High Anxiety - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

High Anxiety Reviews

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July 5, 2014
One of my all time favorite movies. This is what happens when good writing, great acting, and perfect directing all come together.
½ March 29, 2014
Maybe I would appreciate it more if I was a Hitchcock fan, but all of the jokes fell flat for me, ranging from clichéd and predictable to outright cringeworthy.
½ February 22, 2014
Whoever doesn't like this movie is gay
January 17, 2014
Well done and under rated. A keeper for sure.
½ October 24, 2013
A funny tribute to Alfred Hitchcock.
½ August 24, 2013
You gotta love Hitchcock to really enjoy!
August 2, 2013
Cloris Leachman is the stand out in this mildly amusing homage to Hitchcock.
½ July 31, 2013
It may not be as charming as any of Mel Brooks' other films, but every scene has some laughs to it. Many Hitchcock fans will get the film references that Mr. Brooks spoofs.
July 25, 2013
awesome and funny parody of hitchcock films plus mel wrote and performs the movie's theme song
July 24, 2013
If someone's new to the world of Mel Brooks (especially if they grew up in the world of National Lampoon or Saturday Night Live or Comedy Central or the Old School-era) it's tough to find any new humor - there's certainly a lot to appreciate, though. And if you're a fan of Old School or The Hangover movies, you should be thanking your lucky stars that Mel Brooks helped carve his niche in the Land of Comedy. His style has been copied to death (mockery is a form of flattery, yes?), and so when you visit his movies today, a lot of the comedy feels stale. It wasn't stale 30 years ago, no doubt. And, like I said, you can still find appreciation for his humor - even today.
Sadly, I never got into Mel Brooks movies. And I always wished I had. When I was an adolescent teenager, I recall rolling around in laughter while watching "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" - but as I've matured (hopefully), it's not as funny. I think that may be one of the reasons I've stayed away from other Mel Brooks movies. But, I slowly started to watch his movies in my early 20s, and I've found that "Young Frankenstein" and "Blazing Saddles" are VERY funny - even if his jokes have been recycled hundreds of times.
Anyway. I've decided to revisit the movies of Mel Brooks, and see how I feel about them now. Up first: "High Anxiety" (the Alfred Hitchcock spoof, or homage). There's no rhyme or reason to starting here (in retrospect, I probably should have started with "The Producers", but nevertheless, here is where I begin).
I recently read Roger Ebert's review from 1978 - and what's funny to me is that while I agree that the movie is (slightly) lackluster, I find when Brooks is spoofing Hitchcock, the movie is funniest. When he's not spoofing Hitchcock, the movie sputters. Ebert says the opposite and points to the scene when Brooks and his chauffeur are driving down the freeway and "dramatic music" begins playing. As Brooks and his chauffeur look at each other wondering where the music is coming from, a bus drives by with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra supplying the music. Funny, right? But here's the thing - I've seen this gag countless times now. Maybe it was "fresher" in 1978, but in 2013, it's absolutely stale. And so the scene isn't that funny to me. (Though I can appreciate the gag for what it is.)
Ebert then points to the shower scene when Brooks is attacked with a newspaper a la "Psycho". He writes: "The best moments in 'High Anxiety' come not when Brooks is being assaulted in the shower with a rolled-up newspaper, but when Brooks leaves Hitchcock altogether..." And I disagree. I think the shower scene works - even though you KNOW he's going to get attacked by the bell-boy with the newspaper. It's a very calculated scene, and Brooks' reactions and screams are what carries everything. Ditto the scene when Brooks is attacked by the droppings from all the pigeons in the park. It's his reactions that make you laugh.
The scenes that don't work are the ones that try so hard to be funny - mostly the scenes with Cloris Leachman as Nurse Diesel. Why not turn Nurse Diesel into a spoof of Mrs. Danvers from "Rebecca"? Instead, she feels out of place as a spoof of Nurse Ratched from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".
"High Anxiety" isn't classic Mel Brooks (in fact, it starts the decline of Brooks movies), but it's certainly funnier than most movies of today. If the Master of Suspense approved of the movie, I think we can approve of it as well. If anything, it makes you feel smart when you catch the Hitchcock jokes.
July 7, 2013
Fortunate parody-tribute for master of suspense.You will pee in your pants of laughing.
June 16, 2013
Hahahahahahahahahahahaha *gasps for air.* hahaha.
June 9, 2013
A good film. Some of Mel Brooks's better films consist of "Spaceballs" & "Young Frankenstein" though. I liked the hitchcock film spoofing, but some of the storyline felt a bit sloppy.
June 5, 2013
I would be lying if I said I didn't find myself laughing at times - it's Mel Brooks...how can you not?
Though the film isn't terrible, it certainly is forgettable. Didn't feel the plot. Yes, I know it's a spoof movie, but there has to be at least a half-decent plot line.
½ May 26, 2013
It's pretty silly but entertaining and funny at times!
May 12, 2013
Funny and with an enchanting theme and score
May 7, 2013
Newly arrived psychiatric administrator Dr. Richard Thorndyke - played by Mel Brooks - finds some bizarre shenanigans occurring at the Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous. But when he's framed for murder, Dr. Thorndyke must confront his own neurotic demons, a raging case of "high anxiety," in order to clear his name.

This movie is standard Mel Brooks fare containing a handful of satirical reference to Alfred Hitchcock classics: The Birds, Psycho, North by Northwest, and most notably, Vertigo. While not the best of his work during the 1970s and 1980s -- Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and History of the World, were better -- it is every bit as funny as the Hitchcock movies were spine tingling. Brooks was wonderfully augmented by a supporting cast that will be familiar to viewers of his other movies: Madeleine Kahn, Cloris Leachman and Harvey Korman - as well as Dick Van Patten and Ron Carey (who played Levitt on Barney Miller.)
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