Frenzy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Frenzy Reviews

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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.

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 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.
September 24, 2015
Snowballing into one suspenseful turn after another, "Frenzy" proves to be a late, but skillful effort from Alfred Hitchcock.
August 15, 2015
This. This is more like it. After the last few Hitchcock films left me wanting a little, FRENZY returns to the type of film that he did so well. The plot is one that he frequently used: an innocent man wrongly accused, but he didn't just rehash old material. He upped his game and brought his filmmaking style into a more modern sensibility, all while maintaining the suspense and black humor that had become his trademarks. While I've yet to see any of the films from his British period, I am aware that FRENZY hearkens back to his first real success, which was THE LODGER. And in terms of what I've actually seen, I noticed a lot of DNA from earlier efforts like SABOTEUR, REAR WINDOW, and PSYCHO. The film grabs you and sucks you in from the opening notes of its title sequence, a fanfare which triumphantly announces that he's back: back in his native England, and back in top form. And it wastes no time in thrusting you into this familiar, yet slightly changed world. One thing that benefits the film a lot is the screenplay by Anthony Shaffer, which is filled with great dialogue and biting wit. There was also a sinister, Victorian elegance to the score. And, as with all of his other films, there are a few sequences which stand out. The best of these is probably a long, continuous shot which pulls back from the scene of a crime as Hitchcock leaves it (and its aftermath) to the audience's imagination. Still, perhaps in concession to the changing times, this film does contain some nude scenes and somewhat more vicious-minded, if not particularly graphic, violence. It reminds us that the gory details are often best left to the imagination; they're the icing on the cake, and not the cake itself. Another audacious thing Hitchcock does is make the protagonist rather unlikeable and have us sympathize (at least in one protracted scene) with the villain. Overall, I thought that he was in top form here, adeptly mixing suspense and comedy, all while exploring his favorite themes of sex, death, and food. In regards to food, the Chief Inspector's wife has perhaps a couple of the funniest scenes in the whole film. For me, FRENZY was a welcome return to form after the last few misfires, and it's great that Hitch seems to be going out on top.
½ July 16, 2015
To my knowledge this was Alfred Hitchcock's second last film which echoed back to his first hit in the mid 1920's The Lodger.

The story of a serial rapist & murderer who likes to finish his victims with a neck tie. The London public & police target this low life Londoner & miss the clue the killer is someone more suave & polished.

Despite hitch's age nearly 80 he was master behind the camera & due to the change in censorship he stepped up the terror. A well made thriller & a great story.
June 23, 2015
Viewed this on 23/6/15
This could be the very best film that Hitchcock has ever made or at least in par with Psycho(my favourite). Hitchcock uses never seen before elements into this film like nudity, uncensored violence and most of all real shooting locations and modern camera techniques making the visuals striking and more believable compared to his other close confined films like Rear Window. This film really requires nudity and it shows how good Hitchcock could have done had they allowed him to show the shower scene in Psycho the way he shot it. It's violence and Hitchcock's tread into much darker material is essential because it adds much psychological tension to the film. The score is also great. The most interesting storyline in the film is a comic relief story of the investigating officer and his wife. The story lets us guessing and tightening things even as the film goes to the very near. The performances are also spot on with Barry Foster giving an unforgettable performance and equally good is Alec McCowen who only comes into the latter half of the film. However, if I asked, I would say there's one small problem. The film shows women in a bad light in generally, they are all either nude and killed or they are beings that fail to understand the truth, like the secretary of Ms Blaney or the wife of Blaney's friend or like the investigator's wife.
½ April 13, 2015
Hitchcock returns to England for one of his most lived-in movies, gone are the well-to-do middle classes or landed gentry of many a past production to the working class world of his early movies (and his own roots). Instead we have a positively grimy London with a grisly killer on the loose, where the Hitchcock takes 'the wrong man' plot out for one last spin and takes it to the logical extreme of where it can go. On the way he peppers the proceedings with his trademark humour and there is a nice undercurrent that captures the antagonism of the time between the elder generation that grew up in his heyday of the 40's and 50's and the new 'debauched' generation of the 70's, although it's clear which side he favours. It remains amazing how much sympathy Hitchcock can elicit for such unlikeable characters, even his most repugnant villain at one point, although the protagonist is dislikeable almost to the point of losing all support.
½ March 28, 2015
One of Alfred the greats final films is a real sleazy treat for fans of his more exploitative side. Anyone wanting to know exactly why the likes of Dario Argento is often compared to old Hitch then this needs to be seen. What's best about this little gem is the fact that you can tell the old guy was having a bit of fun with it, he knows it isn't going to be his best or even close, so he fills this with nice touches of black humour, tonnes of bad language, and plenty of suspense. This is very much a middle of the pile addition, but the cast is good, it's very well structured, and it never allows itself to be taken seriously. Overall a good sit that is never boring to watch.
February 24, 2015
Often hailed as Hitchcock's last great film, Frenzy follows common ground as far as Hitchcock thrillers go, but this time with a morbid twist. The "Necktie Murderer" has the London police on red alert & an innocent man is on a desperate quest to find the real criminal & clear his own name. For its time it was clichéd with the new style twist, the film features a great plot, story, pacing & atmosphere. It's Hitchcock back to his best one final time, with a styled thriller that the director knows best. This is worth a watch, especially with the the way the classic thriller incorporates violent sexual murders successfully, which was a new idea for its time.
½ January 20, 2015
Sr Ross ud. no lleva corbata ...truculento y oscuro thriller , una de las ùltimas pelìculas de Hitch conservando su genialidad y llena de frases sarc sticas como : hoy las mujeres abandonan su honor con mucha facilidad que su ropa.
January 12, 2015
Another classic from the Hitchcock library. Police are hunting the neck tie killer and think they have their man.......
January 1, 2015
I think the rating this movie has is far too high. To me it was a average movie and a bit stupid at times. The detectives wife for example is a complete retard. I think she is put in their for comic relief but she seems like a total simpleton and what husband wouldnt just tell his wife to stop cooking weird shit. Oh God that annoying. Actually mthe movie makes the Brits seem like a race of simpletons. Its like a caricature of the Brits. I thought it was a ok movie, nothing special.
November 19, 2014
The first Hitchcock movie to receive an "R" rating. I love Hitchcock so many others. My Top 5: 1. NORTH BY NORTHWEST 2. REAR WINDOW 3. DIAL "M" FOR MURDER 4. ROPE ...and 5. FRENZY. I enjoy FRENZY for several reasons, these are: Hitchcock shows daily life in the '70's taking place. The "daily life" aspect is one of my favorite features in many of Hitchcock's films. I was born in the '70's so it's interesting to me to see how people dressed and acted then, as well as, how people went about their day in the '70's. Through Hitchcock's films, one can look back and see everyday life occuring e.g. NORTH BY NORTHWEST, THE BIRDS.

Another reason is how dark this movie is compared to Hitchcock's other films. The restrictions on what could be shown in movies was starting to ease, so you get see Hitchcock show scenes/actions he previously was unable to film. In the movie, Hitchcock shows nudity, he shows rape, he shows violence ...these are elements that were previously only suggested and/or implied. But just like the implications worked in Hitchcock's earlier films, the "in your face" style works too because Hitchcock was an amazing director.

Still another reason, is Barry Foster (Robert Rusk a.k.a. Uncle Bob) is fantastic at playing a truly creepy guy. He's the dapper British gent with a scary twisted freaky side to him that's just makes you want to cringe. Jon Finch is also excellent as playing one of Hitchcock's favorite roles i.e. "the mistaken identity guy". It has become one of my favorite Hitchcock films, and one of my favorite suspenseful films. It's one of those films I can watch over and over. Plus, I'm happy we have a film by Hitchcock where he wasn't so resticted in what he could and couldn't show as in previous years. I gave it 4 stars and not 5 stars because I reserve that for the true masterpieces such as NORTH BY NORTHWEST and REAR WINDOW.
November 8, 2014
Easily the darkest of Hitch's films alongside his most graphic, but it is also among his best. Stunningly acted and toting an amazing script, Frenzy is a bleak, intelligent thriller that represents a high note not just for Hitch, but for the genre as a whole. A later period magnum opus if there ever was one.
½ November 2, 2014
Considered by critics to be the last great film of Alfred Hitchcock's career, Frenzy sounded like a great look at one of his final visions.

Being a low budget British crime thriller, Frenzy is largely a return to Alfred Hitchcock's roots. The entire film has a distinctively British feel to it due to its locations and its cast, and that evokes the memories of a lot of Alfred Hitchcock's earlier works. The entire film has the charm of a good piece of British cinema, with one of the most distinctive elements being the language of the script. The screenplay is intelligent partially because its story is unpredictable and full of all kinds of twists and turns as well as many strong characters. The film is built on firm material from the ground up, and Alfred Hitchcock gives it an edge and an atmosphere to it. Things in the film are tense in a clever fashion, in an original and unconventional manner which shows Alfred Hitchcock taking a different kind of perspective on his story which is admirable, so it is one of his more creative explorations of cinema from the end of his career. It is certainly a step up following two rather familiar and similar efforts on Torn Curtain and Topaz.
Frenzy is interesting because it takes a different angle to the usual thriller. Usually, films chronicling the hunt for a serial killer with the mystery being the prime driving force behind it all. Frenzy instead diverts cinematic conventions and takes an all new look at its story. It is interesting because the tale is partially a mystery and partially a game of cat and mouse. The story has audiences fully aware of its twists with many of its characters aware of none of them, making it a film with an intriguing narrative structure. This helps to elevate the film above some of its other story flaws such as the slow pace of the feature. Although I will admit that this takes its toll on the movie in the long term because it means that the focus is all over the place and there end up being a lot of characters to keep up with. The non-traditional plot structure of Frenzy makes it both a memorable film and a somewhat confusing one. The general premise of the story is strong with the dynamics surrounding protagonist Richard Ian "Dick" Blaney and serial killer Robert Rusk being interesting, but there are many things standing in the way of it. As there is no mystery in the film, a lot of the plot elements relating to characters trying to figure out the identity of the serial killer really just prove to drag on. The mystery is absent in Frenzy in favour of a different form of intensity which is built on the progressing discovery of the Robert Rusk at the hands of Richard Ian "Dick" Blaney. Frenzy is all about the game of crime and it does so with an atmosphere which is tense but also makes it all seem natural without much forced dramatization, so it is an interesting feature as a whole, for better and for worse
Visaully, Frenzy adheres to a lot of Alfred Hitchcock's signature abilities as a filmmaker. It takes its low budget far and has a lot of powerful scenery and strong production design with no German Expressionism this time around. This makes the story feel very genuine and gives it a strong edge. Everything in the film is captured with firm, atmospheric cinematography which makes the tense mood of the experience very clear. Frenzy is packed with strong imagery which gives it a strong sense of legitimacy and makes it an intriguing experience, even if its style is sometimes superior to the quality of its story. It is a case of style over substance perhaps, but as Alfred Hitchcock is a master of intelligent filmmaking, he is able to give Frenzy an effective and memorable style to it.
And the cast in Frenzy do their part to ensure that the tale succeeds on a human level.
Jon Finch makes a fine lead in Frenzy. Caught up in all the confusion of the murder case, Richard Ian "Dick" Blaney has to incur a lot of unpredictable stressful situations in the plot dynamics. And Jon Finch succeeds at consistently keeping his emotions on par as the tale progresses through its gritty territory. He remains firm constantly throughout and interacts with the surrounding cast members with a strong sense of emotion without going melodramatic. He plays the role of Richard Ian "Dick" Blaney essentially as the everyman that he is which makes him an easily sympathetic figure, so he is a natural talent in the lead role.
But it is Barry Foster who stands out from the cast. Barry Foster does a good job as Robert "Bob" Rusk. In his part, he captures an interesting level of insanity. He hides it very nicely in a manner where he largely plays out the part with multiple personalities. He does it well because he establishes a character that is intense and unpredictable at during some moments of the film and so easily casual in others. The balance he puts into the part is grand and he does it so organically that he fits the profile of the serial killer antagonist easily. Barry Foster's performance in Frenzy is one of the finer aspects of the film, and his efforts make the feature a memorable one.
Alec McCowen puts a sense of determination into his role as Chief Inspector Oxford and he delivers his lines with a sense of wisdom to it and a real dedication to the script. Anna Massey also does her part in a matter of a few scenes.

So Alfred Hitchcock's "last great film" Frenzy is one with scattered focus, a slow pace and an abundance of subplots and extra characters. But it is a stylish film with an interesting plot structure, constant atmosphere and creative visual style to it.
November 1, 2014
I totally LOVE this film!! Delicious and intense. One of the greatest Hitchcock endings ever!!
½ September 22, 2014
Departing from any sort of decency in creating true tension and dread, Hitchcock takes advantage of the relaxed sensor codes and delivers nudity and sex like never before in his work. The movie as a plot of suspicion, murder, wrongful accusations, and creepy fear goes, is memorable. But the 70s were the start of a degradation of content in the way emotion was gift wrapped for the audience. Hitchcock, especially Hitchcock, never had to rely on R-rated graphic material to get across his message so it's very much unneeded here. Plus, this film doesn't say much that better innocent man thrillers have said in passing. Hitchcock's Marnie was for me a more complete and disturbing picture of evil with hope able to shine. Frenzy is just how it sounds. It is chaos, disgusting chaos internally and externally without a true purpose other than to string us along for the ride. I hold Hitch up to the highest standards of terrifying and enriching us at the same time and here he falls short of the mark. That being said, it is still very effective and probably will deliver some nightmarish imagery to hold onto despite your best efforts.
½ September 3, 2014
After the mixed bag of "Marnie" and the two mediocre Cold War thrillers, Alfred Hitchcock returns to form and directs a film that proved that even in his old age (his 70s), he was still the Master of Suspense in the 1970s. "Frenzy" marks Hitchcock's final return to filmmaking in his native country, and it is a fantastic thriller. A serial killer is on the loose in London, raping woman, strangling them with his necktie and then ditching their nude bodies. A Regular Joe gets accused of the crime after his ex-wife, and then his current girlfriend, is murdered by the killer (who as it turns out is the accused man's friend). It is a fine thriller with suspense throughout and a nice touch of that classic Hitchcock humor that make his films so memorable. It is also one of the most gruesome and explicit films that great director ever made. After years of insinuation, he decides to play along with the times and shows explicit violence and nudity, it makes the subject matter all the more shocking and frightening. Also, unlike "Marnie", the creep who rapes a woman isn't our hero, which is much more acceptable for me. "Frenzy" is an excellent movie, and I really got a kick out of it.
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