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.
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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.
This is a suberbly structured thriller whose excellence is aided and abetted by a spirited cast.
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.
Director Alfred Hitchcock, who would remake the movie in 1956 with James Stewart, invests each scene with a blithe sense of fun.
The film is notable as the first English-language role of Peter Lorre, who is creepily appealing as the leader of the conspiracy. [03 Feb 2013, p.Q19]
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.