Review: ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’

An unusually fine dramatic story handled excellently from a production standpoint. Built along gangster lines, but from an international crook standpoint, with a lot of melodramatic suspense added.

An unusually fine dramatic story handled excellently from a production standpoint. Built along gangster lines, but from an international crook standpoint, with a lot of melodramatic suspense added.

Starts at a party in St Moritz. A man is shot during a dance. He whispers to a friend that there’s a message in a brush in his bathroom. Friend realizes the dying man was in the secret service and gets the message. Before he can communicate with the police he is handed a note saying his daughter has been kidnapped and will be killed if he talks.

Back to London and the cops can’t make the man or his wife say anything. Finally the man locates the gang’s meeting place. He discovers that an attempt will be made to kill a famous international statesman at the Albert Hall that night and manages to communicate that news to his wife, although he is held prisoner.

Scene at Albert Hall is highly exciting and beautifully handled. Acting is splendid most all of the way. Leslie Banks is a fine actor, although the assignment is a bit heavy for him. Edna Best looks well but is not convincing in some of the toughest passages. Peter Lorre’s work stands out again. He’s the gang chief.

The Man Who Knew Too Much

UK

Production

Gaumont-British. Director Alfred Hitchcock; Producer Michael Balcon; Screenplay A.R. Rawlinson, Edwin Greenwood, Charles Bennett, D.B. Wyndham-Lewis, Emlyn Williams; Camera Curt Courant; Editor H. St. C. Stewart; Music Arthur Benjamin; Art Director Alfred Junge, Peter Proud

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1935. Running time: 74 MIN.

With

Leslie Banks Edna Best Peter Lorre Frank Vosper Hugh Wakefield Nova Pilbeam
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