The most famous scene in The Man Who Knew Too Much takes place in London’s Royal Albert Hall. A politician, a gun, an assassin, a terrified mother whose child has been kidnapped, an orchestra, a cymbal crash… These are the elements that Hitchcock uses to build one of the most iconic sequences in his filmography and a canonical example of how to build suspense. However, the film begins in Marrakech, where a US couple (played by James Stewart and Doris Day) arrive with their son to spend a holiday.
The opening scenes show some of the most recognizable sites in this bustling city: the souk, the Hotel La Mamounia, the Bab Doukkala Gate… However, it is the Jamaa El Fna Square, the heart of the old city, which becomes centre stage for the story, since there the protagonists witness a killing that turns their lives upside down. The square is Marrakech’s hub, whether by day –with its spice stalls and snake charmers– or by night, when it fills with food sellers and performers offering live music.
TITLE: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
DIRECTOR: Alfred Hitchcock
WRITERS: John Michael Hayes
CINEMATROGRAPHY: Robert Burks
CAST: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie