14 DECEMBER 1934, Page 15

"The Man Who Knew Too Much." At the New Gallery

Miss Nova Pilbeam, the gifted child actress who recently made her name in Little Friend, undergoes further ordeals in this new Gmunont production, for she is kidnapped by a gang of terrorists after her parents have accidentally acquired a dangerous piece of information about a plot to assassinate a foreign statesman during his visit to London. Miss Pilbeam, however, is mostly hidden from sight in the terrorists' clutches, and acting honours go chiefly to Peter Lorre—the Dusseldorf murderer in Fritz Lang's M—as the brains of this dastardly scheme. Herr Lorre, soft-voiced and smiling, is duly sinister, but most of the film is pitched in an oddly subdued key, perhaps because Alfred Hitchcock, its director, wants to make melodrama seem more realistic by depriving it of rhetoric. I prefer stronger meat in this type of picture, but there are good performances from Edna Best, Leslie Banks and Frank Vosper ; and the police attack on the gang's queer hide-out at Wapping—obviously reminiscent of the famous siege of Sidney Street—is a finely exciting climax.