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The Man Who Knew Too Much Details


The debate still rages as to whether Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much is superior to his own original 1934 version. This two-hour remake (45 minutes longer than the first film) features more stars, a lusher budget, and the plaintive music of Bernard Herrmann (who appears on-camera, typecast as a symphony conductor). Though the locale of the opening scenes shifts from Switzerland to French Morocco in the newer version, the basic plot remains the same. American tourists James Stewart and Doris Day are witness to the street killing of a Frenchman (Daniel Gelin) they've recently befriended. Before breathing his last, the murder victim whispers a secret to Stewart (the Cinemascope lens turns this standard closeup into a truly grotesque vignette). Stewart knows that a political assassination will occur during a concert at London's Albert Hall, but is unable to tell the police: his son (a daughter in the original) has been kidnapped by foreign agents to insure Stewart's silence. The original script for Man Who Knew too Much was expanded and updated by John Michael Hayes and Angus McPhail. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:June 1, 1956


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jay Livingston Best Song 1956 Winner
Directors Guild of America Alfred Hitchcock Best Director 1956 Nominee


James Stewart
as Dr. Ben MacKenna
Doris Day
as Jo McKenna
Brenda de Banzie
as Mrs. Drayton
Bernard Miles
as Mr. Drayton
Daniel Gélin
as Louis Bernard
Ralph Truman
as Insp. Buchanan
Mogens Wieth
as The Ambassador
Alan Mowbray
as Val Pamell
Hillary Brooke
as Jan Peterson
Christopher Olsen
as Little Hank MacKenna
Reggie Nalder
as Rien, the assassin
Richard Wattis
as Assistant Manager
Noel Willman
as Woburn
Alix Talton
as Helen Parnell
Yves Brainville
as Police Inspector
Carolyn Jones
as Cindy Fontaine
Enid Lindsey
as Lady Clarke
John Barrard
as Workmen in Taxidermist Shop
Donald Lawton
as Desk Clerk
Albert Carrier
as French Policeman
Mayne Lynton
Alexis Bobrinskoy
as Foreign Prime Minister
Leo Gordon
as Chauffeur
Louis Mercier
as French Policeman
Eric Snowden
as Special Branch Officer
Clifford Buckton
as Sir Kenneth Clarke
Harold Kasket
as Butler
Guy Verney
as Footman
Bernard Herrmann
as The Orchestra Conductor
Barry Keegan
as Patterson
Peter Camlin
as Headwaiter
Lloyd Lamble
as General Manager of Albert Hall
Walter Gotell
as Guard
Wolfgang Preiss
as Aide to Foreign Prime Minister
Patrick Whyte
as Special Branch Officer
Harry Fine
as Edington
Alex Frazer
as Man
Richard Wordsworth
as Ambrose Chappell, Jr.
Betty Baskcomb
as Edna
George Howe
as Ambrose Chappell, Sr.
Barbara Burke
as Girlfriend of the Assassin
Gladys Holland
as Bernard's Girlfriend
Frank Atkinson
Milton Frome
Anthony Warde
as French Police


Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Angus MacPhail
John Michael Hayes
Charles Bennett
Screen Story
Richy Mueller
Robert Burks
Bernard Herrmann
Musical Direction/Supervision
Bernard Herrmann
Composer (Music Score)
Jay Livingston
Composer (Music Score)
George Tomasini
Hal Pereira
Art Director
Henry Bumstead
Art Director
Herbert Coleman
Associate Producer
Sam Comer
Set Designer
Arthur Krams
Set Designer
Edith Head
Costume Designer
John P. Fulton
Special Effects
Howard Joslin
First Assistant Director
Wally Westmore