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Showing 1-10 of 45 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 64 reviews
on February 11, 2013
Like most, I'm more familiar with the Jimmy Stewart-starring remake than the 1934 original. And by "more familiar with" I mean I didn't know the original existed until a few years ago. Smarter people than I can do a much better job comparing and contrasting the two versions. But I believe it stands up just fine on its own, even while I still prefer the latter version (though an included essay makes a strong argument for the original).

First, though, the restoration. It looks incredible. The film could be average and the restoration job would be worth five stars alone. Similarly, the sound is as clean and crisp as you could want. Criterion has knocked it out of the park again.

As to the film itself, it's immensely enjoyable. It lacks the nuance of the remake and the polish that Hitchcock developed as a director, but it's worth seeing for Peter Lorre's performance alone, his first in English. A performance he delivered, I might add, without knowing quite what he was saying, as he learned his lines phonetically on account of not actually speaking English at the time.

At the end of the day, it's classic Hitchcock presented by Criterion. What's not to like?
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on March 2, 2013
(This is a review of the Blu-Ray version.)
What a thrill it is to see one of Hitchcock's earliest British films (from 1934) restored to such beautiful life. Criterion's transfer may be one of the best they've ever done, with every frame looking like a crisp still photograph. Deep blacks, bright whites and virtually no discernible blemishes prevail throughout the entire 75 minute running time.
The extras, meanwhile, are quite the added treat! A 1972 interview with Hitchcock, conducted by journalist Pia Lindstrom (the daughter of Ingrid Bergman), is hugely informative and entertaining. Hitchcock appears here in good humor and shares many wonderful anecdotes about his films.
Finally, the film itself. "The Man Who Knew Too Much" was Hitchcock's return to form after a series of disappointing and mostly unsuccessful pictures. Here one begins to see the successful combination of humor and dread that would highlight his greatest films. With this release, Criterion has completed a must-have trilogy of Hitchcock's best British films (the other two being "The 39 Steps" and "The Lady Vanishes", both also available on wonderful Blu-ray editions). If you already own one of those poor-quality, cheap boxed-set versions of TMWKTM, it's time for an upgrade. For the Hitchcock fan, this Criterion edition is pure gold.
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on December 8, 2016
Finally. A clear print of this classic film. A little pricey but worth it to me.
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on November 20, 2015
This blu-ray is brilliant, I didn't expect there to be so many special features for a movie made long before Blu-Rays and even DVDs existed, but there was. I haven't seen all the special features but I did see some of them.

Simply brilliant. As a fan of the movie, I'm very happy to know the thought progress behind the movie. Even Alfred Hitchcock himself has an interview on this Blu-Ray, thank goodness television existed back in the day.
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on October 15, 2014
One of the few english movie's that Peter Lorre, besides Three Strangers, was able to act at his magnificent best; a true actor, he delineates his character, and the director let him do his stuff. For fan, this prelude, also by Hitchcock is the best.
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on January 20, 2016
The classic version of this oft-filmed story. Lorre at his "worst" (or is that "baddest"?)
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on April 25, 2014
This movie was Peter Lorre's first English language film. His Character was very evil, but in a subtle way. If you have seen the Remake with Jimmy Stewart, you also need to own the Original. If you don't like going to the Dentist, this film show you why we don't like going to the Dentist's office. Edna Best is the mother and plays a somewhat well know sharp shooter. Pay attention to the trap shooting contest at the beginning of the film, it sets up the film. Leslie Banks is no Jimmy Stewart, but he does a good job as the father who does his best to save his daughter. I recommend this movie as a companion to the Remake, also done by Hitchcock.
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on May 25, 2014
this gem is without peer on so many levels it is to question even the motive now it appears that is clear quite soon but later you realize this just ain,t so now to helm this score is alfred hitchcock himself you begin to understand north by northwest even better your scan sense is sharpened to the nth degree the cast is drawn as from a painting that decided it was much too big to stay just a painting the film stock was those masters at criterion who absolutely refuse to live with just okay if they can,t have perfection then they don,t want it and would rather pack it in rather than muck it up
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on April 14, 2014
I bought the Blu-Ray version on a whim to see if there would be a difference in the image quality with a film going back that far, and comparing it to the standard DVD sitting on my shelf. I was surprised to find that there IS a discernible difference. Peter Lorre is superb in this kidnapped by spies thriller and there's more than enough dry humor to hold your attention. This issue of a true Hitchcock classic has been beautifully restored and is one that I highly recommend.
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on February 27, 2013
FANTASTIC FILM...MUCH BETTER THAN THE JIMMY STEWART VERSION..PETER LORRE MAKES A PLAY FOR VILLAN OF THE YEAR...THIS FILM IS ALSO CONSTRUCTED IN A MUCH MORE BELIEVABLE IN PLOT LINE AND THE ACTING IS FANTASTIC AS COMPARED TO STEWART AND DAY..A MUST FOR HITCHCOCK FANS BRAVO...ALSO EXCELLENT TRANSFER BY CRITERION.
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