My Small Part in a Hitchcock Film

the-man-who-knew-too-much-hank-tells-a-jokeThe 1956 version of the Hitchock film, The Man Who Knew Too Much, starred James Stewart (as Ben McKenna) and Doris Day (as Jo McKenna). This is the film which launched the first song to make it to number one on both sides of the Atlantic: Que Sera, Sera.


Mum is third from the left

At the time, my Mum, pregnant with me, was a classical pianist and a model in London. She was extremely beautiful. As an extra in the closing scenes of the film, she was a member of the choir in the Albert Hall. During the concert, an assassination attempt on a foreign Prime Minister is foiled by Jo and Ben.

Later at the embassy of the foreign dignitary, Doris Day’s son in the film, Hank, who had been kidnapped, hears her singing Que Sera Sera, and cries for help. He is rescued. A happy ending.

I truly believe that I must also have actually heard that song during the many recordings of those final scenes, as, even now, hearing Que Sera Sera being sung by Doris Day makes me feel quite emotional!

Re-wind to the real climax of the film, which is Ben’s frantic search for the killer in the boxes of the Albert Hall. Jo can see the barrel of the assassin’s gun emerging from the curtains and is trying to guide Ben towards him. He is waiting for the cymbal clash to mask the noise of his shot. The tension mounts. Jo screams as the shot is fired. It just grazes the intended victim. Ben grapples with the gunman, who falls to his death from the balcony.

June Lawrence

My Mum

As Ben’s search reached its climax, Hitchcock directed the camera to zoom in onto the fair face of the most stunning woman in the choir. Yes. You have guessed it…….

That was my Mum! Her face filled the big screen.

And I was inside her tummy!

So, I can truthfully claim to have been……

…… the bump in the night in a Hitchcock film!

20 Responses to My Small Part in a Hitchcock Film

  1. Love it! Also nice to think whilst this movie was being made that I’m sure your mother was thinking of you all the time!

    My Mum was also an extra (in Carry on up the Jungle) though it was well before she met my father. She was one of the girls in the tribe of Lost World of Aphrodisia. Being my mum of course she stands out from the others, but she was the only one with short hair (she did’t have time to buy a wig…apparently the extras had to get their own clothing!). Her main part was to step forward and gave Sid James a kiss on the cheek…

    …and no, he’s not my Dad!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post got me thinking about the phrase que sera sera and I made a few notes about it when you first wrote this post. I’ve finally got round to writing it up into a post now about how Darth Vader, Doris Day and the golden rule of time travel question the validity of time travel.

    If I’ve done things right, the link should be over my name! Hope you’re keeping well!


  3. Marianne says:

    LOL…Wonderful!! And yes, you are very correct in saying that you must have heard the song, because babies can hear things while still in the womb. When born they recognize their parents’ voices and it soothes them.

    Have a wonderful day, Lance,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Keep looking around my titbits Marianne. I promise you LOTS of laughs. And we all know that laughter is the best medicine. You may even like my two books or my time travelling coach tours.


      • Marianne says:

        I will definitely be popping around for more tidbits for sure. I am now following you. Yes, laughter is the best medicine. You may like my Kare and Mare comics, too. I believe we have a lot to share together.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. JazzWood says:

    WOW your mum was beautiful!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mariaholm says:

    Thank you for showing me this very interesting post. Unborn babies hear at least from the last trimester

    Liked by 1 person

  6. emkrobertson says:

    Aww what a lovely post. Beautiful mum!


  7. Great story! Next time I watch The Man Who Knew Too Much I’ll know what to look for 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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