Frenzy 1972

Frenzy

Critics Consensus

Marking Alfred Hitchcock's return to England and first foray into viscerally explicit carnage, Frenzy finds the master of horror regaining his grip on the audience's pulse -- and making their blood run cold.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 42

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,628

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Movie Info

London is held in the grip of a serial killer whose modus operandi is to murder his victims by strangling them with a necktie. When short-tempered ex-Royal Air Force officer Richard Blaney (Jon Finch) discovers his ex-wife (Barbara Leigh-Hunt) murdered, Blaney becomes a suspect. Forced to go on the run, Blaney attempts to take refuge with his best friend, fruit merchant Bob Rusk (Barry Foster), however Rusk may, in fact, be the necktie murderer himself.

Cast & Crew

Jon Finch
Richard Ian Blaney
Barry Foster
Robert Rusk
Barbara Leigh-Hunt
Brenda Margaret Blaney
Anna Massey
Barbara Jane "Babs" Milligan
Alec McCowen
Chief Inspector Oxford
Billie Whitelaw
Hetty Porter
Jean Marsh
Monica Barling
Bernard Cribbins
Felix Forsythe
Michael Bates
Sergeant Spearman
Arthur La Bern
Writer (Novel)
William Hill
Associate Producer
Ron Goodwin
Original Music
Gilbert Taylor
Cinematographer
Leonard J. South
Cinematographer
John Jympson
Film Editor
Sally Nicholl
Casting
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Critic Reviews for Frenzy

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (38) | Rotten (4)

  • In case there was any doubt, back in the dim days of Marnie and Topaz, Hitchcock is still in fine form. Frenzy is the dazzling proof.

    May 13, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Armed with a superior script by Anthony Shaffer, an excellent cast, and a top technical crew, Alfred Hitchcock fashions a firstrate melodrama about an innocent man hunted by Scotland Yard for a series of sex-strangulation murders.

    May 13, 2020 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • There's no sign of the serenity and settledness that generally mark the end of a career. Frenzy, instead, continues to question and probe, and there is a streak of sheer anger in it that seems shockingly alive.

    May 13, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Hitchcock's return to Covent Garden, 'wrong man' plotting, the neuroses of sexual immaturity, and black-humoured slapstick ironies, tied up neatly in Anthony Shaffer's screenplay from the novel by Arthur Le Bern.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Paul Taylor

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • This is the kind of thriller Hitchcock was making in the 1940s, filled with macabre details, incongruous humor, and the desperation of a man convicted of a crime he didn't commit.

    October 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • One of the great latter-day Hitchcocks.

    March 10, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Frenzy

  • 6d ago
    It's too bad Alfred Hitchcock's movie-making prime years didn't happen when censors were more liberal. Frenzy gives us a peek of what Hitch would have done with some of the murders and sex scenes in his movies. For film lovers this is essential Hitchcock, not because the film is great - it is not - but, it has the Hitchcock touch and is a fascinating entry into his oeuvre.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Nov 27, 2019
    Perhaps the only time Hitchcock was able to go as far as he wanted. That being said the reason to see this is for Shaffer's darkly witty screenplay.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 18, 2018
    I've always liked 'Frenzy', Hitchcock's second to last movie, filmed when he was 73. The London pub and market scenes in Covent Garden always grab me from the start, and I love the dialogue between Jon Finch and both Anna Massey and Barry Foster. Finch plays a down-on-his-luck barman who's just been "given the push" (fired) from his job for drinking too much, Massey is his feisty co-worker, and Foster his charming and kind friend who tries to help him. Hanging over London is the "Necktie Murderer", as we see in the early shots of a nude woman floating in the Thames. When Finch pays a visit to his ex-wife (Barbara Leigh-Hunt), things take a downward turn, but I won't say anything further. There are several excellent shots worth noting. The one where Hitchcock slowly backs the camera down the stairwell and back out into the street, after the killer and his next victim are entering his apartment, is brilliant. The fumbling around in the moving potato truck, leading to breaking fingers where rigor mortis has set in has a gruesome and morbidly absurd feel to it. I also love the small moment when at the trial, Hitchcock places the camera outside the courtroom, and lets us hear snippets of the judge's pronouncement when the door opens. The film feels eminently British which I enjoyed, and distinctly Hitchcock, as he slips in some droll humor in the form of a detective (Alex McCowen) and his wife (Vivien Merchant), who cooks him unappetizing French haute cuisine while he craves traditional British fare. For the first time, Hitchcock also uses brief nudity in a few scenes mostly to heighten the garish and horrifying murders, and maybe to please his inner voyeur. There are moments which made me smile (a margarita being too exotic a drink comes to mind), and others which made me cringe (a gentleman saying to a barmaid that being raped before being strangled is akin to every cloud having a silver lining, and her smiling about it). The middle portion of the film is not quite as strong as I remembered it, but overall, a solid thriller, and underrated in Hitchcock's oeuvre.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 19, 2016
    Pretty shitty. Hands down the worst Hitchcock film I've ever seen, and just a terrible film in general.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer

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