A bad Polish actor is just trying to make a living when what should intrude but World War II in the form of an invasion. His wife has the habit of entertaining young Polish officers while ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
In yet another reference to Alfred Hitchcock, Dr. Thorndyke is told that a "Mr. MacGuffin" changed his room reservation. Hitchcock's MacGuffins were objects or devices which drove the plot but which were otherwise inconsequential and could be forgotten once they had served their purpose. See more »
At one point Cloris Leachman's character states that a negative has been on every front page in the region, and that anybody could blow it up. A newspaper photo from 1977 could not reveal greater detail in a blowup; it would simply show larger black spots. See more »
Fast and furious gags in monumental spoof tribute to Hitchcock...
HIGH ANXIETY suffers only by comparison to Mel's YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, but it stands by itself as a frisky, very funny screwball spoof of the works of Alfred Hitchcock.
I do agree with others who complain that Mel should have given the Dr. Thorndyke role to someone like Gene Wilder since Brooks does lack the charisma needed to carry this sort of thing. But the other pros in the cast more than made up for this handicap--especially HARVEY KORMAN, CLORIS LEACHMAN, MADELINE KAHN and HOWARD MORRIS.
Cloris Leachman is hilarious as Nurse Diesel (practically repeating her formidable character in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN) and Madeline Kahn is equally funny as the blonde femme fatale who finds herself in one ditzy situation after another as she tries to reach her father inside the asylum--here called "Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous." Nothing subtle here. The gags are touch and go, some funny, some painfully unfunny--so it's strictly a mixed bag.
But if you know MEL BROOKS and his kind of satire, this has enough gags to keep you satisfied. Just don't expect anything on the level of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.
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