Tit. it.: “L’uomo che sapeva troppo”; Scen.: John Michael Hayes, Angus MacPhail (non accr.), da un racconto di Charles Bennett, D.B. Wyndham-Lewis; F.: Robert Burks; M.: George Tomasini; Scgf.: Henry Bumstead, Hal Pereira; Cost.: Edith Head; Mu.: Bernard Herrmann; Effetti speciali: John. P. Fulton; Int.: James Stewart (Ben McKenna), Doris Day (Jo McKenna), Brenda De Banzie (sig.ra Drayton), Bernard Miles (sig. Drayton), Ralph Truman (Buchanan), Daniel Gekin (Louise Bernard), Daniel Gekin, Mogens Wieth (ambasciatore), Alan Mowbray (Val Parnell), Hillary Brooke (Jan Peterson), Christopher Olsen (Hank McKenna), Reggie Nalder (assassino), Richard Wattis (assistente), Noel Willman (Woburn), Alix Talton (Helen Parnell), Carolyn Jones (Cindy Fontaine), Yves Brainville (ispettore di polizia), Leo Gordon (autista); Prod.: Alfred Hitchcock per Paramount 35mm D.: 120’. Col.
Perspecta Sound was the sound system that Paramount designed to meet the competition of the new sound diffusion systems released with the large screen formats. When 20th Century-Fox launched CinemaScope, for example, it was accompanied by a 4-track magnetic stereo system plus an optical track called MagOptical while Todd-AO tested an even more sophisticated 6- track system. Compared to these, Perspecta did not produce an authentic stereophonic sound. Instead, it channelled sound from a single optical track recorded on the film, to three loudspeakers situated behind the screen using sub-acoustic (and therefore inaudible), lowfrequency sounds. The loudspeakers were calibrated for frequencies of 30, 35 and 40 Hertz (the audibility threshold is around 63 Hz). Moving the point at which dialogues, music and effects were heard gave the impression that the sound was moving around the screen. Hitchcock’s name is generally connected with traditional effects such as models and scrims, but the English director often used new techniques too. Perspecta Sound allowed Hitchcock to construct the climax, set in the Albert Hall, to great effect. In a sequence with almost no dialogue, it is the music that builds and holds the suspense. The powerful, full-bodied sound of the London Symphony Orchestra (conducted personally by Bernard Herrmann) punctuates Doris Day’s dramatic search, as she gets nearer and nearer to the fateful clash of cymbals that announce the assassination attempt. The Man Who Knew Too Much was mixed by Gene Garvin (1904-1992), one of the most important sound technicians at Paramount at the time. Garvin had already worked with Perspecta Sound in Strategic Air Command by Anthony Mann and The Bridges at Toko-Ri by Mark Robson,
both released in 1955.