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. 1934. NR. 84 minutes.
Sun., November 7, 2010
Before legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock came to America and began making a fabled series of hit films, often in the suspense mode (Rebecca, Notorious, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, etc.) he had achieved well-deserved renown in his native country. Starting off this month’s series of films from those earlier years, we have one of Hitchcock’s first major endeavors. (In fact, it is the only work that he elected to re-film – with James Stewart and Doris Day in 1956.) For this film, he had the excellent sense to import Peter Lorre (in his first English-language role) as a most effective and eerie villain. The story, of parents seeking to find a daughter who has been kidnapped to prevent them from revealing what they know about an assassination plot, builds to one of Hitchcock’s most suspenseful climaxes, during a concert at London’s famed Albert Hall. If you love suspense, and have never seen any of Alfred Hitchcock’s early work, this is an excellent place to start. (Bill Roth)
Print preserved by the Library of Congress.