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Alfred Hitchcock: Masterpiece Edition Vol. 6: Jimmy Stewart teams up with Doris Day in one of the director's oddest, most charming efforts....
Universal / 120 Minutes / 1956 / Unrated / Street Date: October 30, 2012
During Hitchcock's tenure at Universal Studios, he worked with many notable actors and actresses: Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, Suzanne Pleshette, Martin Balsam, Doris Day, Joseph Cotten, Kim Novak and John Forsythe, just to name a few, and he also introduced us to Tippi Hedren and Shirley MacLaine, in their debut performances. And we can't forget that Hitch also made legends out of Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh, for Psycho also. But his most noteworthy, and frequent, collaborator was Jimmy Stewart. The Man Who Knew Too Much, a remake of Hitchcock's own 1934 film, was their third film together.
Jimmy Stewart plays Dr. Ben MacKenna, a doctor from Indiana who is on vacation with his family in Marrakech. When his son Hank is being belated for having accidentally removing a woman's veil, a stranger named Louis Bernard intervenes. The Frenchman becomes an instant friend to Dr. MacKenna, but his suspecting wife, Jo (Doris Day) doesn't trust the stranger. Bernard invites the MacKennas to drinks and dinner that night.
After Bernard cancels dinner, under bizarre circumstances, the MacKennas go to dinner by themselves. An English couple dining next to them recognizes JO, who is a world famous singer. The Draytons joins them for dinner, and become better aquatinted, teaching bullheaded Dr. MacKenna about dining etiquette in Marrakech. Later that evening, Bernard shows up at the restaurant with someone else, this burns Dr. MacKenna, but JO is able to persuade him not to confront Bernard.
The next day, the two families go shopping in a local marketplace, and they witness some police chasing down two men. Ben is curious, and follows them for a few moments, but is held back by JO Later, when one of the men is stabbed in the back, he approaches Dr. MacKenna and tries to speak. To Ben's shock, it's Bernard. Bernard tells MacKenna about an assassination that is going to take place back in London, just before he dies.
When the police detain the Mackennas for questioning, they send their son, Hank, back to their hotel with Mrs. Drayton. While at the police station, Dr. MacKenna receives a call from a mysterious man warning him not to speak to the police, or his son will be killed. Ben sends Mr. Drayton, who had accompanied him to the police station, to search for Mrs. Drayton and his son. When the MacKennas finally arrive back at their hotel, they discover the Draytons have already checked out. The mad search for their son's kidnapper sends them to London, where the story really begins to take off.