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The Man Who Knew Too Much

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United Kingdom · 1934
1h 16m
Director Alfred Hitchcock
Starring Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Peter Lorre, Frank Vosper
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller

Bob and Jill, an ordinary British couple, receive top secret information about an imminent political assassination while on vacation in Switzerland. After the stranger who shared the plan is assassinated himself, a group of foreign spies kidnap their daughter to keep them quiet in Hitchcock’s first iteration of this exciting thriller.

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What are people saying?

Nina Gallagher Profile picture for Nina Gallagher

One of Hitchcock's later British films, but one of the first where he really hones the style that would make him so celebrated in America. This film showcases Hitchcock's strength as a director of political thrillers. The scene in Albert Hall is a standout for the film and Hitchcock's career.

What are critics saying?


The New York Times by

Although the photography and lighting are inferior according to Hollywood standards, the film is an interesting example of technical ingenuity as well as an absorbing melodrama.


Chicago Reader by Dave Kehr

Although the film is fast and consistently clever, it is more deeply flawed than any other Hitchcock film of the period, failing to find a thematic connection between its imaginative set pieces.


Slant Magazine by Joseph Jon Lanthier

Produced in England in 1934, The Man Who Knew Too Much was perhaps the first of Alfred Hitchcock’s films to openly attempt the autonomously cinematic, aggressively syntactic perfection with which he would later become synonymous.


LarsenOnFilm by Josh Larsen

Director Alfred Hitchcock, who would remake the movie in 1956 with James Stewart, invests each scene with a blithe sense of fun.


The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

The Man Who Knew Too Much finds the director firmly back in his wheelhouse, extracting all the wit and suspense he can from a pulpy exercise in abduction and conspiracy.

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