A doctor and his wife go to Paris for a medical conference. While showering, his wife disappears. His lack of language, and the odd way she disappeared makes it nearly impossible for him to find any official help in his search as he enters the punk/drug culture to find out what has happened to her.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sondra Walker's passport has her photograph with a huge, ear-to-ear smile. Passports traditionally didn't use photos of people smiling. In 1991 (after this film), the U.S. government allowed people to smile, but they couldn't show their teeth. Maybe Polanski did this as a joke - or to see if anyone would notice it. See more »
When the hotel manager grabs a telephone book to call the concierge at his gym, the phone book clearly has a break in the spine at exactly the page he needs, so that it flops open effortlessly. See more »
Frantic is a movie that bears, like Hitchock's films, repeated viewing. At first sight it might appear a Hollywood thriller of the genre that has been too prevalent lately with violence, thrills and miracle rescues. This film is much more than that. The scene where the wife tries to speak to her showering husband and he can't hear, has ominous suggestion, and echoes Hitchcock's 'silent exposition' scenes form Torn Curtain and Rear Window. It is not a copy, because Polanski has taken the idea and made it fit an entirely new scenario. The humour flits along with the tension. The scene where the husband is kicked to the ground wearing nothing but a teddy bear is a welcome relief, and the scene on the roof, like the unlikely teaser in Vertigo stands up well, despite having been imitated so many times by so many other directors. Frantic has many moments of honest acting that could almost count as cinema verite moments. At the end of the film, these moments and characters stay with you. You have been emotionally challenged. If Hitchcock had lived into the 1980s and been given this script, he would probably have done the film in a way not altogether dissimilar. A triumph for 1980s Hollywood. -Phil Kafcaloudes
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