Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Minor Hitchcock: The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Movie Review: The Man Who Knew Too Much

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Reviewed: 11 March 2014

jamesintexas rating-- **

I think too highly of Alfred Hitchcock to overrate The Man Who Knew Too Much. It lacks dramatic movement, logic, and slows down its pace at several moments to a near-crawl. The story takes far too long to get going, and despite a fun assassination attempt of a prime minister at a concert in Royal Albert Hall, the film hinges upon some pretty ridiculous moments. A well-timed scream. A door being unlocked. A trip down the stairs. From the master of Psycho, North By Northwest, and Vertigo, it all seems kind of light.

Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day are Benjamin and Jo McKenna, an Indiana couple vacationing in Northern Africa who uncover a conspiracy when a man dies on the street and tells them the target of an upcoming assassination attempt. At the same moment, their son is kidnapped and held as collateral to prevent them from revealing what they know to the police. The languid pace (and less than frantic behavior of the parents) detracts from the film, and it takes over forty-five minutes to get going. A few misdirections take up the next half hour, and the film really only gets going in its final two scenes. The film seems to have aged considerably, and the ending does not seem very powerful or complete. I'm eager to read more about this film and to see what I might be missing, but I just don't think that this film is in the same league as others by this director. And, I'm not sure who the title is referring to. Stewart's character?

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