The Man Who Knew Too Much – 1956
Our April, 2020, Immortal Idol, Ms. Doris Day delivers a stellar performance as Josephine Conway, ‘Jo’ McKenna, wife of Dr. Ben McKenna, played by the amazing James Stewart, in this Alfred Hitchcock suspense.
It was a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1934 movie with the same title, but different plot and script. It’s the only film Hitchcock did a remake of.
For years, it was nearly impossible to see The Man Who Knew Too Much—or Rear Window, Rope, Vertigo, or The Trouble with Harry. And it was actually the director’s fault. Hitchcock bought back the rights to these films, giving him exclusive control over their distribution. He apparently did this for his daughter, believing the rights to these movies would grow more valuable over time. While they were locked away, the films were referred to as the “five lost Hitchcocks.” They were eventually emancipated in 1983 after a nearly 30-year absence.
HITCHCOCK CAMEOS IN THE MARKETPLACE.
As he does in all of his films. However, in ‘The man who knew too much,’ the director is visible for only a few seconds in the Marrakesh marketplace as he keeps his back turned the entire time.
Dr. and Mrs. McKenna’s 7 year old son has been kidnapped in Morocco. On a mad quest to find him, beautiful cinematography captures empty streets in London. And, during a reception at the embassy, ‘Jo’ (Doris Day) sings a song in hopes her son will hear it, debuting her famous:
“QUE SERA, SERA.”
Ironically, Ms. Day maintained it wasn’t one of her favorites.
DORIS DAY LOOKED AFTER THE ANIMALS IN MARRAKESH.
She even pulled rank for the first time in her film career when it came to the care and treatment of animals:
I said that I would not appear in any scenes with animals unless they were properly fed. As a result, the company set up a feeding station where all the goats, lambs, horses, cows, dogs, cats, burros and other animals were brought to be fed. I couldn’t provide for the feeding of the entire undernourished population of Marrakesh, but by the time our photography was finished I had succeeded in fattening up the animals used in the picture.”
– Doris Day, Her Own Story