Alfred Hitchcock Made The Only Good Hitchcock Remake, Stream Both Versions Without Netflix

By Brian Myers | Published

Alfred Hitchcock Remake

To remake a beloved film can be a risky venture. While there are many examples of classic films that have been given successful new lives (The Thing, Dawn of the Dead, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, to name a few), there have been numerous attempts that not only garnered the ire of fans but also flopped at the box office. One filmmaker’s works that have been considered taboo to touch is the great Alfred Hitchcock, whose remake of his 1934 film The Man Who Knew Too Much is the only worthy redo from the acclaimed director’s film catalog.

The Original

Twenty-two years before Alfred Hitchcock gave audiences the 1956 remake, he was at the helm of what many film aficionados consider his greatest film during his British years. The Man Who Knew Too Much starred Peter Lorre, Leslie Banks, and Edna Best.

With only a 75-minute running time, the thriller is noted for its ability to pack in a great amount of action over a fairly complicated story arc in an unbelievably short amount of time. The film’s climax is a long shootout between occult members and a gaggle of police officers, working to give a lengthy, nail-biting finish.

The US Version

Alfred Hitchcock chose to remake the film years after he made the leap to U.S. film studios. The 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much proved to be a much bigger production that included big name stars Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day, a whopping 120-minute runtime, and elaborate settings that really pop in full color.

Similar To The Original In Some Ways

The Alfred Hitchcock remake followed a similar premise to the original script. A family is on holiday and befriends a man who soon gets murdered.

The family gets wrapped up in a sinister plot and all Hell breaks loose as they try to survive being targets in a foreign country. The remake took several different directions, however, and unlike its fast-paced predecessor is a slow-burning thriller with a huge payoff.

Hitchcock Said Two Different Directors Made Them

Alfred Hitchcock Remake

Comparing the two films side-by-side is almost apples to oranges. The original film was produced with a much smaller budget and, while being highly regarded by critics and fans alike, lacked the suspenseful buildup that later became Hitchcock’s signature.

In later years, Alfred Hitchcock himself would compare the two by stating that the original was the work of an amateur filmmaker while his own remake was the result of a studio pro.

Stream Them Now

Alfred Hitchcock Remake

There have been several attempts to remake Alfred Hitchcock films, but these remake efforts have proven to be futile. The 1998 remake of Psycho is the most panned of the lot, a Gun Van Sant box office failure that couldn’t even generate half of its $60 million production budget back in ticket sales.

A 1998 made-for-tv remake of Rear Window failed to dazzle audiences, and the 1978 remake of The 39 Steps failed to get much of an audience outside of Britain.

If history has shown us anything, it’s that it’s best to leave well enough alone and not try to recreate something that was already a masterpiece. Unless, of course, your name is Alfred Hitchcock.

You can stream the original The Man Who Knew Too Much for free on Tubi or catch the Alfred Hitchcock remake On Demand with Prime.