The Man Who Knew Too Much

Of the two versions of The Man Who Knew Too Much, Hitchcock said, “Let's say that the first version is the work of a talented amateur and the second was made by a professional.” The remake replaces the leading British couple with thoroughly American Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day, and St. Moritz with a Technicolor Marrakech. While the major plot elements are the same-an international spy ring, a kidnapping, an assassination attempt-the dynamics of suspense are altered by the well-played friction between Stewart and Day, who gives a surprisingly acute performance as a singer who has forgone a successful career for a more ordinary domestic role. The crucial scene at the Albert Hall (with composer Bernard Herrmann at the conductor's podium) is a brilliant orchestration of space and shifting points of view as Day's thwarted singer makes her comeback with a scream.

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