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The Man Who Knew Too Much (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1934)

Peter Lorre , Alfred Hitchcock  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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The Man Who Knew Too Much (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + The 39 Steps (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + The Lady Vanishes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Price for all three: $77.83

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Lorre
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: January 15, 2013
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009RWRIP2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,515 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New audio commentary featuring film historian Philip Kemp
  • New interview with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro
  • The Illustrated Hitchcock, an extensive interview with director Alfred Hitchcock from 1972, conducted by journalist Pia Lindstrom and film historian William Everson
  • Audio excerpts from filmmaker François Truffaut’s legendary 1962 interviews with Hitchcock
  • Restoration demonstration
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

  • Editorial Reviews

    An ordinary British couple vacationing in Switzerland suddenly find themselves embroiled in a case of international intrigue when their daughter is kidnapped by spies plotting a political assassination. This fleet and gripping early thriller from the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, was the first film the director made after signing to the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation. Besides affirming Hitchcock’s brilliance, it gave the brilliant Peter Lorre (M) his first English-speaking role, as a slithery villain. With its tension and gallows humor, it’s pure Hitchcock, and it set the tone for films like The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes.

    Customer Reviews

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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars LONG OVERDUE RESTORATION OF HITCHCOCK CLASSIC January 27, 2013
    By Casey62
    The original version of Alfred Hitchcock's THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (Gaumont-British, 1934), has often been overshadowed by the director's 1956 remake starring James Stewart and Doris Day. That version always struck me as an overlong movie built around its popular co-stars, whereas the original is all about the story, which gets told deftly in just 75 minutes. The pattern Hitchcock laid down in THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH is revisited to varying degrees in films like THE 39 STEPS (Gaumont-British, 1935), THE LADY VANISHES (Gaumont-British, 1937), SABOTEUR (Universal, 1942), and NORTH BY NORTHWEST (MGM, 1959).

    A husband and wife (Leslie Banks, Edna Best), vacationing in St. Moritz, come in possession of knowledge regarding an assassination plot, and have their young daughter (Nova Pilbeam) kidnapped in order to force them to co-operate with the assassins. One big advantage the original version has over the remake is the presence of the fascinating Peter Lorre as the arch villain. This was Lorre's first English speaking role, and he gives a performance that's expertly nuanced with oily menace and perverse humor. Lorre's character goes a long way in giving the film its distinctively dark atmosphere. Of course, the suspense is developed intriguingly, climaxing in the well edited Albert Hall sequence. But it doesn't end there; we then get an exciting shootout between the police and the criminals which reaches it's height literally as one of the kidnappers corners the little girl on the edge of a roof, by which time we're at the edge of our seats in pure, Hitchcockian style.

    I'm a great admirerer of Hitchcock's British films, and it always frustrated me that THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH was only available in dupey, public domain copies on budget DVD sets.
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