June 21, 2009

The Man Who Knew Too Much On-Screen in Arcata, CA

The historic Arcata Theatre has been around since 1938, opening with the 20th Century-Fox film Thin Ice, starring Fox players Sonja Henie and Tyrone Power. Peter Lorre films such as entries in the Mr. Moto series were no doubt on the schedule at one time, too. But on Sunday, June 21, the Arcata Theatre Lounge will be showing a film from 1934 – Lorre’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (Gaumont British), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Show times are at 4 p.m., 6:05 p.m., and 8 p.m. The box office will open 15 minutes before each show.

Admission is $4 before 6 p.m., and $5 after 6 p.m.

All screenings are 13 and over. Anyone under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The Arcata Theatre Lounge is located at 1036 G. Street in Arcata, CA.

Peter Lorre spoke very little English – only “yes” and “no”, picked up from his days in the foreign exchange department at the Anglo-Österreichischen Bank in Vienna – when Hitchcock and his producer Ivor Montague cast him as Abbott, the anarchist leader in The Man Who Knew Too Much. But two to three months later, with the help of an English-language tutor, plus mentally translating his lines into German to understand their meaning, Peter had more than a working knowledge of English by the time filming began.

And during filming – and in full wardrobe and make-up – he also took time out to marry his long-time love, Celia Lovsky, who had come with him from Paris.

Peter’s success in this film led to a contract with Columbia Studios, and a long journey from Southampton, England, to New York City, to Los Angeles and the start of his film and radio career in Hollywood.


malbowbee said...

I love the original "man who knew too much."
1.- it has peter lorre
2.- it doesn't have doris day.

Cheryl Morris said...

Thanks, malbowbee!

I agree -- the 1934 film is much better than the later version.

francois said...

Does anyone know how I can see an early Peter Lorre movie called F.P.1 Antwortet Nicht?

Cheryl Morris said...

Thank you for your question, Francois! Unfortunately, Peter's German-language version of F.P. 1 Antwortet Nicht is not available on Region 1 DVDs. You can, however, purchase a copy through Amazon's division in Germany:


This is a Region 2 DVD, but if you live in a Region 1 area, such as the U.S. or Canada, you may be able to play a Region 2 DVD in the DVD drive of your PC or laptop.