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The Man Who Knew Too Much 1956

PG CC

James Stewart and Doris Day give magnificent performances as Ben and Jo McKenna, an American couple vacationing in Morocco, whose son is kidnapped and taken to England. Caught up in international espionage, the McKennas' lives hang in the balance as they race to save their son in the chilling, climactic showdown in London's famous Royal Albert Hall.

Starring:
James Stewart, Doris Day
Runtime:
2 hours, 0 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Thriller
Director Alfred Hitchcock
Starring James Stewart, Doris Day
Supporting actors Brenda de Banzie, Bernard Miles, Ralph Truman, Daniel Gélin, Mogens Wieth, Alan Mowbray, Hillary Brooke, Christopher Olsen, Reggie Nalder, Richard Wattis, Noel Willman, Alix Talton, Yves Brainville, Carolyn Jones, Patrick Aherne, Frank Albertson, Frank Atkinson, Walter Bacon
Studio Universal Studios
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
The "Master of Suspense", Alfred Hitchcock, hits another bullseye with his 1956 production of "The Man Who Knew Too Much". Purists have been known to complain that they prefer Hitchcock's original 1934 version of the story to the lavish, widescreen, color version starring James Stewart and Doris Day, but if viewed side by side, both films stand on their own as classic Hitchcock.
The 1956 "Man" unfolds like a beautiful book, methodically, deliberately, and compellingly. Stewart plays an American doctor and Day is his wife, a retired singer. They are vacationing with their young son, Hank, in Morocco, when they become embroiled in an International incident involving a planned assasination. Their son is kidnapped and taken to London. Day and Stewart follow, where they attempt to get some answers and to locate their son, on their own, without the help offered by Scotland Yard. The film reaches it's exciting climax during a concert at Albert Hall in which Day suddenly realizes what is about to occur.
Without giving away some of the intricate plot twists and turns, "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is like a breathtaking ride on a state of the art rollercoaster. You cannot help but get caught up in the plight of Stewart and Day.
James Stewart and Doris Day seem like a real married couple, so easy and comfortable is their onscreen chemistry. They banter and interact convincingly but there is also a strong indication that there may be some tensions lurking beneath the outer veneer. Both actors play their roles with expertise and Day, in particular, shows range and versatility in her performance, being especially memorable in the justly celebrated Albert Hall scene and in an earlier scene when Stewart informs her that their son has been kidnapped.
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Format: Blu-ray
This remake of Hitchcock's unremarkable 1934 version is substantially better. As he said in his own words, "Let's say the first version is the work of a talented amateur and the second was made by a professional."

Naturally there are some events that may be commonplace in the mid 1950's that you would never do today with your child. Specifically, hand him off to a stranger you had just met. In this version the child is a boy of about 9, where the original featured a girl of about 13. I guess it doesn't matter, but I wonder why that character was changed.

This movie also features Doris Day in a rare dramatic role, although she plays a former professional singer and does get to exercise her voice in the movie. At least a plot point supports her doing so. The climatic scene at Albert Hall is retained very close to the original and is equally well done. The film is a good one, although it doesn't reach the heights of "Rear Window," "Psycho," "North by Northwest," "The 39 Steps," and other Hitchcock classics.

The Blu ray version is currently available as part of the "Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection" and will be available individually in the near future. The film is transferred with a 1080p resolution and a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Frankly, the quality isn't quite as good as other films in the collection. My biggest issue is with the color. It looks washed out much of the time and I noticed some damaged sections of film. It doesn't appear much correction of the original print was attempted. Don't get me wrong, the movie is an improvement over the DVD, especially some of the detail but it could have been better. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio Mono (over 2 channels) and is very good. It is clean and focused. Included are Spanish and English SDH subtitles.
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5 Comments 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this DVD and returned it for a refund. The picture and sound quality were horrible. Don't buy any Triad Productions products. My 1-star reviews keep getting removed by these scammers. I will keep posting them!
4 Comments 53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray
(This is a product review and not a review of the movie itself, to which I give 5 stars. Amazon needs 2 blu ray movie ratings - one for content and one for blu ray quality. Until that happens, I have to rate this 1 star based on the quality of the product itself. I think potential buyers need to know the following before purchasing this disk.)

I watched this film last night and was shocked that Universal would release the blu ray version of this Hitchcock classic with such severe picture quality issues left unresolved.

Most of the movie is plagued by color pulsing and fluctuations so harsh that it distracted me from being able to enjoy the movie that I loved since I was a kid. I thought it was a temporary, scene-specific issue but it persisted throughout the entire movie, only abating slightly during the last half hour.

I could not believe what I was seeing. It was like watching the movie in a room with colored strobe lights flashing and reflecting off the screen of my HDTV, subtly changing the hues and tints of the scenes every second or so.

How does this happen on a blu ray release? I remember watching the DVD version and it did not have this issue. I would even argue that the DVD version is better than this joke of a transfer.

I got this movie as part of the 15 disk Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection. Luckily, there are many fine transfers in the box set that make up for the shoddiness of The Man Who Knew Too Much. But do not waste your money on the stand alone blu ray. You'll be disappointed if you do.
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