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“A single crash of cymbals and how it rocked the lives of an American family.” So begins a fantastic Hitchcock thriller, “The Man Who Knew Too Much.”

It’s hard to know what approach an older movie like this will take when addressing a kidnapping plot-line… Will they tread too lightly? Will they soften the harsh elements?  Will the suspense hold up to today’s graphic stories?  Well, with Hitch behind the camera, you can be sure the story will have enough suspense to stretch from here to Marrakech… and the thrills will hold up to (and surpass) today’s standards.

At the beginning of the movie there is a light happy feel, the family is together and cheery and Dr. Ben is very… well, he’s very Jimmy Stewart.  The wife is immediately cautious, which leads us to feel the same way.  But as soon Ben gets the mysterious phone call in the police station, the whole feel of the movie changes.  This change is a switch from older Hollywood films to later films of the 70s… suddenly the charm and cheer are gone and we are met with fear and the possibilities of lives being lost.

The feeling we get in the detective’s office is disturbingly real.  The detective is quiet, cold, and threatening.  We are just as confused as the main characters and as fearful as well.  Soon, we see why this movie has been titled “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” Ben really does know more than he cares to know, though he surely wishes he didn’t know a thing.  The faceless enemy is using threats so Ben will keep his secret, while the police are using threats so he will tell them everything.  Ben and Jo simply want to find their child (by force or with money), they do not want to stop any murder or help either side… until they gain the upper-hand.

As the story unfolds, the tides begin to shift.  In the church scene, Ben and Jo suddenly have the power over their adversaries.  The kidnappers are suddenly fearful of what will happen to THEM.  I won’t go into any more detail as to what happens next, but the infamous opera scene is not to be missed… and the very last scene of the film (the final 15 seconds) is an unforgettably stylistic wrap to the whole film.

“The Man Who Knew Too Much” definitely deserves a full cup and does a great job of displaying all the chaos and turmoil a kidnapping holds… all while throwing in a classic Hitchcock style.

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