High Anxiety (1977)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  25 December 1977 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 14,274 users  
Reviews: 102 user | 51 critic

Mel Brooks' parody of Alfred Hitchcock films.


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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Desk Clerk
Cocker Spaniel
Ron Clark ...
Zachary Cartwright
Rudy De Luca ...
Killer (as Rudy DeLuca)
Richard Stahl ...
Dr. Baxter
Darrell Zwerling ...
Dr. Eckhardt


Dr. Richard Thorndyke arrives as new administrator of the Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, VERY Nervous to discover some suspicious goings-on. When he's framed for murder, Dr. Thorndyke must confront his own psychiatric condition, "high anxiety," in order to clear his name. An homage to the films of Alfred Hitchcock; contains many parodies of famous Hitchcock scenes from THE BIRDS, PSYCHO, and VERTIGO. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Psycho-Comedy See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 December 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alta Ansiedade  »

Box Office


$3,400,000 (estimated)


SEK 5,632,505 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of Mel Brooks' favorite routines was doing musical impressions of Frank Sinatra, and in this film he performs the song "High Anxiety" in an exaggerated version of Sinatra's singing style. Brooks wrote the song and lyrics. See more »


When the 747 is landing at the beginning of the movie, the shots are out of order. After a cockpit shot has shown that automatic engine braking (reverse) has occurred (four amber lights at the top center of the instrument panel), a long shot shows the aircraft still in the air. Later, another shot shows the aircraft approaching the gate, but in the next (cockpit) shot the amber lights are still active. See more »


[Dr. Thorndyke brushes his teeth]
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: [starts off slow] Up and down. Up and down. Side, side, side, side, side. In and out. In and out. Side, side, side, side, side.
[quicker, now]
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: Up and down. Up and down. Side, side, side, side, side. In and out. In and out.
[very deliberate for the finish]
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: Side, side, side, side, side.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening dedication: This film is dedicated to the Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock See more »


Spoofs One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) See more »


If You Love Me Baby, Tell Me Loud
(1977) (uncredited)
Written by Mel Brooks
Courtesy of Fanfare Music Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Groans galore...and what happened to Brooks' style?
27 October 2001 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

At the beginning of "High Anxiety", Mel Brooks arrives at Los Angeles Airport and is lead into the men's restroom by a man who turns out to be a lisping flasher (an excruciating moment). Later in a cocktail lounge, he snaps a microphone cord like a whip and makes Madeline Kahn hyperventilate with passion. Brooks thinks he is so cute, both women AND men want him! It's this kind of egomania that drives "Anxiety" into the ground. The picture might have worked (it's a wacky spoof of Hitchcock moments), but not with this cornball script--nor with Brooks in the lead as a vertigo-prone psychiatrist. He flashes his overbite, mugs like a rubber man, and as the lead writer manages to give himself the final word on everything ("What a dramatic airport!"). The film is offensive visually and verbally--what happened to the style he gave pictures like "Young Frankenstein" and "Blazing Saddles"? This looks like a failed TV pilot. ** from ****

15 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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