Saturday, October 07, 2006

Que Sera, Sera

Hitch Part 7 of 15

In 1956, at Parmounts suggestion, Alfred Hitchcock remade his 1934 British film, The Man Who Knew Too Much. The story concerns the McKenna's (Jimmey Stewart and Doris Day) an American couple who get mixed up in an assassination plot wile on vacation in Morocco. It seems that an unspecified group has enterd into a conspiracy to kill the Prime Minister of an unspecified nation, and the McKenna's learned a little bit too much about this from a dying French agent who was trying to foil the plot.

To keep them quite about what they know, a seemingly innocuous but ultimately heinous middle-aged British couple, the Draytons (Bernard Miles and Brenda De Banzie) kidnap the McKenna's son and take him to London. It is in London that the film takes on a taught quality that lay just bellow the surfice during the pictures relatively casual frist fifty minutes. I didn't really appreciate this film when I first saw it over seven years ago, but enjoyed it more fully in this my second viewing. The Albert Hall sequence is just fantastic.

The Man Who Knew Too Much, in addition to the standard Hitchcock cameo, also features the films composer, Bernard Herrmann, appearing as himself conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. like many films of the 1950's this is one movie with which you can play a favorite game of mine, it's called 'Spot Carolyn Jones'. Ms. Jones, most known today for her role as Mortica in The Addams Family series of the 1960's, was a near ubiquitious presence in very small roles in numerious films of the Eisenhower era. Finding her is made all the more tricky when she appears on screen as a blond, which she does in this film. But sighting Carolyn on screen will hopefully not be as difficult for you, as finding the correct Ambrose Chapel was for the McKenna's.


At 12:44 PM, Blogger Chris said...

The '34 version has Peter Lorre. The '56 version does not. Without having seen the remake (the original is in the public domain, and available on, I would still suggest the presence-of-Lorre question answers the advisability of the remake.


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