The 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.
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.
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!