Stars: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda De Banzie, Bernard Miles, Ralph Truman, Daniel Gelin
Before he made his mark in Hollywood, Alfred Hitchcock successfully thrived as Britain’s premier creator of suspenseful cinema. One of his best works of that pre-America period is The Man Who Knew Too Much, a 1934 potboiler about a vacationing couple who witness an assassination and discover that their daughter has been abducted by those behind the murder plot. At only 75 minutes in length, it’s to the point and tense as hell.
Twenty-two years later, Hitchcock took a creative risk and opted to remake his own movie, giving The Man Who Knew Too Much another go-round. Only this time, he expanded upon the story, adding 45 extra minutes to flesh out his characters, add new ones, and pull off the set-pieces with an increased budget and a more seasoned touch.
If nothing else, it’s confirmation that Hitchcock, widely regarded as the master of suspense, could sustain tension for two hours just as well as he could 75 minutes.