6.7/10
16,402
109 user 48 critic

High Anxiety (1977)

PG | | Comedy | 25 December 1977 (USA)
Mel Brooks' parody of Alfred Hitchcock films.

Director:

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

The Master of Comedy takes on The Master of Suspense! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alta Ansiedade  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,015,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bird droppings were actually mayonnaise and chopped spinach. However, Mel Brooks reported to Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show" that the helicopter spraying the fake bird droppings scared the pigeons so much that he believed half of the bird droppings were real. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Thorndyke is undressing for his shower, you can see his boxer shorts when he removes his robe. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: [while climbing the stairs to the tower Dr. Thorndyke is hanging on by a thumbnail after stepping on a bad step. He has a flashback to when he was a baby and his parents are arguing. He returns to the present] I understand now. I understand now. It's not heights I'm afraid of, it's parents!
Dr. Vicktor Lillolman: Yeah. Yeah. Now climb you son-of-a-bitch! Climb!
[after hearing that Dr. Thorndyke pulls himself back up on the stairs and safety]
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Blaze of Glory: Mel Brooks' Wild, Wild West (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

High Anxiety
(1977)
(title song)
Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks
Original music and lyrics copyright © 1977 Fox Fanfare Music, Inc.
Sung by Mel Brooks
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User Reviews

 
The worst possible outcome of a decent concept
8 October 2001 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Mel Brooks has had his stinkers, some much worse than this (Dracula: Dead and Loving it being by far his lowest point), but this came at the end of an era of great comedic successes for him. It's only four years after Young Frankenstein, for instance, which is one of the funniest films I've ever seen. And the concept of this film, a spoof of Hitchcock films, seems like gold. There's more than a dozen well known films and a hundred well known sequences that Brooks could have parodied. For some reason, he forgets to do it through a good 75% of the film, only parodying Vertigo, Psycho, the Birds, and Marnie with one or two throw-aways to North by Northwest. They are all from late Hitchcock, and the only one I may be missing is the Jimmy Stewart version of The Man Who Knew Too Much, probably the only major Hitch film I haven't seen. But these films are only mentioned a little, besides Vertigo, which is, more or less, the basis for 90% of all the parody. There's a take off of Psycho's shower scene, some pigeons poo on Brooks, and there is a flashback near the end that seems to be parodying Marnie. None of those parodies work. Almost none of the rest of the jokes work, either. Cloris Leachman is the only person on screen who ever gets a single laugh, as Nurse Diesel, the wack-job, manly, conniving, dominatrix, but she's trying so hard that she only managed to make me laugh a couple of times. I don't even know what Madelaine Kahn is doing here, although the phone booth/obscene phone call scene was one of the couple of scenes that made me laugh. I hope Hitchcock never actually saw this. I wouldn't be so mean as to call it an insult to his films, but it certainly stands as a major embarrassment to Mel Brooks who can't even demonstrate in his direction that he understands WHY Alfred Hitchcock is "the master of suspense," as he calls him in the kindly dedication. 5/10.


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