High Anxiety Reviews
High Anxiety is a really stupid, moderately funny Hitchcock spoof. This isn't one of Mel Brooks better films. It doesn't touch his classics like Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein, but it is much better than his bottom dweller Dracula: Dead and Loving It. This one works just enough for me because of the subject matter. I am a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan; just like everyone else who is familiar with his work. So a spoof of some of his most legendary films and scenes was, at the very least, going to be interesting. While I think Brooks could have done a much better job with the material, it was still decent enough.
The highlights of the film are two scenes that are reenacted from two different Hitchcock films. The first being the shower scene from Psycho and the second being the birds landing behind the woman from The Birds. Both brilliant scenes are taken and used in the most ridiculous context imaginable. Watch the scenes and you'll know what I mean. They definitely aren't smart comedy, but smart comedy was never what Brooks was selling; and that's what makes him such a genius I guess.
This should be good enough if you are a fan of Brooks' brand of comedy. It would also help if you are familiar with Hitchcock because if not, a lot of the references and comedy will be lost on you. Still it's a little disappointing just because I wanted a Young Frankenstein caliber film from Brooks when he was working with Hitchcock's films as his material.
A funny Mel Brooks parody film, centered around Alfred Hitchcock thrillers.
Brooks stars as Richard H. Thorndyke, a celebrated psychiatrist, who has just been put in charge of the Institute for the Very Very Nervous.
He soon finds that things are not the way they should be as suspicious activities start to occur and foul play is suspected.
All of the Brooks' film regulars show up here, including Cloris Leachman, stretching her face throughout as the evil Nurse Diesel, Harvey Korman, Dick Van Patten, and my favorite, Madeline Kahn as the Hitchcock Blonde, Victoria.
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: What's your sign?
Victoria Brisbane: I'm sorry. It's... unlisted.
There are a plethora of Hitchcock films being parodied, with obvious takeoffs from The Birds, Psycho, Vertigo, Suspicion, and North by Northwest. This is all easily done through names, scenes, and references, but it is all handled very well, and is consistently funny.
It even makes sure to acknowledge the "drama" unfolding by breaking the fourth wall on occasion to recognize the over-the-top music cues.
It may not be in the same league as Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein, but it is still an entertaining movie, with a number of hysterically funny sequences.
Victoria: Have you seen my father at the Institute? Is he all right?
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: He's fine, he's fine. He's coming along just fine. He's very affectionate. He licked me.
Victoria: He what?
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: Well, he thinks he's a dog these days.
Victoria: A dog?
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: A dog, yes.
Just logged on to find many many messages. I've been MIA for a while-busy with life and other slings and arrows.Will try my best to get back to everyone-but it's gonna take some time...
Great movie by the way!
Finally saw Valkyrie-what a self indulgent piece of crap-all those intense close ups of the Tom Cruise-gag...