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Plot: 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. Runtime: 94 mins Release Date: 31 Dec 1976
The Best of Mel Brooks! Score 10/10 ⭐ (by hilaryswank2011)
Self Importance of Parody FilmHigh Anxiety Dir. Mel Brooks; 1977 was and still is the best satirical comedy master piece ever. This film always referred as a homage and satire to Hitchcock films however it is quite independently satisfiable as a suspense comedy. On the contrary to what many mainstream media critics wrote about this film's lack of 'self importance,' Mel Brooks's highly successful film was praised by Hitchcock himself with complemental words and priceless wines six magnums of 1961 Château Haut-Brion ."A small token of my pleasure, have no anxiety about <more>
this." Alfred HitchcockHis other satirical comedy master piece Young Frankenstein 1974 could not get this primary response from whom Mel Brooks paid a homage to due to the original film director James Whale's early death 1957 . Mel Brooks is good at grabbing core essence of classical films he made parodies.The successful satire and parody can revive and develop original films into more laughable and socially realistic comedy in the present filmmaking conditions. High Anxiety Dir. Mel Brooks; 1977 's social reality is fictionally represented by Nurse Charlotte Diesel Cloris Leachman who institutionalises wealthy people as 'madmen' to extort millions of dollars from their victims. Like Arthur Brisbane who is trapped by Nurse Charlotte Diesel and her fraud partner Dr. Charles Montague Harvey Korman .Story StructureMel Brooks cinematically maximised and criticised the really horrible fraud plot of ''milking patients'' at mental hospitals. This dramatically core conflict in this film is a serious social reality which perfectly expressed in this parodical way. This is his remarkable creative sense and entertaining talent. As the result, not only this film is the idealistic satirical comedy but also it is a serious social comment at the same time dialectically. Film is not about individualistic identity but it is for enlightenment, truth.Some Hitchcock films are referred in this film, for instance, The 39 Steps 1935 , Rebecca 1940 , Foreign Correspondent 1940 , Suspicion 1941 , Spellbound 1945 , Notorious 1946 , Under Capricorn 1949 , Dial M for Murder 1954 , Rear Window 1954 , To Catch a Thief 1955 , The Wrong Man 1956 , North by Northwest 1959 , Vertigo 1958 , Psycho 1960 , The Birds 1963 , Frenzy 1972 and Family Plot 1976 . Thus, it is not just a parody of Vertigo or Psycho at all.These film features are just covers of this parody and fully reorganised into this independently meaningful comedy thriller. It does not like an ''imitation'' of Hitchcock films. Highly original approach to the social context with references to Hitchcock.ACT 1 is that ''high anxiety''sufferer Dr. Richard Thorndyke Mel Brooks 's inauguration of being the director of the Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous where antagonists Nurse Charlotte Diesel Cloris Leachman and Dr. Charles Montague Harvey Korman milk wealthy ''patients.''Inciting incident is formed by two key incidents. One is when Dr. Montague takes Thorndyke to the shiny light's source which is originated from the room of ''patient Arthur Brisbane.'' Not obviously Brooks makes this shiny light a SOS sign from the real Arthur Brisbane but some edits also caused it so vague. It is better than being any implication of encountering of fake ''Arthur Brisbane.'' This editorial solution works so well. The other key incident is Dr. Philip Wentworth Dick Van Patten 's argue with Diesel and the resulted death by loud music. Dr. Philip Wentworth and hospital driver Brophy oppose what Diesel and Dr. Charles Montague are doing in the hospital. If Dr. Philip Wentworth is alive, Thorndyke won't go to San Fransisco conference which he dislikes. These incidents drive Dr. Richard Thorndyke to go to San Fransisco for his scientific presentation at the end of ACT1. Mysteries and suspense are created. This film's inciting incident is unique that it contains double blows.ACT 2 really starts when Victoria Brisbane Madeline Kahn who is the daughter of Arthur Brisbane bursts into Thorndyke's room. The news paper conflict with Dennis Barry Levinson is mechanically filled the first half of ACT2 but this pure parody of Psycho is not actually a driving element of the entire story. The following bar scene is a musical insert however it reveals the real Brisbane's photo when Victoria drops her wallet accidentally, thus it is not an ordinary Three Act structure. Beside this, not all characters appear in ACT1. Such as Victoria Brisbane and the JAWS like assassin "Braces" Rudy De Luca .Midpoint is when Thorndyke sees a real photo of her father Arthur Brisbane and realises the patient he met is a fake. This is a moment of truth. Point of no return. ACT2's main conflict is that "Braces" sets up Thorndyke by pretending to be him and shooting a man in the lobby of the hotel. The most intensified tension is how Thorndyke proves his own innocence. His driver Brophy's photos of the scene prove his alibi, then, Thorndyke who gets Victoria's help asks Brophy to enlarge the elevator on the photo where he is in at that moment of the shooting. Later Brophy's interrupted by the antagonists.Then, Nurse Diesel and Montague order "Braces" to assassinate Thorndyke. The failure of the assassination leads protagonists to go back to the hospital to save Brophy and the real Arthur Brisbane. Brophy is caged at North Wing and informs protagonists whereabout of real Arthur Brisbane.The mechanical and physical conflict with Dennis at hotel, the impersonation attempt of Thorndyke and the assassination attempt of Thorndyke by "Braces" are triple blows to the protagonist Thorndyke.ACT3 is the north wing and tower sequence, in where Thorndyke solves his trauma with the help of Professor Lilloman and climbing up the tower's steep stairs bravely to save real Arthur Brisbane from the antagonists Norton, Diesel and Dr. Charles Montague. This film is not about self identification, it is about enlightenment, it is not only important for audience but also it is equally important for the protagonist himself. Lack of love of his parents, fear of not being loved by his own parents caused his high anxiety. The truth prevailed and the film story finished.Film EditingFor some technical aspects, unprecedented creative solutions must be mentioned. Flash CUT at LAX is a more sophisticated solution than what Hitchcock did in The Birds 1963 's explosion of gas station scene without any still camera. In which Melanie Daniels Tippi Hedren 's surprising responses to the bird attack are dealt with a series of still shots but this film deals with a series of Brophy's photos on Thorndyke taken at the airport. It is more natural and defamiliarises the image of Thorndyke. Photos within a film gives a character a fictional reality and dementions.Editing techniques are diversified in this film. SMASH CUTs are remarkable and effective. When the gay man shows his body in the toilet scene, Mel Brooks quickly cuts to short close shot of the gay man's annoying medium shot then cuts back to the full shot. The action itself is disrupted but it creates visual impact that Thorndyke is supposed to have when he sees it. This is a typical editorial technic in Sergei Eisenstein 1898-1948 's films. The other one is Dr. Charles Montague scares the patient with werewolf fangs during Thorndyke's mental check on the patient who supposed to be normal. One quick close up of Dr. Charles Montague inserts in to the middle of the scaring action, then cuts back to continue the action. It a disruption but it actually creates a visual impact.Transitional edits are also unique and complicated. Stop motion plus fade out at the end of opening title credit, ''stop motion plus fade out and in'' after the conversation between Thorndyke and Professor Lilloman Howard Morris enhance visual rhythm and express anxiety. Red in/ out between the end of bar scene in where "Braces" notices Thorndyke finds the truth and Diesel and Dr. Charles Montague's discussion scene on the fate of Thorndyke. Focus in/ out are also used in this film, when Thorndyke wakes from flashbacks. Shape match cut between eyes of Diesel and the flash lights of the car in which Dr. Philip Wentworth gets killed by loud music. Transitional cuts are not just mechanical methods to connect shots but they themselves are creative expressions of psychology and meaning of the situation.Sound Cut with orchestra symphony in the bus is a visually astonishing sound cut. It is one of creative innovations of this film. When Thorndyke hears about devastating situation of politics at the hospital from his driver, tension music starts and Thorndyke gets nervous, then cuts to the bus in which orchestra symphony plays the exactly the same music. It breaks the fictional barrier between music track and the cinema world itself.Beautiful editing trick is fake Thorndyke taking off his mask. That is done by Mel Brooks's close up with action of taking off a mask, then continuously cuts to "Braces"'s medium shot with the continuous action. It is the best example of action mach cut. And it is creatively higher than any ordinary match cut. It has its narrative meaning not just a mechanical cut.The funniest scene is the telephone box battle under the Golden Bridge of San Fransisco. "Braces" attacks Thorndyke when he calls Victoria, and their voices from the straggle wrongly misinterpreted by Victoria as a telephone sex spam, at the end Thorndyke is able to kill him with a shard of glass from the phone booth, the last breath of "Braces"reminds her a ''money shot'', thus she says: ''You are an animal!'' This line is the funniest one, and it is only funny in English. An English joke.This is the best of the bests in parody, comedy films! Highly recommended!
Mel Brooks in 1977 was not yet as widely popular as he would be in the early 80's. High Anxiety foreshadows such comic movies as Airplane! from 1980 and Leslie Nielson parody films, like the Naked Gun films of the 90's. However, far from being a film where every other line is a joke or the visuals are themselves cartoonish, this is an intelligent comedy that contain inside-jokes for psychologists and psychoanalysts in the Tracey Ulmann Show vein. Well-written with plenty of humorous spoofs of Hitchcock psychological horror, this is a classic in the Brooks genre. It stars Madeline <more>
Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Korman, Ron Carey, Howard Morris, Dick Van Patten, Jack Riley, Charlie Callas, Ron Clark and Rudy De Luca among others. The premise: Mel Brooks' character is a celebrated therapist who ironically suffers from high anxiety. There is plot to bring him down by jealous and sick individuals who also happen to be therapists. Who do the therapists go to when they need therapy ? Cloris Leachman's character, Nurse Charlotte Diesel is particularly hilarious. She is a sadistic dominatrix by night. Harvye Korman's character, Dr. Charles Montague is on the receiving end and together these two produce enormous comedy. I.E. Leachman "Meet me in the dungeon tonight". Korman "Not tonight. I'm tired." "I'll let you wear my panties." "I'll be there". Throughout the film there are spoofs of Hitchcock most famous movies- Psycho in a hilarious shower scene involving the bellboy wielding a newspaper , Vertigo appropriately Mel's character has fear of falling from great heights and The Birds. This is a must see movie for fans of Mel Brooks and his type of comedy.
Mel Brook's Superb Homage To The Master Of Suspense (by greene515)
Mel Brooks' character, Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke, arrives as new administrator of The Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous to discover some suspicious goings on. When he's framed for murder, Dr. Thorndyke must confront his own anxiety disorder, "high anxiety," in order to prove his innocence. But he must try and avoid various attempts on his life, The Late great Harvey Korman play's Brooks' nemesis Dr Monatgue, Montague's arch henchman is played by the equally great Cloris Leachman who plays Nurse Diesel, which is a clever take off of Nurse Ratched <more>
from 'Cuckoo's Nest' Madeline Kahn plays the love interest who is searching for her wealthy industrialist father played by Special Visual Effects Maestro Albert J Whitlock, who actually provides some stunning matte paintings throughout the film Mel Brook's High Anxiety is up there with the rest of his greats.
If You Love Hitchcock, You'll Love HIGH ANXIETY! (by dtb)
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 <more>
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!
Thirty years after this movie's release in 1977, it has aged very well. This movie is as funny and enjoyable today as it was thirty years ago. The movie offers nonstop humor, lots of laughs, great comic acting and a good story. This movie contains some of the funniest comic actors ever produced by Hollywood, such as Mel Brooks, Cloris Leachman, Ron Carey, Howard Morris and the incomparable Harvey Korman as Dr. Montague. And some of the scenes are outright hilarious, with memorable characters, all of which adds up to one absolutely entertaining movie which is as watchable today as it was <more>
Mel Brooks presents yet another hilarious spoof! (by mdm-11)
Mel Brooks' troupe of comedians are at it again. Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Chloris Leachman and other Brooks favorites are united again in this hilarious spoof of the thriller genre. It's Hitchcock's marriage with...well, Mel Brooks. The result is 93 minutes of chain-reaction gags, many signature "what was THAAAT?" jokes that made Brooks a favorite will millions of fans.The glass elevator scene, a clear take on the James Bond films, is priceless. This offering is definitely a high point in the career of the master of "NYC humor". The musical numbers, right <more>
from the title tune, are, as always, first rate. No 12 Tonys here, but barrels of BIG laughs!
Mel Brooks arrives at the "Institute" to find suspicious goings on, and tries to find out what's going on and who is behind it. Cloris Leachman and Harvy Korman are fellow doctors at the asylum, and watch over the institute when Mel must attend a conference. Watch for Barry Levinson writer, director, producer as he plays the bellboy. Ron Carey from Barny Miller plays the chauffeur who tries to help Mel when he runs into trouble with the always funny Madeline Kahn. The references to all of Hitchcocks films are many and great, and Mel even sings a song in the movie. His speech <more>
given for fellow doctors at the conference goes on a little long, but can be forgiven as it is offset by the quick action for most of the movie. Cloris Leachman is hilarious as Nurse Diesel, and her manner is a funny as her costume. Half the jokes in this movie are things as simple as camera angles, facial expressions, and what people are wearing.
"Get the newspaper, get the newspaper!" (by Quinoa1984)
Mel Brooks, if nothing else, is spectacular at collecting up the clichés, the stereotypes, the conventions, the seriousness, and at the same time the joy and entertainment that comes in the different works he has made fun of over his career countless westerns with Blazing Saddles, historical epics with History of the World part 1, the sci-fi boom of Star Wars/Trek with Spaceballs, silent films with Silent Movie . Here is no exception, as he tackles squarely the unmistakable catalog of Sir Alfred Hitchcock. All of the hits are here, and transfused into a story that is kooky, predictable, but <more>
all the while giving some very good belly laughs. Even if it doesn't always strike where the iron is unexpectedly hot like with Saddles or the Producers, it still makes its mark with uncanny ability in making the film watchable while being often unrelenting whether everything works gag-wise or not with the spoofs.Mel Brooks stars as Dr. Richard Thorndyke, a psychiatrist with his own problem- a fear of heights Vertigo, anyone . In the midst of this a murder takes place it's an usual one, by the way, involving a scene in a car that's unsettling while hilarious . The major set-pieces take place at a hotel Dr. Thorndyke stays at for a conference, where the plot seems to thicken even tighter. At times one wonders if the film maybe should take itself a little more seriously to work, like with Young Frankenstein. But by also not letting up with the silliness and over-the-top gags, there are at least a few that stand-out in the overall Brooks oeuvre. One or two are just plain dumb funny, like a wolf-man imitation ala Harvey Korman to a patient afraid of werewolves during a session with Brooks. More often than not in the film, the gags are very expected, getting right to the point as it were.The chief examples lie in two scenes that work great, and one that works OK. The first involves a particular bellhop not too fond of getting order for a newspaper played by a young Barry Levinson , which leads to an all too obvious but shamelessly funny Psycho spoof. Or, of course, the scene in the park with the birds of THE Birds, which remains a truly disgusting scene in some respects even if the laughs wear down towards the end, its a brilliantly constructed set-up . One that doesn't quite go up to snuff is a near-murder scene by a telephone booth. Madeline Kahn's character is on the other end, and the scene is maybe a little too familiar, even as a Hitchcock parody. Towards the end its funny, but only after the fact. It's not totally that the timing is off, maybe just something else that's hard to say. It might be funnier to others.Still, its the glee thats put forth in the performances, and the little running gags i.e. "I'll get it, I'll get it...I don't get it" , to make it a notable entry in Brooks' body of work. If you've seen Hitchcock's films and not Brooks' I'd still recommend it at least once, if only out of curiosity, as just from a film buff stand-point its kind of fascinating how a satirist like Brooks takes on Hitchcock's style, which often had its own morbid sense of humor Psycho, in some ways, is more of a pitch-black comedy than a horror film . For me, the merging worked well, if not for a great overall comedy. And, at the least, there's another catchy title song by Brooks himself, leading to a sweet nightclub scene.
Mel Brooks actor, writer and director. (by Captain_Couth)
High Anxiety 1977 is a hilarious send up of Alfred Hitchcock , James Bond and other psychological thrillers and mysteries. Mel Brooks writes, directs and stars as Dr, Richard H. Thorndyke a disturbed man who has a troubled past that he keeps buried deep within his psyche. Among his many fears and phobias that troubles him the most is his high anxiety. His new job at a mad house only makes him more edgy and easily agitated. How can he continue to serve at his new position when he has problems of his own? Who is driving him to the brink? What'll happen to those that are close to him? Will <more>
he get to the bottom of his childhood traumas? Is this movie worth watching? To find out the answers to these questions, you'll just have to watch HIGH ANXIETY!! Co-stars Madeline Khan, Rudy De Luca, Howard Morris, Cloris Leachman and Dick Van Patten.A very funny movie that's even funnier if you have seen all of the movies that he references. If you're a fan of Mel Brooks and haven't seen this already, shame on you! Go out and grab a copy today! When will this movie ever come out on d.v.d.?Highly recommended.