Friday, February 22, 2013

Knitting in film: The Man Who Knew Too Much

The other night I was watching the 1934 version of Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much.

If you're not familiar with it, this is the original one, made when Hitchcock still lived and worked in England; the Doris Day/Jimmy Stewart version that put Que Sera Sera on the map was a (very fine) remake. 

The original movie is very, very good - very tight plotting, great camera effects, all that stuff you want to see.  But of course, being me, I could not get past the hat and mitts - seriously, they were that jumpy-outy - on the English couple's little girl. 

(in the remake, it's an American couple with a little boy and instead of vacationing in a snowy resort, they are someplace very hot. same story though.)

I missed a lot of plot points because I was trying to figure out whether her elaborate mitten cuffs were in fact cuffs that fold over the sleeve of her coat, or very large wrist warmers, but eventually they all went inside and I was able to focus on the friendship between the essentially adorable couple and a gentleman they had met on their holiday.  The wife and the gentleman were pretending to flirt, and the husband was pretending to be terribly hurt by it all, and then - as the wife and gentleman danced in the dining room - he asked his daughter...

"Is that mummy's knitting?  Chuck it over."

Alfred Hitchcock, you old dog.  The husband not only takes the knitting off its needles, he actually winds the loose end around the button on the back of the gentleman's jacket just before he and his wife dance away, with hilarious results.

A few seconds later though you're reminded that this is an Alfred Hitchcock movie after all.  Bump.

If you want to check it out, I would love to hear what you think about those mittens at the start.  The dancefloor shenanigans start at about the 7 minute mark, and they're all over by 8:45 minutes in.

I do love when knitting turns up in film, don't you?  Like when Nora Charles is knitting at the end of another Thin Man movie, and Nick finally notices and asks her, Aren't those slippers a little small because they would just fit a baby, and she doesn't say a word.  Heh heh heh.


Mimi said...

Love The Thin Man movies. Will have to check out The Man Who Knew Too Much. I'm an old movie kind of person.

Mary Keenan said...

Sometimes I post these things so I know where to find the link later, myself... and I rewatched this one a few hours after publishing it ;^) Such a good film!

Erika said...

I love old movies, I will have to see if it's available on Netflix :)
I notice knitting more know when I'm shopping or watching movies. ~Erika