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High Anxiety (1977) Poster

(1977)

Trivia

This tribute to Alfred Hitchcock contains references to more than 10 of his films: see the links to other titles. Mel Brooks held a private preview of the movie for Hitchcock to see his reaction. When Hitchcock walked out at movie's end without saying a word, Brooks feared that Hitchcock hated the movie. But days later, Hitchcock sent a congratulatory case of wine to Brooks, knowing that Brooks was a wine connoisseur.
Mel Brooks hired the actual bird handler from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963) for work on this picture.
The appearance of Albert Whitlock as Arthur Brisbane is yet another of the film's many homages to Alfred Hitchcock; Whitlock was Hitchcock's special-effects man on several films.
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.
Gene Wilder was originally considered for the part of Dr. Richard Thorndyke, but scheduling forced Wilder to turn the role down.
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.
Ron Carey's character, Brophy, is obviously named after Edward Brophy, a character actor in the classic Hollywood era that played sidekicks in dozens of movies; he also imitates Brophy's distinctively nasal voice.
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Mel Brooks performed a number of duties on this picture. Brooks performed the lead role of Richard H. Thorndyke, directed, produced, co-wrote the screenplay and for the title song was both composer and lyricist.
Mel Brooks once said of Alfred Hitchcock: "Anyone who has ever rolled a foot of film owes something to this man."
First speaking lead role for Mel Brooks. His first lead role had been in Silent Movie (1976) where there was no dialogue.
One of Mel Brooks' favorite routines was doing musical impressions of Frank Sinatra, and in this film he performs the song "High Anxiety" in an exaggerated version of Sinatra's singing style. Brooks wrote the song and lyrics.
Richard H. Thorndike is hesitant to reveal his middle name (Harpo) to Madeline Kahn. In Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959), Cary Grant's Roger O. Thornhill never reveals his middle name.
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The limousine used throughout the movie is a Mercedes Benz 600. This particular one is the extended wheelbase Pullman model intended for Heads of State - The Pope had one as well.
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In another Alfred Hitchcock reference, the location where Dr. Thorndyke is attacked in the phone booth beneath the Golden Gate Bridge is Fort Point, where the crucial water rescue scene takes place in Vertigo (1958).
This picture was dedicated to Alfred Hitchcock.
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Three of the film's writers appear in comic supporting roles.
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This film's High Anxiety (1977) title is a phrase that actually means vertigo.
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Even though she is billed second among the cast, Madeline Kahn does not appear before more than halfway through the film.
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First film as a producer for Mel Brooks.
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A large number of the male actors in the film are either wearing hair pieces or have comb-overs, especially in the scenes at the institute.
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Thorndike mentions Harpo Marx shortly before his performance of the film's theme. The Marx Brothers were known for having musical interludes in their films.
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