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If this is indeed the rationale for High Anxiety's lukewarm reception, then I personally think that ALL of the critics just don't get it. While it's true that Hitchcock films contain loads of humor (Robert Donat's political speech in The 39 Steps, the auction scene in North By Northwest and Alec McCowen's "gourmet" meals in Frenzy come to mind), the most vivid Hitchcock moments are dead serious. The burning of Manderley in Rebecca, the fight on the merry-go-round in Strangers on a Train, the bell tower scene in Vertigo, the cropduster attack in North By Northwest and, of course, the shower scene in Psycho are deadly serious scenes. These are the moments that Brooks spoofs in High Anxiety. The humor is dead on, giving the serious Hitchcock buffs several gigantic laughs throughout the film.
Take, for example, Brooks' take on the shower scene from Psycho. Director Barry Levinson plays a psychotic bellboy who is pushed over the edge by Brooks' repeated requests for a newspaper. He bursts into Brooks' hotel bathroom and "stabs" him with the newspaper. Brooks duplicates every angle and visual detail of the original, right down to Janet Leigh's fuzzy bathroom slippers. He uses ink from the newspaper to simulate the blood swirling down the drain in Psycho.Read more ›
Warning: Trying to find the "High" in High Definition on this disc may become a major source of High (Def) Anxiety in your life! What became readily apparent to me while watching this Blu Ray disc is that 20th Century Fox took the easy and cheap way out here and simply used the same old tired transfer being used by the current DVD version, only in 1080p. This is a tired and flat looking print. There is an abundance of bothersome grain (not the good kind we film lovers enjoy) and noticeable dirt throughout the presentation. On the plus side there is no noticeable DNR or edge enhancement, but I will say publicly that THIS print actually could have BENEFITED from some! No major print damage was seen but plenty of crud seems to inhabit the celluloid used for this disappointing print. (yep, it is pretty bad folks)
Is this Blu Ray a step up AT ALL from the DVD? By a nose, yes. But for every decent looking shot or scene, there are 4 or 5 more that look horrendous. On the plus side the colors, while a bit faded are nice enough. The color timing looks correct but the contrast is a bit blown out with an overall brightness and bleached look to the entire movie that detracts from my enjoyment and at times is actually a source of eye strain. I found that I needed to enhance the contrast a bit with my Qdeo processor that resides inside my Oppo BDP-93 player. Also, the original aspect ratio is respected and presented in 1.Read more ›
HIGH ANXIETY is Alfred Hitchcock on goofballs. The references are wide-ranging: "Psycho", "The Birds", "Vertigo" (the main parody plot), "The Man Who Knew Too Much", "Notorious", etc. The result is out and out Brooks' mania, and, of course, a certain reverence to Hitchcock. My only negative comment isn't specific to this film but it does apply: most parodies run out of gas during the course of a feature length film. Once the novelty wears off, the film kind of lags. That's why the best film parodies are usually skits on variety or comedy television shows. Probably the only exception to my theory would be 1980's "Airplane". (See my review of that for a further explanation.) Still, HIGH ANXIETY has enough manic energy to sustain it for the most part. It's a clever film and extremely entertaining.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great spoof of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. It not only spoofs Vertigo but dozens of other Hitchcock movies. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
Yes, you have to be a Mel Brooks fan. I have discovered since being married not everyone likes Mel Brooks (whaaaaaat!). Read morePublished 25 days ago by SlapHappy
Dr. Richard Thorndyke arrives in Los Angeles to take over as head of The Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very Very Nervous. Its front gate has a sign stating "Keep In". Read morePublished 26 days ago by Happy Reader
Not Mel Brooks best.
I do like his films but this missed its mark