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To clear confusion, The Man Who Knew Too Much was first a 1922 book of detective stories, and then a 1934 film, and then the same film redone in 1956 by the same director. This article is about the 1956 film.
James Stewart and Doris Day star as Ben and Jo McKenna, Americans traveling to Morocco with their son Hank (Christopher Olsen). On the bus they meet Bernard, an amiable man who puts Jo on edge for being "suspicious". She is right, however, and Bernard turns out to be a spy. He whispers a message in Ben's ear before dying when Bernard is killed in disguise that someone's life is in danger. Ben is confused by many false leads. How did Bernard know that? And why did he tell Ben?
- Badass Bookworm: Ben.
- Becoming the Mask: Mrs. Drayton, who pretended to be nice to Hank, only to try and save the him near the films climax.
- Break the Cutie: Poor Mrs. McKenna near the climax,hears Hank whistle to "Qué Será, Será" while she plays on the piano. Becuase she knows he's nearby, but can't do anything to help him, except play.
- Or even earlier, during the Albert Hall sequence. Look at her face, and you can see a woman who's about to lose it, who knows that something terrible is about to happen and cannot do a thing about it...until she just snaps and screams.
- The Cameo: Bernard Herrmann, who composed the score for this and several other Hitchcock films, appears as the orchestra conductor during the Albert Hall scene.
- Cloak and Dagger: A lot of that going around.
- Concert Climax
- Disney Villain Death: The assassin falls off a balcony.
- He Knows Too Much: Naturally.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Mr. Drayton's gun misfires to kill him.
- Mama Bear: Jo
- Manipulative Bastard: Edward Drayton good at hiding behind kids.
- Mistaken for Spies: Ben and Jo, pretty much.
- Monumental Battle: At Royal Albert Hall. Alfred Hitchcock seems fond of this trope.
- Musical Trigger: One specific cymbal clash in the symphony was the assassin's cue to kill, since that was the loudest moment of the symphony, so it would have masked the sound of the gunshot.
- Not My Lucky Day: Bernard.
- Papa Wolf: Ben
- The Remake
- Smug Snake: Mr. Drayton's one nasty peice of work.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: "Qué Será, Será" was written for the film. Its upbeat tune and lyrics were intended as an ironic counterpoint to a story about kidnapping.
- That Reminds Me of a Song: Used as a plot device. Doris Day sings "Qué Será, Será" multiple times, ultimately using it in a game of Marco Polo so our heroes can find their kidnapped offspring.
- Twist Ending: Remeber those slightly irritating relatives from earlier in the film.
Ben: Sorry we were gone so long, (over twenty four hours) But we had to go pick up Hank!