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High Anxiety (1977)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  25 December 1977 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 13,936 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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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The Desk Clerk
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Cocker Spaniel
Ron Clark ...
Zachary Cartwright
Rudy De Luca ...
Killer (as Rudy DeLuca)
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Bellboy
...
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:

A Psycho-Comedy 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:

$3,400,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 5,632,505 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's High Anxiety (1977) title is a phrase that actually means vertigo. See more »

Goofs

When singing 'High Anxiety', Thorndyke's mouth has fully closed during a long shot, yet the vocal continues for a few more seconds. See more »

Quotes

Victoria Brisbane: Have you seen my father at the Institute? Is he all right?
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: He's fine, he's fine. He's coming along just fine. He's very affectionate. He licked me.
Victoria Brisbane: He what?
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: Well, he thinks he's a dog these days.
Victoria Brisbane: A dog?
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: A dog, yes.
Victoria Brisbane: Do you mind if I smoke?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Spoofs Suspicion (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
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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