Original 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' Editor Dies

Hugh Stewart

Editor-turned-producer Hugh Stewart, among whose credits is Alfred Hitchcock's original version of The Man Who Knew Too Much, died at his home in Denham, in the United Kingdom, on May 31. Stewart was 100 years old.

One of Hitchcock's most respected British efforts, the 1934 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much is considered by many to be far superior to the 1956 Hollywood remake, in which James Stewart and Doris Day replaced Leslie Banks and Edna Best, whose son mysteriously disappears.

About Hitchcock's working methods, Stewart remarked in the documentary Hitchcock – The Early Years: "When he came on stage for the first day of shooting, he put the script down and said, 'Right, another one in the bag.' Not that he had any disrespect for the making of the film, but as far as he was concerned, he knew the film so well, it was already in his mind. The Albert Hall sequence was the major example of it."

From 1934 to 1940, Stewart edited fifteen British productions. Chief among them were producer Alexander Korda's pro-British propaganda film The Lion Has Wings (1939), starring Merle Oberon and Ralph Richardson; Michael Powell's thriller The Spy in Black (1939), with Conrad Veidt and Valerie Hobson; and three early Vivien Leigh films, the suspense thriller Dark Journey (1937), and the comedies Storm in a Teacup (1937) and St. Martin's Lane / Sidewalks of London (1938).

During World War II, Stewart served as a documentary filmmaker, covering, among other events, the Allied landing in Tunisia in 1942 (Tunisian Victory, 1944), the British landing in Normandy on D-Day in 1944, and the liberation of the Belsen concentration camp.

Stewart's credits as a producer consisted mostly of B-comedies made in the '50s and '60s, usually starring Norman Wisdom. Two higher-end exceptions were Trottie True / The Gay Lady (1949), directed by Brian Desmond Hurst, and starring Jean Kent as ambitious actress Trottie True, and Robert Ashe's Make Mine Mink (1960), with Terry-Thomas.

Photo and Stewart quote via hitchcockwiki.com.

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