Frenzy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Frenzy Reviews

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½ August 19, 2017
An unfortunate reminder that Alfred Hitchcock has made just as many bad films as he has good ones. Frenzy may be his most graphic work that I've seen, but it's far from his best. The suspense isn't there, and I found myself bored. (First and only viewing - 8/1/2017)
½ August 6, 2017
Hitchcock not trying to do too much and actually achieving more out of the direction and performances than the simple script offers.
July 17, 2017
Seeing this again, Frenzy is just as fresh and suspenseful as it was when I first saw it. If there ever was a perfect film, or at least a perfect Hitchcock, this is it. Not only is the tension tighter than ever, the humor as darkly hilarious, or Hitchcock hallmarks more present in this masterpiece of visual storytelling. See it with a group of friends and you'll have a blast.
½ May 27, 2017
After some forays into political territory (the cold war film Torn Curtain and Cuban revolution flavoured Topaz) Hitch returned to what he did best with this tale of a London serial killer who strangles his victims with a necktie. It's certainly a garish, drab depiction of London in the early '70s- lots of pubs, fruit markets, grotty alleyways, and is expertly crafted for maximum suspense by the expert himself.
½ May 20, 2017
It's a completely misogynistic film. If it were possible to score it with no stars, then that would be the grade given. Hitch lost it after The Birds.
March 7, 2017
Could be my favorite from Alfie. Impossible to pick one
½ February 5, 2017
"Frenzy" There's all the mood we've seen in hundreds of Hitchcock movies, a murder, a mystery, an investigation, and so on. Not that this is bad, because Hitchcock knows how to create a tense and manipulate the signs like nobody, and this is certainly not his best film of the genre, but it is a mature film, and that has its charm. We have here the story of Richard Ian Blaney (Jon Finch), a former military man who has serious financial and temperament problems, and when he realizes he is the main suspect in a wave of murders taking place in London. The script is based on a book, and there is nothing new or revolutionary about it, with many loose ends and continuation problems, yet it catches the viewer, does not charm, but distracts and amuses. With a beautiful photograph, beautiful soundtrack, and great camera angles, including some beautiful sequential plans and spectacular aerial footage for the time, technically the film is incredible, although some cuts are visible in scenes that give some continuation problem. All on-screen performances are very good, and here we have a Hitchcock already on his way to the end of his career without losing the good level of his work. "Frenesi" has a good comedic relief, great direction and a script that only pleases, with some problems already mentioned, "Frenesi" will not be among the best films of Hitchcock, but still, and a good movie.
½ February 4, 2017
After some forays into political territory (the cold war film Torn Curtain and Cuban revolution flavoured Topaz) Hitch returned to what he did best with this tale of a London serial killer who strangles his victims with a necktie. It's certainly a garish, drab depiction of London in the early '70s- lots of pubs, fruit markets, grotty alleyways, and is expertly crafted for maximum suspense by the expert himself.
January 11, 2017
Latter day Hitchcock is still likely to be more interesting than most director's best output, so I was pleased to finally give this one a day in court. A wrongly accused man is forced to ferret out the real killer in typical Hitchcock fashion, and I quite enjoyed it.

Well worth a look if you have the chance.
January 10, 2017
A dark, gritty and unsettling movie, Hitchcock pulls off a late career triumph that's as good as many of his earlier great works. Barry Foster is perfect in the role of the murderer and it fits him like a glove. The ending could have done with a little more punch but that's only my opinion.
January 2, 2017
Having now seen this, it's clearly one of the most underrated movies that Hitchcock made. One of his later films (made in 1973) which also sees him returning to London to film, the film is darkly humorous, hugely suspenseful - as always - and much more overtly sexual than his previous works. It focuses on a man wrongly accused - as is often the case in Hitchcock's films - of murdering women around London, and his search to find the real murderer and reveal him to prove his own innocence. Brilliant, but at times disturbing stuff.
½ December 31, 2016
funny and gruesome, a true masterpiece by hitchcock. one of his very best, top three.
Super Reviewer
November 19, 2016
Pretty shitty. Hands down the worst Hitchcock film I've ever seen, and just a terrible film in general.
November 5, 2016
One of Hitchcock's better later films
April 12, 2016
For a movie named Frenzy this is like anything but. Boring cast, I hate the look and vibe of everything, I hate how the story is told. I don't understand how anyone could be engaged my this. At least with like The Lady Vanishes, I could conceive of maybe a dorky boring person digging it, but I have no idea what the hell audience could be engaged by this one.
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2016
It's great until the third act when it slips up and the intelligence level drops.
½ January 24, 2016
Grisly, macabre late Hitchcock movie that bristles with a seedy London atmosphere.
December 16, 2015
WOW......WOW......WOW.....WOW.....STUNNING.....FANTASTIC.......GENIUS.....SUPERB.....WHAT A BRILLIANT CLASSICS MOVIE 2 WATCH, I AM A FAN OF ALFRED HITCHCOCK AS I THINK THAT HE IS A BRILLIANT MOVIE DIRECTOR.........its got a great cast of actors/actresses throughout this movie.....I think that jon finch (.R.I.P.), alec mccowen, barry foster (.R.I.P.), billie whitelaw (.R.I.P.), play good roles/parts throughout this movie......I think that the director of this drama/horror/romance/mystery/suspense/thriller movie had done such a fantastic job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie......




the whole cast is:::

Jon Finch as Richard Ian "Dick" Blaney
Alec McCowen as Chief Inspector Oxford
Barry Foster as Robert "Bob" Rusk
Billie Whitelaw as Hetty Porter
Anna Massey as Barbara Jane "Babs" Milligan
Barbara Leigh-Hunt as Brenda Margaret Blaney
Bernard Cribbins as Felix Forsythe
Vivien Merchant as Mrs. Oxford
Michael Bates as Sergeant Spearman
Jean Marsh as Monica Barling
Clive Swift as Johnny Porter
Madge Ryan as Mrs. Davison
Elsie Randolph as Gladys
Gerald Sim as Solicitor in pub
Noel Johnson as Doctor in pub
John Boxer as Sir George
George Tovey as Neville Salt
Jimmy Gardner as hotel porter
Rita Webb as Mrs. Rusk
Michael Sheard as Jim, Rusk's friend in pub




Cast notes
Alfred Hitchcock's cameo appearance can be seen (three minutes into the film) in the centre of a crowd scene, wearing a bowler hat. Teaser trailers show a Hitchcock-like dummy floating in the River Thames and Hitchcock introducing the audience to Covent Garden via the fourth wall.
Michael Caine was Hitchcock's first choice for the role of Rusk, the main antagonist, but Caine thought the character was disgusting and said "I don't want to be associated with the part." Foster was cast after Hitchcock saw him in Twisted Nerve (which also featured Frenzy co-star Billie Whitelaw). Vanessa Redgrave reportedly turned down the role of Brenda, and Deep Red?'?s David Hemmings (who had co-starred with Redgrave in Blow-Up) was considered to play Blaney. Helen Mirren, who later in life played a film version of Hitchcock's wife Alma Reville in Hitchcock, met with the director and eventually turned down the role of Babs Milligan, and years later regretted it.




I think that this is such a thrilling enjoyable Hitchcock movie 2 watch, I think that Alfred Hitchcock is such a brilliant director.........



Frenzy ranked #33 on Variety's list of the 50 Top Grossing Films of 1972. The movie had total takings of $4,809,694 at the domestic box office (the United States and Canada), which is approximately $27,209,017 in today's funds.

The film was the subject of the 2012 book Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy: The Last Masterpiece by Raymond Foery




After a pair of unsuccessful films depicting political intrigue and espionage, Hitchcock returned to the murder genre with this film. The narrative makes use of the familiar Hitchcock theme of an innocent man overwhelmed by circumstantial evidence and wrongly assumed to be guilty. Some critics consider Frenzy the last great Hitchcock film and a return to form after his two previous works, Topaz and Torn Curtain.





3 Henrietta Street in Covent Garden was the flat of the 'Necktie Strangler', Robert Rusk
Hitchcock set and filmed Frenzy in London after many years making films in the United States. The film opens with a sweeping shot along the Thames to Tower Bridge, and while the interior scenes were filmed at Pinewood Studios, much of the location filming was done in and around Covent Garden and was an homage to the London of Hitchcock's childhood. The son of a Covent Garden merchant, Hitchcock filmed several key scenes showing the area as the working produce market that it was. Aware that the area's days as a market were numbered, Hitchcock wanted to record the area as he remembered it. According to the making-of feature on the DVD, an elderly man who remembered Hitchcock's father as a dealer in the vegetable market came to visit the set during the filming and was treated to lunch by the director.

No. 31, Ennismore Gardens Mews, was used as the home of Brenda Margaret Blaney during the filming of Frenzy.

During shooting for the film, Hitchcock's wife and longtime collaborator Alma had a stroke. As a result, some sequences were shot without Hitchcock on the set so he could attend to his wife.

The film was the first Hitchcock film to have nudity (if you don't count Psycho, which featured out-of-focus breasts in one shot of the shower scene). There are a number of classic Hitchcock set pieces in the film, particularly the long tracking shot down the stairs when Babs is murdered. The camera moves down the stairs, out the doorway (with a rather clever edit just after the camera exits the door which marks where the scene moves from the studio to the location footage) and across the street where the usual activity in the market district goes on with patrons unaware that a murder is occurring in the building. A second sequence set in the back of a delivery truck full of potatoes increases the suspense as the murderer Rusk attempts to retrieve his tie pin from the corpse of Babs. Rusk struggles with the hand and has to break the fingers of the corpse in order to retrieve his tie pin and try to escape unseen from the truck.

The part of London shown in the film still exists more or less intact, but the fruit and vegetable market no longer operates from that site, having relocated in 1974. The buildings seen in the film are now occupied by banks and legal offices, restaurants and nightclubs, such as Henrietta Street, where Rusk lived (and Babs met her untimely demise). Oxford Street, which had the back alley (Dryden Chambers, now demolished) leading to Brenda Blaney's matrimonial agency, is the busiest shopping area in Britain. Nell of Old Drury, which is the public house where the doctor and solicitor had their frank, plot-assisting discussion on sex killers, is still a thriving bar. The lanes where merchants and workers once carried their produce, as seen in the film, are now occupied by tourists and street performers.

Novelist La Bern later expressed his dissatisfaction with Shaffer's adaptation of his book.

Soundtrack
Henry Mancini was originally hired as the film's composer. His opening theme was written in Bachian organ andante, opening in D minor, for organ and an orchestra of strings and brass, and was intended to express the formality of the grey London landmarks, but Hitchcock thought it sounded too much like Bernard Herrmann's scores. According to Mancini, "Hitchcock came to the recording session, listened awhile and said 'Look, if I want Herrmann, I'd ask for Herrmann.'" After an enigmatic, behind-the-scenes melodrama, the composer was fired. He never understood the experience, insisting that his score sounded nothing like Herrmann. In those days, Mancini had full music measurements sheet and he had to pay all transportation and accommodations himself. In his autobiography, Mancini reports that the discussions between himself and Hitchcock seemed clear, he thought he understood what was wanted, but he was replaced and flew back home to Hollywood. The irony was that Mancini was now being second-guessed for being too dark and symphonic after having been criticized for being too light before. Mancini's experience with Frenzy was a painful topic for the composer for years to come.

Hitchcock then hired composer Ron Goodwin to write the score after being impressed with some of his earlier work. Goodwin's music had a lighter tone in the opening scenes, and scenes featuring London scenery, while there were darker undertones in certain other scenes.





The second to last feature film of his extensive career, it is often considered by critics and scholars to be his last great film before his death. The screenplay by Anthony Shaffer was based on the novel Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square by Arthur La Bern.

The film stars Jon Finch, Alec McCowen, and Barry Foster and features Billie Whitelaw, Anna Massey, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Bernard Cribbins and Vivien Merchant. The original music score was composed by Ron Goodwin.

The film was screened at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, but was not entered into the main competition.

The plot centres on a serial killer in contemporary London. In a very early scene there is dialogue that mentions two actual London serial murder cases: the Christie murders in the early 1950s, and the Jack the Ripper murders in 1888.

Frenzy was the third film Hitchcock made in Britain after he moved to Hollywood in 1939. The other two were Under Capricorn in 1949 and Stage Fright in 1950 (although there were some interior and exterior scenes filmed in London for the 1956 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much). The last film he made in Britain before his move to America was Jamaica Inn (1939).





I think that this is such a fantastic British thriller-psychological horror film, to watch as the director keeps you on the edges of your seats throughout this movie.....it is such a gripping movie 2 watch it is such a thrilling movie 2 watch with a brilliant cast throughout this movie.......
December 13, 2015
Second tier Hitchcock, but really great at times. And 70s London looks fab.
½ September 28, 2015
Hitchcock returns home for this sadistic tale of a rapist-murderer & the down-on-his-luck man wrongfully suspected.
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