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Burnley Express (24/Apr/1935) - British Thriller at The Empire



British Thriller at The Empire


The Empire programme is to be changed today, when the feature to the end of the week will be "The Man Who Knew Too Much," a real, melodramatic thriller, a British picture that is altogether first-rate entertainment. It was directed by Alfred Hitchcock, who has once again demonstrated his flair for the rapid action story with backgrounds of reality. Another advantage held by "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is that all the chief characters are collected on the screen and their relations established within a few hundred feet, with the result that the story swings from the very beginning. The story is human although its aspects are, fortunately for peace of mind, unusual. The father (with wife and little daughter) on holiday in Switzerland, obeying the dying behest of a secret service agent, finds and holds a vital clue to the intentions of a gang of terrorists who hare planned to kill a foreign dignitary when he visits England. He knows too much and his daughter is kidnapped — if he reveals his knowledge, she will die. A highlight of the film is the scene of a concert at the Albert Hall, when we know that under cover of one great crashing chord in the music the villain is going to take a shot at the famous diplomat in the centre box. With brilliant ingenuity the director works up to his crash; the music swells, the trumpets, the cymbals, the drums get ready, the pistol gets ready, the diplomat leans forward. The scene eventually shifts to the East End of London, where the trapped villains are besieged in a house by the police. A terrific street battle follows, and in the direction of these happenings Alfred Hitchcock is seen at his best. A particularly strong cast enacts this fine story, Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Nova Pilbeam (heroine of "Little Friend"), Frank Vosper, Peter Lone, and others. Peter Lorre is the famous murderer of "M" and makes again the perfect villain.