High Anxiety - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

High Anxiety Reviews

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November 24, 2014
has its moments but not Mel brooks best
September 15, 2014
Mel Brooks last good film in the 70s, "High Anxiety", parodies Hitchcock in loving fashion, in much the same way that "Young Frankenstein" both laughed at, with and paid homage to the classic Universal Monster films. Now this isn't as good and dead on a parody as "Young Frankenstein", but it is really hard to come as close to a masterpiece as that film is. Brooks is in fine form co-writing, producing, directing and starring in this film that takes comical looks at Hitch's work with both direct scene parodies, and with more general concepts that make fun of the elements of your standard Hitchcock work. Brooks was not only a fan of Hitch, but had become a friend, and the film is dedicated to the Master of Suspense. It is my favorite kind of parody, one that isn't being cruel to the works it is laughing at and with...it is a comically loving tribute.
August 25, 2014
Great reason to love Mel Brooks
August 7, 2014
Harvey Korman and Cloris Leachman highlight this spoof of Hitchcock films. The typical cast line up for a Mel Brooks film. On of his better. Some of the laughs are dated. But still entertaining.
July 22, 2014
Surprised it took me this long to see this, as im a fan of both brooks and hitchcock, while its not as funny as blazing saddles, it's still pretty funny and clever, especially if you're a hitchcock fan, (if not you might not get a lot of the jokes or references) brooks fills it with his usual crew of actors and all do good jobs, it was also fun to see later director barry levinson in an acting role, def check out if youve seen a lot of hitchcock films
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.
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