An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
In the scene at the bar of the hotel, the pianist asks Dr. Thorndyke if "B flat" is an okay key to play the song "High Anxiety" in for him to sing to. The song in the movie during that scene actually begins in the key of "A" and then modulates up 1/2 step to the key of "B flat" for the end of the song. See more »
Though often overlooked in favor of Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein, I believe this to be the pick of Brooks' parodies. Whether you share this opinion would depend on your familiarity with all things Hitchcockian.
It is not only Vertigo, as the title suggests, that gets the Brooks treatment here, but The Birds, Spellbound and Psycho are all parodied to various degrees of subtlety. Many of these films key scenes are simply re-enacted with comic touches, whilst the Hitchcock formalae is very much in evidence. The style is particularly amusing in its parody. Highlights include a probing camera becoming all too literally intrusive when it crashes through a pane of glass in the window, and a dramatic sound composition turning out to be merely the didactic passing bus load of a touring philamonic orchestra.
Resisting the out and out farce of his earlier effort, Blazing Saddles, and managing not to evolve into simply being a one joke movie such as the tendency of his recent efforts, High Anxiety is Brooks at his most clever. The cast, mainly consisting of Brooks regulars, all display splendidly entertaining and aptly silly impersonations of recognisible Hitchcock stereotypes. It is Brooks' finest hour however, with not only directing, writing, and acting to his credit but singing as well!!!
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