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Hitchcock Remake of Man Who Knew Too Much


BestEra
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As I was looking ahead at TCM's January schedule, I saw that THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, will be shown January 20. As I glanced at the actors, I expected to see James Stewart and Doris Day. Instead I saw Leslie Banks and Peter Lorre. As I was wondering how that could be, I noticed that the date of the film is 1934. After reviewing the synopsis, I saw that it actually is a little different plot than his 1956 movie with the same title. I can't wait to see this earlier film. I don't see how the song Que Sera Sera will fit in though.

I'd like to hear from anybody if they know the history of the makings of these films. Was Hitchcock displeased with his 1934 version? Or did he think it was such a great movie, he thought it should be re-made?

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My guess would be that he was never entirely happy with the original version and when the opportunity came to remake it, with a nice big budget and a star (James Stewart) he liked, (at least I assum he liked stewart--he used him enough) he did. Maybe he decided that he hadn't developed the characters well enough. I do wish he'd left out that silly song, though. Or found a better one. Gak.

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While Que Sera Sera is an irritating song, Hitch should be given credit for coming up with a way to have Doris Day sing that actually fits into the plot.

 

For some reason, I'm trying to imagine Peter Lorre singing Que Sera Sera in the original....

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Day did not want to sing that "silly" song. So she was forced to do so. To everyone's surprise it became a big hit. She did sing a lovely ballad but it was hard to hear under all the action sequences that brought the film to an end. BTW I just saw the film in high definition on HDNET and it looks incredible. Much better looking than what plays on TCM or the current DVD that is now available.

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In the book-length interview, Hitchcock/Truffaut (1967), Hitchcock told fellow filmmaker Fran?ois Truffaut that he considered his 1956 remake to be superior, saying that the 1934 version was the work of a talented amateur, the 1956 version the work of a professional.

 

& don't forget the film won an Academy Award for Best Song for "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)," sung by Doris Day at several points in the action.

The song reached number two on the U.S. pop charts and number one in the UK.

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