The Man Who Knew Too Much, a review by Dragonfire
(From Alfred Hitchcock Marathon on July 19th, 2010)
|The Man Who Knew Too Much - 1956 |
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.
This is the first time that I've seen all of this one. I saw a little of it on television before. I've also seen the earlier version. The basic story is the same, though several things have been changed. The pace is slower while everything is set up and introduced. I wasn't bored by what was going on, though that did make a few scenes drag a bit. The movie probably does move too slow for some people. The slower pace does help to allow for the build up of tension that culminates in a wonderful sequence during the concert. The ending does drag on a bit too long and is more anticlimactic, though it does resolve things. I think the ending could have been handled better.
There is a decent amount of mystery in the movie, most of it tied to Hank being taken. I thought that Louis seemed a bit suspicious with how he dodged any personal questions. Jo seemed to have some of those same feelings. After Louis is murdered, things do pick up more, and the mystery starts building as well. Like I mentioned, Jo is suspicious a few times, but she does do a few things that I didn't think were that smart. She and Ben very quickly accepted Louis and a few other people. They barely know Louis, yet they have him in their hotel room. That just doesn't seem smart to me. Of course, maybe people were more accepting when the movie was made. For me, I would be way more cautious of strangers while traveling, especially if I had a child. It did seem like Jo and Ben were a bit gullible once or twice, but that didn't really make me like the movie less.
Several scenes were shot on location in Morocco and some scenes in London. With some of the scenes set in Morocco, I noticed that the backgrounds looked slightly off and I think they were probably done with projection or whatever it was called. At one point, Ben and Jo are walking in an outdoor market. For the beginning of the scene, it looks like they are on the real location. Then the shot changes and the backgrounds look off again. The scene changes again, and is back to footage shot on location. Some kind of reshoot might have been needed for that sequence.
It is a bit different for music to be used so much in a Hitchcock movie. The song that Jo sings with Hank does seem like a song a mother would sing with or to her child, but it still seems slightly out of place...even when it plays a more important part again later. That doesn't mean that Doris Day doesn't sing beautifully. The songs just seem a bit odd in this type of movie.
The characters are interesting and I think the cast does well with the parts. I honestly can't remember having seen Doris Day in anything else. She does really well in this one. Jo does sort of flip out when she finds out about Hank being taken, but that seems like a natural reaction for a mother to have. Jo and Ben seem to have a good marriage, though they have a few disagreements.
This isn't one of Hitchcock's best, but it works as an entertaining movie. It does deserve to be seen. The slower pace will probably turn some people off.
I did get a review posted on Epinions if anyone would like to take a look.
The Man Who Knew Too Much
The Invisible Man, a review by addicted2dvd
| || Title: The Invisible Man: The Legacy Collection|
Director: James Whale
Length: 71 Min.
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: Mono, English: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Forrester Harvey Plot:
Renowned acting legend Claude Rains made a remarkable screen debut in ‘The Invisible Man’, based on H.G. Wells’ acclaimed novel. Rains, a mysterious doctor, creates a serum that makes him invisible. But the miraculous potion also has the power to drive him mad, as he discovers when he is forced to commit horrific acts of terror. Directed by the master of the macabre, James Whale, ‘The Invisible Man’ set the standard for dazzling special effects with ingenious techniques that are still imitated today. Extras:
Gallery My Thoughts:
Another very good classic movie. Thought the effects for this one were great for the time it was made. A true mad scientist film. The image quality of this one looked quite good for it's age... though there is still some specks here and there. This is the first time I watched this movies in the Legacy Collection set. And never seen any of the sequels... so still have those to look forward to.
My Rating Out of a Possible 5 Count: Movie Count:
64TV Ep. Count:
8 I Made It! (10/15) (From Month Long Horror/Halloween Marathon: 2010 on October 18th, 2010)
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Complete First Season marathon, a review by Tom07. The Demon Hand
: Josh Friedman (Created By), Toni Graphia (Writer), James Cameron (Original Characters By), Gale Anne Hurd (Original Characters By)Director
: Charles BeesonCast
: Lena Headey (Sarah Connor), Thomas Dekker (John Connor), Summer Glau (Cameron), Richard T. Jones (Agent James Ellison), Mark Ivanir (Dmitri Shipkov), Angela Gots (Maria), Traber Burns (Chief of Staff), Brian Austin Green (Derek Reese), Bruce Davison (Dr. Peter Silberman), Mark Bloom (FBI Evidence Clerk), Ron Butler (Social Worker), Alex Veadov (Russian Man)
I like it when they are referencing events of the movies. I think Derek is a good addition to the cast.
But I don't think it was a good choice to have Cameron ballet dancing. Only because the actress is a ballet dancer doesn't mean you have to incorporate it into the story.
Rating: (From Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Complete First Season marathon on January 27th, 2009)