Here's your paper! In Mel Brooks Hitchcock spoof High Anxiety, the Psycho shower scene parody uses the shrill cries of an angry bellhop in place of the strings: "Here! Mel Brooks Höhenkoller ist eine Komödie des auf Filmparodien spezialisierten Regisseurs Mel Brooks aus dem Jahr 1977. The film rarely rises above the level of tame, wayward homage, even though the principal setting, a disreputable mental institution called the Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous, ought to have Brooks and his writers swinging from the rafters with satirical abandon. Despite its occasional bright ideas, the movie lacks a unifying bright idea about how to exploit the cast in a sustained, organically conceived parody of Hitchcock. She reunited with Brooks to play Nurse Diesel in the 1977 Alfred Hitchcock takeoff High Anxiety, ... Cloris Leachman Remembered: Ed Asner, Mel Brooks, Cybill Shepherd Recall The Unfortunately, Hitchcock's work doesn't seem to inflame Brooks' imagination. MGM/Photofest. For High Anxiety, it was 'What is a Hitchcock film? Although Hitchcock's influence is typically seen in terms of "Hitchcockian" films, his work has often been spoofed, parodied and homaged, most notably in Mel Brooks' 1977 film High Anxiety.. Despite its occasional bright ideas, the movie lacks a unifying bright idea about how to exploit the cast in a sustained, organically conceived parody of Hitchcock. Photo is dated --1977. Dr. Montague takes Thorndyke to the light's source, the room of patient Arthur Brisbane, who thinks he is a Cocker Spaniel. It also contains spoofs of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup, and Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, in the camera tracking through walls, and even James Bond films with an assassin who shares a similarity with Jaws. Mel Brooks goes into shock after a confrontation with "the birds" in his spoof on Hitchcock-"High Anxiety. Brooks may know his audience, but there's a world of difference between this unsightly wheeze and the delightfully deft moment when Brooks, doing his Sinatra number, cracks the microphone cord like a bullwhip and Madeline Kahn, eyeing him from a seat at the piano bar, gives a little shudder of excitement. Done in a Hitchcock parody episode "Too Old To Trick Or Treat, Too Young To Die" of That '70s Show … " Pauline Kael of The New Yorker shared the same objection, writing that "Brooks seems to be under the impression that he's adding a satirical point of view, but it's a child's idea of satire; imitation, with a funny hat and a leer. Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker. There's nothing to send up, really. Melvin Kaminsky, dit Mel Brooks, est un réalisateur, acteur, producteur exécutif, scénariste, compositeur et producteur américain, né le 28 juin 1926 à New York , [2 Biographie. The last, "Silent Movie," was more interesting when it seemed to be reflecting contemporary Hollywood than imitating silent slapstick. It's one of Brooks' very best, and belongs right alongside Young Frankenstein as another loving tribute to the horror/thriller genres. In fact, the movie opens with a busy-busy sequence of an airplane landing and passengers departing that qualifies as a belated glancing blow at the "Airport" films,which Brooks whould have kidded mercilessly years ago. ONce sighted, the Hitchcock landmarks seem to inspire only fleeting interest. Victoria is reunited with her father, marries Thorndyke, and they go on their honeymoon. Brooks' best moment happens to be refinement of his old Frank Sinatra impression, a gratuitous comic act that emerges as the most assured and enjoyable interlude in the show. Thorndyke is indeed visible in the picture, but Nurse Diesel and Montague capture Brophy and take him to the North Wing. Movie Reviews Great Movies Collections TV/Streaming Features Chaz's Journal ... A review of a new biography by Patrick McGilligan about the legendary Mel Brooks. The film is a parody of the suspense films of Alfred Hitchcock: Spellbound, Vertigo, Psycho and The Birds. ", This article is about a film. 3) Shadow of a Doubt (1943) : Generally understood be to Hitchcock’s personal favorite, for bringing the undercurrent of darkness to white picket fence America (note the … Screenplay by Mel Brooks, Barry Levinson, et al. Now that's comec acting and comic filmmaking style. One anticipates something funnier from the colision of Brooks' American Jewish crazyman's temperament and Hitchcock's droll, perverse, British Catholic sense of humor.  It also contains spoofs of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup, and Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, in the camera tracking through walls, and even James Bond films with an assassin who shares a similarity with Jaws. Template:About Template:Refimprove Script error: No such module "Unsubst". For example, at one point, Thorndyke (played by Brooks himself) travels to San Francisco for a conference. Mel Brooks: 'I'm An EGOT; I Don't Need Any More' The screenwriter, producer, director and actor, whose name has become synonymous with American … Hitchcock, of course, popularized the film term, McGuffin. Amusing as they are, these minor triumphs are outnumbered by the set pieces that fall apart or look atrociously designed from the outset. He is taken by his camera-happy driver, Brophy, to the Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous, where he has been hired as a replacement for Dr. Ashley, who died mysteriously–Brophy suspects foul play. Historic Images Part Number: mjx79697 PHOTO FRONT PHOTO BACK. Arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Dr. Richard Thorndyke has several odd encounters (such as a flasher impersonating a police officer, and a passing bus with a full orchestra playing inside it). Kahn, cast as a would-be mystery woman named Victoria Brisbane, doesn't get much opportunity to shine. Mel Brooks directed twelve films in all, acting in all but one of them. 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. We just watch everything. Desktop notifications are on | Turn off, Get breaking news alerts from The Washington Post. When does he bring things to a boil?' Somehow Brooks has lost sight of the fact that both he and Hitchcock became famous and successful by sublimating their anxieties in distinctive, entertaining ways. A mystery-comedy from Brooks. If you're a Hitchcock lover who's never seen it, give yourself a treat and watch it. Instead of exaggerating her Frau Blucher from "Young Frankenstein," Leachman might have created a new sort of comic caricature, drawing partly on Bergman and Bel Geddes and partly on her own lovelorn roles. Happy?" The flocks of killer birds in the Hitchcock original were terrifying, but it takes a mind like Mel Brooks to show us the worst part of that situation is all the resultant poop. What prevented a genuine fusion of elements from "Spellbound" and "Vertigo"? High Anxiety is a 1977 American satirical comedy film produced and directed by Mel Brooks, who also plays the lead. "High Anxiety" is a low-intensity, absent-minded pastiche. Wentworth wants to leave the institute and argues with Diesel. Near the middle of the movie, the story moves to San Francisco, taking advantage of settings used in Hitchcock's Vertigo, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Mission San Juan Bautista tower. Somehow Brooks has lost sight of the fact that both he and Hitchcock became famous and successful by sublimating their anxieties in distinctive, entertaining ways. Mel Brooks took great pains to not only spoof Hitchcock films, but also to emulate the look and style of his pictures. Mell Brooks' lunacy, endless spoofs of Hitchcock thrillers, and an all star cast combine for epidemic proportions of "High Anxiety." One of the problems with Mel Brooks's High Anxiety is that it picks a tricky target: It's a spoof of the work of Alfred Hitchcock, but Hitchcock's films are often funny themselves. ; Blazing Saddles (1974) But if something witty motivated this all-too-predictable resort to scatology, the wit escapes me. Due to Thorndyke's high anxiety he is prevented from climbing the tower's steep stairs and helping Brisbane. Veteran Brooks ensemble members Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, and Madeline Kahn are also featured. Brooks evidently expects a funny first impression to last his performers the entire show. After she lets him go, he drives home, but the car has been rigged to blast rock music loudly through the radio. Dick Van Patten, playing an hoenst but frightened staff member who has tried to warn Thorndyke about his dastardly colleagues -- Harvey Korman as the devious Dr. Montague and Cloris Leachman as the momolithic Nurse Diesel -- departs on a rainy night for what one presumes to be a comic variation on Janet Leigh's storm-tossed drive in "Psycho.". the celebrated auteur breezed into town with several choice cuts from his … “High Anxiety,” U.S. 1977, directed by Mel Brooks, with Mel Brooks, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman and Harvey Korman. PHOTO FRONT PHOTO BACK. 4 stars and a movie to keep. Melvin Kaminsky (born June 28, 1926), known professionally as By the time Brooks finishes indulging Ron Carey's repetitive shtik as the white face Mantan Moreland assigned to chauffeur the doc, the movie is well down the road before sighting a Hitchcock landmark. Spoofs, Parodies and Homages The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968) A decade after starring in Vertigo, Kim Novak again plays a dual role involving murder. Diesel claims it was the TV, but it was actually a passionate session of BDSM with Dr. Montague. Out of numerous possibilities Brooks seems to have chosen the least imaginative and most arbitrary: miscellaneous parodies of scenes from Hitchcock held together by a ho-hum contunuity. She falls to her death, laughing hysterically and riding the broom. Brooks may still reign as the king of the vulgar spoof, but he is slowly losing his oomph. After he is attacked by pigeons, he meets up with Victoria, and realizes Brophy took a picture of the shooting. , Roger Ebert gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of four and wrote, "One of the problems with Mel Brooks's 'High Anxiety' is that it picks a tricky target: It's a spoof of the work of Alfred Hitchcock, but Hitchcock's films are often funny themselves. He's got to … Mel Brooks took great pains to not only spoof Hitchcock films, but also to emulate the look and style of his pictures. Wentworth is trapped in his car, his ears hemorrhage, and he dies from a stroke, aggravated by the loud music. The paper's ink runs down the drain. For instance, Brooks as a distressed Peck-Stewart type beloved by Leachman as an Ingrid Bergman-Barbara Bel Geddes type but attracted to Kahn as a Novak type? There are some very good gags, though, and Brooks is funny as Thorndyke. Or purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on. Thorndyke and Brophy travel to San Francisco, where Thorndyke is to speak at a psychiatric convention. " Vincent Canby of The New York Times agreed, writing that the film "is as witty and as disciplined as 'Young Frankenstein,' though it has one built-in problem: Hitchcock himself is a very funny man. In an interview he said, "I watch the kind of film we're making with the [director of photography], so he knows not to be frivolous. Of course, it is utter zaniness as Brooks as the hospital director is in a madhouse (no pun intended). When I was planning out one of my films, High Anxiety, I called [Alfred] Hitchcock. It is fun to catch the scenes of specific homage to Hitchcock films, especially "Psycho" and "Vertigo". His parody of Alfred Hitchcock films. He then takes a shower, during which the bellboy comes and in a frenzy mimics stabbing Thorndyke with the paper while screaming "Here's your paper! An undoubted high point of her career was her work with director-writer-comic Mel Brooks. The references aren't always direct. One of the problems with Mel Brooks's "High Anxiety" is that it picks a tricky target: It's a spoof of the work of Alfred Hitchcock, but Hitchcock's films are often funny themselves. ", On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 72% based on 29 reviews. ", After viewing the film, Hitchcock sent Brooks a case containing six magnums of 1961 Château Haut-Brion wine with a note that read, "A small token of my pleasure, have no anxiety about this. He checks into the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, where, much to his dismay, as he suffers from "high anxiety", he is assigned a room on the top floor, due to a reservation change by "Mr. MacGuffin". One of the problems with Mel Brooks's High Anxiety is that it picks a tricky target: It's a spoof of the work of Alfred Hitchcock, but Hitchcock's films are often funny themselves. If anything, smirky, homely scatological humor has became a sort of security blanket for Brooks. She wants help in removing her father from the institute. The real Thorndyke was in the elevator at the time, so he should be in the picture. Mel Brooks, de son vrai nom Melvin Kaminsky, est un réalisateur, acteur, producteur exécutif, scénariste, compositeur et producteur américain, né le 28 juin 1926 à New York1, 2. It's easy for the National Lampoon to take on the Reader's Digest. Brooks plays the lead, a character named Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke. But can you imagine a satire of the National Lampoon? Recently. Thorndyke and Victoria head back to Los Angeles where they rescue Brophy and see Montague and Diesel taking the real Arthur Brisbane to a tower to kill him. Alfred Hitchcock movie reviews & film summaries | Roger Ebert. For other uses, see, "Mel Brooks: 'I'm An EGOT; I Don't Need Any More, German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=High_Anxiety&oldid=1003463218, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 29 January 2021, at 02:37. The name is obviously derived from Cary Grant's Roger Thornhill in "North by Northwest." 1978 Press Photo Mel Brooks Spoofs many Hitchcock Thrillers in "High Anxiety" This is an original press photo. As an homage, it is both knowing and reverential. The script is plot-heavy, yet it fails to contrive an amusing plot from Hitchcock sources. How long is a scene? Brooks plays a psychiatrist with a severe fear of heights who moves to the Bay Area to take over a psychiatric hospital after … Thorndyke agrees to help after discovering that the patient he met was not the real Arthur Brisbane. Mel Brooks held a private preview of the movie for Hitchcock to see his reaction. After his shower, Victoria Brisbane, the daughter of Arthur Brisbane, bursts through the door. High Anxiety is a 1977 American satirical comedy film produced and directed by Mel Brooks, who also plays the lead. In diesem Film ist die Suspense-Legende Alfred Hitchcock die Zielscheibe von Brooks' Humor. Veteran Brooks ensemble members Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, and Madeline Kahn are also featured. He even inhibits himself by pretending to be a dignified shrink, maintaining a restraint that doesn't really become him. Meanwhile, "Braces" finds Thorndyke at a phone booth calling Victoria, and tries to strangle him; however, Thorndyke is able to kill him with a shard of glass from the phone booth. Veteran Brooks ensemble members Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, and … His films, even at their most terrifying and most suspenseful, are full of jokes shared with the audience. Most of the story takes place at the fictional Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very Very Nervous, with exteriors filmed at Mount St. Mary's University in Los Angeles. "High Anxiety" is his fourth consecutive genre spoof. "Photo measures 8 x 10.25inches. Thorndyke hears strange noises coming from Nurse Diesel's room and he and Brophy go to investigate. An affectionate homage more than a spoof of Alfred Hitchcock thrillers, Mel Brooks's hilarious movie is one of the funniest modern comedies around. Mel Brooks dedicated "High Anxiety" to Alfred Hitchcock. The roles is an unfinished composite of the Gregory Peck character in "Spellbound" and the james Stewart character in "Vertigo": Thorndyke is the new director of a psychiatric clinic, and he suffers from a fear of heights. The critical consensus states: "Uneven but hilarious when it hits, this spoof of Hitchcock movies is a minor classic in the Mel Brooks canon. But days later, Hitchcock sent a congratulatory case of wine to Brooks, knowing that Brooks was a wine connoisseur, and declared the film "Splendid! " Gene Siskel gave the film three stars out of four and wrote that the parodies of Psycho and The Birds "are clever, funny, and recommend the film." This is Brooks' first film as a producer and first speaking lead role (his first lead role was in Silent Movie). This is Mel Brooks' spoof of over ten Alfred Hitchcock classics, including Psycho, Vertigo, and The Birds (Brooks actually used the bird trainer from that classic suspense movie in making his film). Mel Brooks. What does it feel like? As such, it is I suppose also the quietest of the Brooks films, with fewer bellylaughs and more appreciative chuckles. Brooks plays Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke, a renowned Harvard psychiatrist with … In an interview he said, "I watch the kind of film we're making with the [director of photography], so he knows not to be frivolous. Nurse Diesel leaps out from the shadows and attacks Thorndyke with a broom, but falls out the tower window. "High Anxiety," opening today at area theaters, is more of the same from Mel Brooks: a clever comic title worked out in a motley comic style. Photograph: Jay L Clendenin/Contour by Getty ‘Pence and Bannon – those guys make me nervous’ … Mel Brooks. Thorndyke knocks Diesel's orderly out a tower window, saving Brisbane. He pesters the bellboy with repeated requests for a newspaper, wanting to look in the obituaries for information concerning Dr. Wentworth's demise. The pacing of "High Anxiety" is slow. Brook's take-off on "The Birds" may prove the giant crowd-Pleaser he obviously intended. This is an excuse to get the whole Brooks' gang dealing with mental institutions and mental illness. What is the cutting? Photograph: Jay L Clendenin/Contour by Getty ‘Pence and Bannon – those guys make me nervous’ … Mel Brooks. Seeing a Mel Brooks movie while sitting next to Mel Brooks. A mystery-comedy from Brooks. And satire works best when its target is self-important. She says that Nurse Diesel and Dr. Montague are exaggerating the illnesses of wealthy patients so the institute can milk rich families of millions of dollars (through methods demonstrated in an earlier scene). Brooks seems to run out of ideas after fitting her with a long, unflattering blonde wig. Mel Brooks: Yes, here's a good story. Features Larry Cohen: 1941-2019 . Screenplay by Mel Brooks, Barry Levinson, et al. Thers's a neat tefhnical joke at the expense of Hitchcock's habit of tracking through doors and windows. Nutty and convoluted as they are, the plots of "Spellbound" and "Vertigo" haven't been exploited for either practical or playful purposes. Photo is dated --1977. This is Brooks' first film as a producer and first speaking lead role (his first lead role was in Silent Movie). Being so self-aware, Hitchcock's films deny an easy purchase to the parodist, especially one who admires his subject the way Mr. Brooks does. The film was dedicated to Hitchcock, who worked with Brooks on the screenplay. Happy now?! Dr. Montague appears from the shadows and gives up before being accidentally knocked unconscious by a trapdoor being opened. If you're like me, a Mel Brooks fan who hasn't checked this one out in a while, do yourself a favor and re-evaluate it. It would probably be a blessing in disguise if Brooks' audience shrank just enough to shake him up and inspire him to seek a novel pretext for humor. " On Metacritic it has a score of 55% based on reviews from 5 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews. And satire works best when its target is self-important.