105 user 52 critic

High Anxiety (1977)

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



Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Silent Movie (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A film director and his strange friends struggle to produce the first major silent feature film in forty years.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Mel Brooks, Marty Feldman, Dom DeLuise
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Mel Brooks brings his one-of-a-kind comic touch to the history of mankind covering events from the Old Testament to the French Revolution in a series of episodic comedy vignettes.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Mel Brooks, Gregory Hines, Dom DeLuise
Certificate: GP Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1920s Soviet Russia, a fallen aristocrat, a priest and a con artist search for a treasure of jewels hidden inside one of twelve dining chairs, lost during the revolution.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Mel Brooks, Ron Moody, Frank Langella
Life Stinks (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A filthy rich businessman bets a corporate rival that he can live on the streets of L.A. without the comforts of home or money, which proves to be tougher than he thought.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Mel Brooks, Lesley Ann Warren, Jeffrey Tambor
The Producers (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom make money by producing a sure-fire flop.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Estelle Winwood
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Alan Johnson
Stars: Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft, Ronny Graham
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

To ruin a western town, a corrupt political boss appoints a black sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens
Adventure | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A spoof of Robin Hood in general and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) in particular.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Cary Elwes, Richard Lewis, Roger Rees
Spaceballs (1987)
Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Planet Spaceballs' President Skroob sends Lord Dark Helmet to steal planet Druidia's abundant supply of air to replenish their own, and only Lone Starr can stop them.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that he is not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Mel Brooks' parody of the classic vampire story and its famous film adaptations.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Mel Brooks, Peter MacNicol
The Producers (2005)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After putting together another Broadway flop, down-on-his-luck producer Max Bialystock teams up with timid accountant Leo Bloom in a get-rich-quick scheme to put on the world's worst show.

Director: Susan Stroman
Stars: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman


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


Danger, Intrigue, Romance... and a Touch of Kinkiness! See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 December 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alta Ansiedade  »

Box Office


$4,015,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Nurse Diesel: Those who are tardy do not get fruit cup.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Spoofs Call Northside 777 (1948) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Fast and furious gags in monumental spoof tribute to Hitchcock...
24 September 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

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.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Carol Burnett ophelia_hardin
Favorite Lines moviegirl16
Nurse Diesel Rules BrooklynBum
im sure that was robert de niro lucky79
hitchcock references planetmars2009
Discuss High Anxiety (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: