High Anxiety (1977) Review

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Mel Brooks’ parody of Alfred Hitchcock films, placing his comedic spin on many famous scenes and films.

As you have probably noticed in the past year I have had quite a lot of Mel Brooks related reviews and posts. Mainly due to Young Frankenstein the Musical and totally loving it, I have made the effort to watch a lot of his other work. That led me to watching High Anxiety, which I will admit right away is not fantastic at all. It isn’t on the same level as some of his other work.

Mel Brooks takes on the leading role of Richard H. Thorndyke who is a psychiatrist who is also terrified of heights! This leads him to a very strange hospital with some very suspect people in charge. All of this is pieced together as he leaves for a conference and already he has worked out too many things.

My favourite moment was actually when he sung “High Anxiety” I thought it was a decent scene and very engaging. Maybe I just haven’t seen enough Hitchcock films yet to fully get every single reference, but it just isn’t as laugh out loud funny as a lot of his other films. It was harder work to watch and not as engaging by any means, which was a shame really. Maybe the high expectations I had after re-watching The Producers as a little bit too much before watching this film.

If you have seen this one I am really interested to how funny you actually found it? Was I totally missing something from start to finish or is it really just not that great? I just found it rather bland and lacking the intensity from his other films which I do find hilarious in different parts!

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15 thoughts on “High Anxiety (1977) Review

  1. I watched this a few years ago, as much because of the Hitchcock angle as anything, and I definitely agree it’s not great. I find Brooks a bit hit and miss — I really liked Young Frankenstein and Men in Tights, but never enjoyed Blazing Saddles.

    Liked by 1 person

      • That’s one I haven’t seen, actually. I saw the remake back when it came out and quite liked it, even though people are generally pretty down on it, so hopefully I’ll like the original even more (whenever I get round to it!)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, now, we will have to differ on this one. This is one of my favourite of Mel Brooks’, partly because I am also a long-in-the-tooth Hitchcock fan and “get” every reference. I love this film to the extent that many of the lines of dialogue REGULARLY appear in my day-to-day life…

    1) “I got it, I got it, I got it, I ain’t got it” (whenever lifting anything remotely heavy);
    2) “Those who are tardy do not get fruit cup”
    3) “HERE’S YOUR PAPER, HERE’S YOUR PAPER, HAPPY? HAPPY? HAPPY NOW???!”
    4) “Nurse Diesel, you’re so strict” (under circumstances probably best not revealed on a public forum!)

    and probably others as well. But there are also some beautiful sight gags too like Brophy enlarging the lobby picture to 4K billboard quality to see the doc in the lift! Cracks me up every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice review! I love Mel Brooks, but I agree – High Anxiety isn’t one of my favorites. The comedy and jokes aren’t quite on par with Young Frankenstein and a lot of his other movies. My favorite scene is when he sings too.

    Liked by 1 person

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