The Man Who Knew Too Little

6.61 h 33 min1997X-RayPG
A video store clerk thinks he's taking part in a street-theater show - but it's really a high-stakes espionage plot, with cold-war spies aiming to blow up an international meeting! With Alfred Molina.
Jon Amiel
Bill MurrayPeter GallagherJoanne Whalley
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Alfred MolinaRichard WilsonGeraldine JamesJohn StandingAnna ChancellorNicholas WoodesonSimon Chandler
Arnon MilchanMichael NathansonMark Tarlov
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.7 out of 5 stars

1860 global ratings

  1. 82% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

PacclesReviewed in the United States on January 18, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Bill Murray's Best Comedy
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This must be Bill Murray's best starring role in a comedy. I have seen "What About Bob" and "Groundhog's Day", and it bewilders me that so few have seen or even heard about "The Man Who Knew Too Little". I loved it when I was younger for the American goofball who gets caught up in the high-stakes of an assassination plot while being completely oblivious throughout. As a more mature viewer, the situation is just as silly and comedic and I am able to catch the subtle innuendos.
It's not groundbreaking. It's not thrilling. It's not deep. It's hilarious.
27 people found this helpful
Allen Garfield's #1 fan.Reviewed in the United States on May 31, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Bill Murray's last funny movie?
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Maybe...lots of classic comedies from the 70s and 80s - and of course, SNL.

The 90s got off with Quick Change (Murray co-directed), Groundhog Day, Mad Dog and Glory, Ed Wood, Kingpin, What About Bob?, Wild Things and of course, the criminally underappreciated The Man Who Knew Too Little.

And then...he became a fixture in the satanically twee oeuvre of Wes Anderson. Star of two of Jim Jarmusch's worst films. I'll admit to digging Lost in Translation, but upon second viewing, I wondered "what was I thinking?" And don't get me started on Hyde Park on the Hudson (127 offers from $1.22 on this site). Alas, I paid to see it theatrically. Ugh.

Sorry about this review: one long rant and digression.

Check out this movie! You'll laugh and laugh. You might even cry....
7 people found this helpful
Mark ZReviewed in the United States on January 9, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
He’s another one of those Old Spice guys.
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My dad likes this movie every time we watch. Only thing is we don’t only any retail version! So, I thought it would be a funny and cheap Christmas gag type of gift.

My dad is so difficult to find the right Christmas gifts. So it was either this or Groundhog Day, but he’s seen Groundhog waaaay too much. So, I’d rather sit thru this movie with him again than GD. Both are great movies, but of course GD is the classic. GD is always on tv every now and then.

By the way, the digital copy on amazon of Man who knew too Little is $9.99! Way more than the DVD. I know digital is the future, and being able to watch free sometimes with ads maybe. I still like discs! Blu-ray and DVD are a-ok by me.

Just thought I’d share my boring story. Thanks!
2 people found this helpful
Rue TysonReviewed in the United States on March 24, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
A lighthearted twist on a otherwise intense story
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This movie was very funny! My family first picked up this movie at the library and watched it, expecting a "B" movie. We were pleasantly surprised. I would not say that this is an "A" movie, but it is still very funny. This movie does not have any intensity, though the plot would seem to suggest otherwise... It is fun to watch the main character react to unusual spy-like situations, and the excitement comes when seeing these dramatic situations displayed from his more easy-going perspective. This movie plays with the idea of role-acting, spy conspiracies and classic miscommunication when most appropriate for a laugh.
4 people found this helpful
M. KennyReviewed in the United States on April 1, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
The longer I watched the more I liked it.
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The picture quality is good and the sound is as well along with SDH and French language as well as French and Spanish subtitles. The one I got is a double-sided disc with a Fulll Screen (1: 1.33) on one side and Widescreen (16:9) on the other side. There is an audio commentary as an extra.
If you look at some of the reviews you will see that some people love this film and others hate it. If you require that a comedy film has a plot that makes sense at all times, then this is not for you. If you can watch a film that is almost an outright fantasy you will like this.
Wallace (Murray) decides, for his birthday, to visit his brother in England UNANNOUNCED and arrives on the night of a very important dinner with clients that his brother has to get through, but without Wallace being present (for about 3 hours), so he gets him into a "theater of life" production, an improvised script for armature players, that takes place out in the real world. Unfortunately Wallace gets involved with REAL people that are spies and criminals and he thinks it all part of the "play".
If you can read that description and and not say "WTF" you will probably enjoy the movie as Bill Murray gets to do some shtick in different situations. Like several long SNL skits strung together with a convoluted plot.
It is all in fun and if you go with the flow you can have a great time.
5 people found this helpful
E. J. Y.Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Destined to become one of the classics of comedy
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Bill Murray movies should only be watched if they can be found in the comedy listings. The MWKTL is such a hilarious movie... sometimes slapstick, sometimes subtle and everything in between. Truly worth watching repeatedly to memorize lines you will be using in conversations with those you have forced to watch this with you (because you will want others to see this hidden gem of a movie). "Which one of these doors is England?" "You're a little pocket rocket. I thought he married an uptight English girl." "Tomorrow I want to go around this way." "My dog is dead!" "Spencer knows what to do with floaters!" By now you get the picture... it's a great film you'll want to see again and you won't be able to get it out of your head.
Jon ReisdorfReviewed in the United States on August 21, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
Happy and Helpless Murray, A Delight
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My wife and I love everything Bill Murray. We owned The Man Who Knew Too Little in VHS and finally replaced with a DVD. I highly recommend it. There are many Bill Murrays. In the the Man Who Knew Too Little we have the innocent, clueless Murray. The premis is ridiculous of course but that is part of the fun. Murray is Wallace Richie, a manager of a Block Buster Video Rental Store from Des Moines, Iowa in London to celebrate his birthday with his brother - a banker. His brother who is a banker trying to impress Germany investors. To get rid of his brother he buys him ticket in the theater of life. Ordinary people play roles, not on stage but in real life settings. Wallace is mistaken for a CIA hitman but he believes all the mayhem is part of the "play" he is in. One of the "players" is the lovely Joanne Whalley, his love interest. Another is the Russian hitman Boris played by the comedic master Alfred Molina. Murray/ Ritchie stumbles his way to victory but remains clueless to the end. Murray plays the innocent as well as he plays the sardonic character in Scrooged. He is not as hapless as Murray in What About Bob? But certainly in that vane. It is light fare but it's a sweet and lovely treat.
4 people found this helpful
Mark A. PearsonReviewed in the United States on April 27, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great stuff, loads of fun.
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It's a blast to watch. This is not serious comedy, it's serious fun. As someone else has said, you have to set aside your critical thinking, your skepticism, and just enjoy the fun. There are so many really funny situations in the movie that it's really not fair to name them all, but suffice it to say that once the movie gets going they come one after another in quick succession so that you hardly have time to get a breather in between fits of laughing. Bill Murray's character is having fun throughout, really doing all the things he always dreamed of doing. The closest he ever came before this was renting out movies to other people for Blockbuster video. Now is his opportunity to do the stuff he has been watching in the movies and he's going to do it all, even getting the beautiful girl in the end.
3 people found this helpful
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