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148 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In a modern-day London, a sex criminal known as the Necktie Murderer has the police on alert, and in typical Hitchcock fashion, the trail is leading to an innocent man, who must now elude the law and prove his innocence by finding the real murderer. Jon Finch, Alec McCowen and Barry Foster head this British cast in the thriller that alternates suspense scenes with moments of Hitchcock's distinctive black humor. Screenplay by Anthony Shaffer.

Special Features

  • The Story of Frenzy
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Recommendations

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Jon Finch, Alec McCowen, Barry Foster, Billie Whitelaw, Anna Massey
    • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
    • Writers: Anthony Shaffer
    • Producers: Alfred Hitchcock
    • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: R (Restricted)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: March 6, 2001
    • Run Time: 116 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B000055Y13
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,351 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Frenzy" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 18, 2001
    Format: DVD
    Frenzy was a homecoming of sorts as it was Hitch's first film shot in the UK since his one venture in the 1950's "Stage Fright" that stiffed at the box office. I would disagree with those who claim that Frenzy can't stand with Hitch's best work; Hitch's droll and dark sense of humor change what could have been a run of the mill thriller into a minor masterpiece. The best bits in Frenzy are every bit as startling and powerful as those in Rear Window, Vertigo and North by Northwest. Although his wife Alma's heart attack couldn't have informed the pre-production stages of the script and film, it certainly had an impact on the atomsphere captured in the film. There is an underlying darkness here only hinted at before (most explicitly in The Birds, Vertigo and Marnie).
    The performances are uniformly excellent. The fact that Hitch chose stage actors and lesser known British film actors for this film gives it a bit more grit and reality than his earlier films. Anthony Schaffer's script plays with the routine cliches of suspense films. A number of sequences (including the scene where the murderer is trying to retrieve a bit of incriminating evidence from one of his victims) flirt with sardonic humor. The dialog like most of Hitch's films is outstanding. Here Schaffer, again, turns many of the cliches (some from Hitch's own films) from film dialog into a droll commentary on both the action and the film audience as observers.
    The extras included on this DVD are particularly outstanding given the standing this film has with most film buffs. The new interviews with Anna Massey, Jon Finch and others sheds considerable light on Hitch's methods during the making of the film and discounts a number of myths about him (including the idea that he didn't really work much with the actors.
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    20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By keviny01 on March 7, 2001
    Format: DVD
    *** UPDATED OCT-08-2013 ***

    Director Alfred Hitchcock's second last film is a suspenseful mystery-thriller about an unlucky bartender who is framed for murder by a cunning and psychotic villain. This is one of Hitch's best films, with many trademarks of the master of suspense: his cameo, the "wrong man" theme, the occasional black humor, and voyeuristic camera movements. But this is a fairly atypical Hitchcock film as well. Set in a working-class London neighborhood, "Frenzy" is quite far apart from the elegant and urbane settings of his earlier films with actors like Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Instead of Hollywood glossiness, Hitch gives the film a fairly realistic, decidedly unglamorous look and feel. And he even goes far in portraying ugliness. This film has one horrific murder scene in which the depiction of brutality and evil reaches a new height in Hitchcock's career, earning his first R-rating from the MPAA. (His 1960 film "Psycho" would be his second R-rated film when it was retro-rated in 1984.) With "Frenzy", the master shows that he recognizes that times (and movie tastes) have changed and his works need to break some new grounds. One would think that had the director lived a few decades longer, he might have made envelope-pushing suspense films like "The Silence of the Lambs" or "Se7en".

    The 2001 Region-1 NTSC DVD edition from Universal presents the film in an anamorphic widescreen video transfer that looks a bit dark for my liking. A bright and sharp Dolby Digital 2.0 monophonic sound track is supported by optional English and Spanish subtitles.
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    18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 27, 2004
    Format: VHS Tape
    For the first time in twenty-plus years, Alfred Hitchcock returned to his native England to make what turned out to be his final psychological thriller FRENZY. Despite a series of only modestly successful films since his 1963 triumph with THE BIRDS, Hitchcock had not lost his touch when he was handed Anthony Shaffer's fine screenplay (based on the Arthur LaBern book "Goodbye Picadilly, Farewell Leicester Square"). And although his approach to sex and violence is more explicit here (thanks to the ease in censorship restrictions that happened only a few years before), Hitchcock still delivers a film quite typical of his work--suspenseful, chilling, and often quite funny in a blackly humorous way.
    The film revolves around a series of grisly strangulations of women occurring around London that have the police totally baffled. The killer's choice is a necktie, which pretty much leaves the door wide-open, since almost every man there wears a necktie. We are then introduced to Richard Blaney (Jon Finch) an ex-RAF officer and divorcee who has this tendency to drink too often and get a little bit too rough with people, including his ex-wife (Barbara Leigh-Hunt). The only real solace he gets is from his friend Robert Rusk (Barry Foster), a fruits-and-vegetables salesman in Covent Garden. What Finch doesn't realize, however, is that Foster is, in fact, the necktie strangler. And when Leigh-Hunt is found strangled in her office, the police, having interviewed her secretary, who had heard Finch arguing with her violently only half an hour before she was killed, immediately suspect and later arrest Finch, while Foster gets away. But an alert detective (Alec McCowen) suspects that there is something to Finch's story that could prove him innocent of the crimes.
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