6.7/10
18,405
124 user 57 critic

High Anxiety (1977)

A psychiatrist with intense acrophobia (fear of heights) goes to work for a mental institution run by doctors who appear to be crazier than their patients, and have secrets that they are willing to commit murder to keep.

Director:

Mel Brooks

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Brooks ... Richard H. Thorndyke
Madeline Kahn ... Victoria Brisbane
Cloris Leachman ... Nurse Diesel
Harvey Korman ... Dr. Charles Montague
Ron Carey ... Brophy
Howard Morris ... Professor Lilloman
Dick Van Patten ... Dr. Wentworth
Jack Riley ... The Desk Clerk
Charlie Callas ... Cocker Spaniel
Ron Clark ... Zachary Cartwright
Rudy De Luca ... Killer (as Rudy DeLuca)
Barry Levinson ... Bellboy
Lee Delano ... 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:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alta Ansiedade See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,015,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$31,063,038
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Crossbow Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The limousine used throughout the film is a Mercedes Benz 600, with an extended wheelbase. This Pullman model is intended for heads of state (the Pope had one as well). See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Thorndyke is undressing for his shower, you can see his boxer shorts when he removes his robe. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: Forgive me for prying. But, what happened to your mustache?
Norton: Well, as you know, things can get a bit dicey on this wing. On day, I wasn't on my toes and one of the patients reached out and tore off ½ of my mustache.
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: That must have been awful!
Norton: [very flatly] You will never know the pain.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

When this was aired on Comedy Central in the 1990s, several scenes were inexplicably deleted:
  • When Dr. Thorndyke arrived at the airport, and is taken into a restroom by a flasher.
  • The professor reeling from being punched.
  • After being attacked by the pigeons, it dissolves to Thorndyke running into the dry cleaners and deletes the part where he tries to hide in the shed, but the birds find him.
  • In the finale, the professor's line "now climb, you son of a bitch, climb!" is bowdlerized to just "now climb!"
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Night Court: Harry and the Tramp (1988) 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

A "High" old time....
29 August 1999 | by Mister-6See all my reviews

Mel as a psychiatrist? That's crazy!

But it's funny.

And so is "High Anxiety", a spoof of everything Hitchcock, with a few touches of Mel's own creativity dashed here and there.

As head psychiatrist for the Institute for the Very, VERY Nervous, Mel finds strange goings-on involving kidnapping, murder, double-crossing and Harvery Korman in leather.

Nearly every big Hitchcock scene is clobbered as the story progresses: the shower scene in "Psycho", the jungle gym scene in "The Birds", the shooting in "North by Northwest", the climax of "Vertigo".... The list goes on and on.

Mel does too, God bless him. Laugh after laugh after laugh is produced, and Mel and his writers seem to have an inexhaustable supply of sight gags, one-liners and word plays. And they all work.

Suffice it to say, this isn't as funny as "Blazing Saddles", but it's prime Mel and if you're like me, almost any Mel is good Mel.

Eight stars. And he has a lovely singing voice, too.


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