The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
It has been said that Hitchcock's main incentive for making this film, a remake of his own 1934 movie of the same name, was contractual obligations to Paramount Pictures. And this would explain why Hitchcock is operating at half throttle here, seemingly more concerned with the glossy production values and lavish set-pieces, both of which are this film's best assets, than with the narrative, which is underdeveloped and as a consequence starts to drag about halfway through. With a kidnapping and a political assassination plot on the cards, the story should have been more heartfelt and effective than it is, but Hitchcock is unable to make his protagonists' predicament stand out and shout at us to the degree that he so often did. Whether this is because of James Stewart's somewhat wooden performance, the underdeveloped political subplot and antagonists, or Hitchcock's autopilot direction, is up for discussion, but there's little doubt that this film was not made with the same sense of urgency which characterised the other films Hitchcock made during his busy mid-1950s period.