Out of all his pre-World War II sound features, baby kidnap thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much was the one that fascinated its maker Alfred Hitchcock the most. So much so that, in a rare act of overt cinematic repetition, he remade it in VistaVision and Technicolor with then mega stars James Stewart and Doris Day.
Originally released by Gaumont, The Man Who Knew Too Much was loosely adapted from a Bulldog Drummond story by Charles Bennett (Sabotage, The 39 Steps) and humourist and journalist DB Wyndham-Lewis. The film was both daring and politically astute for its time, it was the first of a run of Hitchcock’s films that kept a beady cynical eye on the gathering nationalist clouds across Europe. The Man Who Knew Too Much was also the film that introduced the English-speaking world to the unique, oily, much imitated charms of great Peter Lorre who plays the magnetic but degenerate kidnapper Abbott.
Park Circus are collaborating with ITV and Criterion on a new 2K restoration. The new 2K DCP will be screened for the first time during the BFI’s exhaustive The Genius of Hitchcock season and will be available for bookings worldwide from mid-September.