Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dvd/150: THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (Alfred Hitchcock, 1934)

Hitchcock's 1950s remake might be better known but his original version is a more rewarding experience.  Cracking along at 75 minutes, it's packed with elegantly easy charm from the principals, eye-catching supporting roles and suspense and sly humour mixed with the lightest touch.

A husband and wife become enmeshed on their holiday in a plot to kill a foreign leader by a gang of assassins who kidnap their daughter.  Back in London, they discover she is being held in a church hall in Wapping.

Leslie Banks, Edna Best and Nova Pilbeam are all fine as the family with Banks almost being a dry run for Robert Donat in the THE 39 STEPS the following year.

Dominating the film however is Peter Lorre as the gang leader.  What is remarkable is that his English was so poor (he had fled Nazi Germany only the year before) that he learned his lines phonetically.


Shelf or charity shop?  Deffo Shelf!

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