High Anxiety (1977)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

High Anxiety Videos & Photos

Movie Info

This is Mel Brooks' spoof of over ten Alfred Hitchcock classics, including Psycho, Vertigo, and The Birds (Brooks actually used the bird trainer from that classic suspense movie in making his film). Brooks plays Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke, a renowned Harvard psychiatrist with a concealed fear of heights, or High Anxiety. Thorndyke takes over as the newest director of the PsychoNeurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous after the last director dies under suspicious circumstances. He soon finds … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Mel Brooks, Ron Clark, Rudy De Luca, Barry Levinson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 4, 2006


as Dr. Richard H. Thorn...

as Victoria Brisbane

as Nurse Diesel

as Dr. Charles Montague

as Brophy

as Prof. Lilloman

as Dr. Wentworth

as Desk Clerk

as Cocker Spaniel

as Killer

as Zachary Cartwright

as Norton

as Dr. Baxter

as Dr. Eckhardt

as Piano Player

as Man Who is Shot

as Flasher

as Flasher

as Arthur Brisbane

as Screaming Woman at G...

as Dr. Colburn

as Doctor at Convention

as Airport Attendant

as Dr. Wilson

as Customer

as Psychiatrist with Ch...

as Policeman at Airport

as Orderly

as Cocktail Waitress

as Bartender

as Man in Phone Booth

as Male Attendant

as Orderly #2

as Psychiatrist

as Bar Patron

as Policeman at Airport
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Critic Reviews for High Anxiety

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (5)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

[VIDEO ESSAY] Mel Brooks's flair for comic riffing against a stylized background of plot devices draws on a long tradition of spoof movies that date back to the first days of sound cinema.

Full Review… | June 12, 2012

Very very funny Hitchcock spoof with some adult humor.

Full Review… | December 19, 2010
Common Sense Media

Most of this stuff isn't particularly funny however, and even though I watched High Anxiety for the first time in 2010, I'm not sure it would have been very funny back in 1977 either.

Full Review… | June 11, 2010
Combustible Celluloid

Brooks spoofs the master, Alfred Hithcock, and make a minor comedy classic of his own with High Anxiety

Full Review… | May 19, 2010
What Would Toto Watch?

One of Brooks lesser comedies from the 1970s, but it beats hands-down any of his later work.

Full Review… | March 23, 2009
Three Movie Buffs

Audience Reviews for High Anxiety

So lame. I couldn't even sit through it all. Not funny at all.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Dr. Charles Montague: Enjoy yourself, for God's sake! Get your mind off the Wentworth murder... Accident! Accident! 

"A Psycho-Comedy"

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. 

Melvin White

Super Reviewer


Another hilarious spoof comedy from Brooks, this one spoofs Hitchcock's films, and it's very effective. If you like Brook's films, check it out.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

High Anxiety Quotes

– Submitted by Jared B (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Eli A (4 years ago)

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