The Man Who Knew Too Much starring Doris Day


When an All-American family vacationing in Morocco stumbles into an assassination plot of international proportions, the conspirators kidnap the young son of Dr. Benjamin McKenna (James Stewart) and Josephine McKenna (Doris Day) to prevent them from interfering. Desperate to rescue their child, the unhappy couple’s long-simmering resentments threaten to get in the way of their attempts to rescue him, as all the while the terrorists’ nefarious plans speed to completion. With The Man Who Knew Too Much, Alfred Hitchcock remade his own entertainingly light 1934 British thriller as a suspenseful and melancholy examination of the pleasures and nightmares of family life. Updating the original film’s small scale, claustrophobic black and white aesthetic with lavish production values, widescreen VistaVision and eye-popping mid-‘50s Technicolor, Hitch brilliantly turned family crisis into big screen spectacle. Although the film is rightly celebrated for masterful set pieces like the famous Albert Hall assassination sequence, the depth of Hitchcock’s vision is more effectively felt in the film’s quieter moments: The scene in which Stewart tells Day their son has been kidnapped is one of the most powerfully emotional in all of Hitchcock’s cinema. Using star Doris Day’s “good girl” image to powerful effect as the increasingly desperate mother, Hitchcock’s likeable blonde also provided the director with his only Top 40 hit – the iconic, Oscar-winning pop classic, Que Sera, Sera. (Dir. by Alfred Hitchcock, 1956, USA, 120 mins., Rated PG) Digital