Dispondo do grande senso de humor negro do mestre Hitchcock, o filme igualmente se beneficia da sofisticada direção do cineasta, o qual, no final de sua carreira, ainda compunha passagens absolutamente irrequietas e poderosas - ora por sua explícita violência (como a cena do estrangulamento), ora por seu absoluto silêncio e tensão (ênfase para a grande tomada que se distancia progressivamente dos aposentos do assassino). Destaque, por fim, às finíssimas atuações de todo o elenco.
Em suma, talvez não seja o ápice da filmografia de Hitchcock, mas é sem dúvidas um suspense policial de muita classe.
Before the film was released, film ratings were officially introduced, leaving Hitchcock responsible for an R-rated film instead of one that was just "Approved" for audiences. This allowed Hitchcock to introduce nudity into his film, which he did.
"Frenzy" takes place in London and is about a 30-something year old man, Blaney, who is said to be the infamous Necktie Murder. But he is innocent and his friend, Rusk, is actually the sadistic killer.
This film is racy, intense and a good watch.
Definitely watch if you're a film buff and enjoy Hitchcock films. You'll love to watch as to how Hitchcock got to make his first R-rated film.
Frenzy, I give you an 80%.
Since The Birds in 1963 Hitchcock's movies (Marnie, Torn Curtain and
Topaz) had not met with commercial success (though, personally, I think
Marnie was great).
Frenzy sees Hitchcock back to doing what he does best - suspenseful
murder dramas. Great, intriguing plot with the usual clever direction
from Hitchcock. Some of his camera angles and exterior shots are
straight from his own book of how imply something and create tension
without saying a word, or using manipulative music.
The movie also has some great comedic moments. The Chief Inspector and
his wife having dinner were always hilarious.
Much more edgy in terms of nudity and sex than any previous Hitchcock
movies. This could be ascribed to censorship restrictions being
relaxed. Also tells you what Hitchcock could have done with is movies
if all the stupid, puritanical censorship wasn't there all along.
Not as tightly wound as his greats (Rear Window and Psycho especially),
so not perfect as far as suspense and enthrallment goes.
Good performance by Jon Finch in the lead role. Good support from Alec
McCowen, Barry Foster, Anna Massey and Barbara Leigh-Hunt.
Sadly, this was to be Hitchcock's penultimate movie. His final movie,
Family Plot was released four years later, in 1976. He died in 1980.
Clocking in a little shy of two hours, the film has plenty of time to build suspense, and boy, it has a tendency to work a little too hard at keeping that up, not so much dragging itself out with filler, but still outstaying its welcome with much meandering material that slows down the momentum of rising tension, however limited it may be by inconsistencies beyond pacing. I don't know if the film is so much all that humorous, or even all that fluffy of a report back to London on the tropes that Alfred Hitchcock picked up during his time in Hollywood, Anthony Shaffer's script, on top of spending too much time with certain segments in material in general, spends too much time with inconsequential, almost tongue-in-cheek lighter segments, broken up by moments of tension that would be more effective if they weren't so forcibly driven into the midst of borderline fluff. Tensions certainly aren't helped by the film's lack of originality, being at least consistent in tossing whatever pacing or tone it's following upon a traditional muder and wrong-suspect tale that is all too predictable to feel all that momentous, just as it's too histrionic to fell that grounded. I don't suppose Shaffer's scripted storytelling is all that far out there, but it's a bit questionable, drawing a borderline barely probable thriller narrative whose holes in full buyability are conceptually problematic enough. Of course, what ultimately secures the final product's underwhelmingness through the story concept is merely natural shortcomings, because the near-two-hour runtime, and the jarring incorporations of more serious tonal aspects, wouldn't be so unreasonable if this story concept wasn't so light in momentum to begin with. I feel that something could have been done to carry this story a fair distance in execution, and highlights in storytelling stand as evidence, yet the consequential shortcomings - of which there are many - ultimately reinforce limitations in intrigue enough to hold the final product back as a relatively underwhelming, somewhat fluffy thriller. There's something ultimately lacking here, but not so lacking that the final product doesn't entertain just fine as a fair penultimate opus in Hitchcock's career, and one that looks good along the way.
Really, Gilbert Taylor's and an uncredited Leonard J. South's cinematography is hardly all that special, but it pays a nice compliment to Alfred Hitchock's distinctive visual style with a lovely pronunciation of color and some subtle plays with lighting that do a decent job of drawing you into the looks of this character piece. Of course, this thriller thrives more on the portrayers of its characters, and while there's not a whole lot of material for anyone to utilized as standouts or anything of that sort, most everyone has a very English and distinguished charisma which sells each individual character, while the occasional dramatic beat reinforces a sense of consequence. The performances are solid, never really standing out, but having a certain realization to presence to help keep you invested, with the help of some pretty decent material, in all fairness. Anthony Shaffer's script gets to be rather uneven in tone and pacing, and quite frankly, it's perhaps a little too blasted British in its overt dryness, whose somewhat subdued approach to heavy subject matter further limits a sense of weight, yet through all of the shortcomings, Shaffer's humor is generally clever and amusing, while characterization proves to be well-rounded enough for you to get a grip on the characters, and the conflicts which follow them. True, there's only so much weight to get a grip on within this somewhat narratively thin and very unoriginal story concept, but potential is here, intriguing as a classic, if sometimes probably questionable study on the hunt for the wrong man in a serial murder case, anchored by the aforementioned charismatic acting and clever script. Of course, what really brings storytelling to life, about as much as it can be with material so thin in concept and uneven in execution, is Alfred Hitchcock's direction, which not only flaunts a handsome visual style, as I said earler, but keeps fairly focused in that classic Hitchcockian manner, focusing on writing wit enough to keep the slow spells from descending into blandness, while playing with a sharp atmosphere during the more intense moments in order to thoroughly chill, and provide glimpses into a more effective thriller. Needless to say, the heights in intensity are few and far between in this sparse affair, and in between that is a thriller that is too held back by predictability, inconsistency and other issues to be all that thrilling, but entertainment value is not lost, sustaining enough intrigue to keep you going, even if it's for only so far.
Bottom line, the momentously and tonally uneven, as well as unoriginal and sometimes histrionic telling of a slightly thin story concept hold the final product back, but decent cinematography, charismatic acting, clever writing and thoughtful direction prove to be enough to make Alfred Hitchcock's "Frenzy" a pretty entertaining and sometimes pretty tense, if underwhelming penultimate project in the career of the Master of Suspense.
2.5/5 - Fair
I had a rare chance to revisit the film on the big screen recently and now that I am approximatly the same age that Hitchcock was when he directed Frenzy, I saw what Hitchcock had created in an entirely new light. The viewing was nothing short of an epiphany for me.
I saw Frenzy as an homage to his wife and maybe even an apology to all women after years of objectifying them in his films. From a man who became defined by the brutal and titilating shower scene in Psycho, maybe this was a chance at redemption.
The film takes place during the reign of terror by a serial killer in London, who rapes and then strangles his victims using a necktie. Through a series of unlucky events one man is investigated and charged by the police, while the real killer continues to stalk the streets.
But what I believe the film is truly about is an end of life realization by Hitchcock that women are the true heroes in our lives. If you examine every woman in this film you soon realize their one focus is to bring love and joy to the people and more specifically the men around them. The main characters ex-wife secretly slips money into his pocket when she sees that he is down on his luck. The police chiefs wife who continually tries to broaden his culinary apetite as she chides him to look at the case from a new perspective. They are all smart, organized, humble and generous to a fault. Even the rape scene feels more like a woman finally giving in to her dates advances. And what does she get for it ? Suffocation, using the one symbolic item of clothing that is distinctly male. A necktie...
Where as all the men come across as bumbling self serving clowns , who dont see what they have right in front of them. And seem to treat the murders as more of a means of entertainment. In fact one of the pivotal scenes where the killer gets stuck in a potato truck trying to retrieve a piece of evidence off a corpse comes across as more slapstick than suspense.
Bravo Mr Hitchcock for showing that it is not your film that is masoganistic, but it is the men that inhabit them.
Love the women in your life....dont suffocate them....or you may lose them for good....