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High Anxiety (1977)

PG | | Comedy | 25 December 1977 (USA)
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


The Master of Comedy takes on The Master of Suspense! 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
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Did You Know?


Three of the film's writers appear in comic supporting roles. See more »


In the scene in the airport bathroom where Thorndike gets flashed, the boom mic is clearly visible for a few seconds. See more »


Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: [after having had a panic attack in Professor Lillolman's office] Thank you, thank you Professor. I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me.
Dr. Vicktor Lillolman: I know what came over you: High Anxiety. You've still got it!
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: It's probably the excitement and tension of taking over this new post. I'm... sure it will pass.
Dr. Vicktor Lillolman: [Leans in close to Thorndyke's face] Bullshit! These things do not let go. High Anxiety can be a very dangerous enemy! If left unchecked, it could cost you your LIFE!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in American Masters: Mel Brooks: Make a Noise (2013) 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 »

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User Reviews

If You Love Hitchcock, You'll Love HIGH ANXIETY!
10 September 1999 | by (Whitehall, PA) – See all my reviews

Mel Brooks' delirious comedy/thriller is a delight even if you're not already an Alfred Hitchcock fan--but if you *are,* you'll love it even more as you peg specific spoofs/references to such Hitch classics as SPELLBOUND, VERTIGO, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH '56 (Brooks' piano bar rendition of the title song is the movie's highlight) and THE BIRDS. While Gene Wilder would've been perfect casting as acrophobic psychiatrist Dr. Richard H(arpo). Thorndyke, Brooks is nevertheless as irresistable as he is irrepressible, with Madeline Kahn a fine match for him as the flakiest mysterious blonde this side of Kim Novak. Brooks' stock company of Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, Ron Carey, and Howard Morris (as Professor Little-Old-Man, er, Lillolman) are in fine form. Like all of Brooks' best movies, the plot would work just fine as a straight thriller, and the spoofing is as affectionate as it is hilarious. It's a comedy to go crazy over!

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