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Frenzy [DVD]

Jon Finch , Barry Foster , Alfred Hitchcock    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
Price: 4.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frenzy [DVD] + Marnie [DVD] + Vertigo [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Alec McCowen, Billie Whitelaw, Anna Massey
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Writers: Anthony Shaffer, Arthur La Bern
  • Producers: Alfred Hitchcock, William Hill
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch
  • Dubbed: German
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Oct 2005
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005N8BM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,420 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



By the time Alfred Hitchcock's second-to-last picture came out in 1972, the censorship restrictions under which he had laboured during his long career had eased up. Now he could give full sway to his lurid fantasies, and that may explain why Frenzy is the director's most violent movie by far--outstripping even Psycho for sheer brutality. Adapted by playwright Anthony Shaffer, the story concerns a series of rape-murders committed by suave fruit-merchant Bob Rusk (Barry Foster), who gets his kicks from throttling women with a necktie. This being a Hitchcock thriller, suspicion naturally falls on the wrong man--ill-tempered publican Richard Blaney (Jon Finch). Enter Inspector Oxford from New Scotland Yard (Alex McCowan), who thrashes out the finer points of the case with his wife (Vivian Merchant), whose tireless enthusiasm for indigestible delicacies like quail with grapes supplies a classic running gag.

Frenzy was the first film Hitchcock had shot entirely in his native Britain since Jamaica Inn (1939), and many contemporary critics used that fact to account for what seemed to them a glorious return to form after a string of Hollywood duds (Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz). Hitchcock specialists are often less wild about it, judging the detective plot mechanical and the oh-so-English tone insufferable. But at least three sequences rank among the most skin-crawling the maestro ever put on celluloid. There is an astonishing moment when the camera backs away from a room in which a murder is occurring, down the stairs, through the front door and then across the street to join the crowd milling indifferently on the pavement. There is also the killer's nerve-wracking attempt to retrieve his tiepin from a corpse stuffed into a sack of potatoes. Finally, there is one act of strangulation so prolonged and gruesome it verges on the pornographic. Was the veteran film-maker a rampant misogynist as feminist observers have frequently charged? Sit through this appalling scene if you dare and decide for yourself. --Peter Matthews

Product Description

Alfred Hitchcock's first British film since 'Stage Fright' (1950) stars Barry Foster as market trader Robert Rusk, a psychopathic killer who strangles women with ties. Suspicion falls, however, on the innocent Richard Blaney (Jon Finch), after Rusk kills Blaney's ex-wife Brenda (Barbara Leigh-Hunt) and his current girlfriend (Anna Massey). Set-pieces include Rusk's desperate attempt to prise an incriminating tie-pin out of one of his victim's hands (now rigid with rigor mortis) and a leisurely tracking shot up a flight of stairs to alight upon a grisly murder in progress.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great British Shocker! 28 Mar 2007
This movie was a winner from the outset - it could not fail; having all the necessary ingredients of a super thriller - coupled with a cast that consisted of some of Britain's finest talent of the time. Indeed, we could never view Barry Foster quite the same afterwards! It also included an impeccable supporting cast that starred Jean Marsh, (who had risen to fame at about the same time with the success of the award-winning TV series 'Upstairs, Downstairs') Jimmy Gardner (of 10 Rillington Place fame - playing an effeminate porter!); Clive Swift, Billie Whitelaw, Anna Massey and Michael Bates. But the leads could not have been more well-chosen. Alec McCowen was simply superb as the handsome, and rather 'gentle' chief inspector, who is married to the subservient wife who uses him as her culinary guinea pig! Played by the marvellous Vivien Merchant, she gives us an entertaining performance, and amuses audiences by taking delight in reminding her wonderful husband (who, to use his own words; 'does not knock her about, or make her do degrading things') that it was 'he', that had put the poor Mr. Blaney behind bars - and not she! This film does have its amusing moments, but I think I am correct in saying that this was the very first movie to ever feature the showing of the full length murder of a victim in 'real time' as it were - something viewers today perhaps might not fully appreciate at just how shocking and disturbing this was at the time! Some of the younger viewers might also find some of the acting just a little dated and over-the-top; i.e. Jean Marsh - too 'prim' perhaps as the spinster secretary, and Mr. Blaney too 'angry a young man' as the young fellow down on his luck. Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love the quaintness of the film 8 Feb 2009
Hitchcock, one of the most famous British expatriates in the cinema industry, came back for one film in England, in London very exactly and he demonstrated in the early 70s he was able to build a cool thriller, in the traditional English style and rhythm and make it fascinating. The case is of course so quaint, so passé and he enjoys making thinks look the way they looked not in the 70s but in the 60s. He concentrates the film on Covent Garden when it was still a fruit and vegetable market, on their pubs, their dealers, their night life and their busy running hectic at times life. Today all that has disappeared and you can find the London Transport Museum where you used to have banana and orange wholesale dealers. Then he worked hard on finding the particular ways Londoners lived at that time, just after coal was banned around 1962. And of course his killer is well integrated in this extremely regular disorganized precipitation. The fashion is just right, the home furniture and various small equipment are just right, authentic, and yet the sarcastic eye of Alfred Hitchcock cannot forget to show the flaws and the drawbacks of this life that is slowly opening up to continental Europe and the whole world. The gourmet classes for housewives teaching them all kinds of French recipes that are of course deliciously failed by these amateurs while the good old bacon and eggs are getting out of fashion. But then we are in pure Hitchcockian fiction. A serial killer who strangles his victims with his ties and then dispose of them, both the victims and the ties together. An imbroglio that makes a friend of that killer be suspected and then, with a little of effort from the killer, that suspected person becomes the convicted killer who is no killer at all. Read more ›
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
FRENZY is excellent and shocking in equal measure. Elegantly scripted by playwright Anthony Shaffer and with the usual quota of standout sequences - the camera's slow track out on to a Covent Garden street from the flat of the killer, a blackly comic, desperate attempt to retrieve a vital clue by breaking the fingers of a corpse dumped in a lorry-load of potatoes, and the droll understatement of the detective's mealtime conversations with his wife. Supremely enjoyable late Hitchcock.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly for all Hitchcock fans 29 Oct 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Hitchcock's first film to receive an adult Rating is truly one of his best.The Plot is in a typical Hitchcock fashion, it is about a sex criminal known as the "Necktie Murderer" and like most Hitchcock movies the trail is leading to an Innocent man and he must try to prove his innocence by finding the real murderer who is his so called mate, don't worry I didn't give anything away cause it basically tells you at the start.
It is a truly remarkable film and it will be an absolute Joy ride for Every Hitchcock fan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fair improvement on the PQ of the DVD 29 Sep 2013
By Robert
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Being the first on here to actually review the Blu-ray, I can say that I compared the opening scene (beside the River Thames) on this Blu-ray to the DVD and the picture quality is a bit sharper here. Throughout the film I didn't see a lot of difference to the DVD but at least it's clear that this Blu-ray is a bit clearer and sound slightly better. The special features are repeated from the DVD. Just worth the upgrade to Blu.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitch back in fine form. 21 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of my absolute favourite Hitchcock movies; the cast is great, and (as always) every scene is a classic. Some people criticize the infamous truck-ride sequence for being too long, but they're obviously not getting it. In order to get a point across, you sometimes HAVE to show it in its entirety. In the "old days" (like here, the 70s) this was often the case. Today's audiences unfortunately seem to have a much shorter attention span, so you almost never find scenes this long in modern films, everything is usually over in a few minutes and it's on to the next scene. This particular "potato" sequence is just right, it's a pure joyride for film fanatics from start to finish and NOT a second too long. Finch is very good as the unsympathetic anti-hero, and because his character is such a bastard the whole thing is more believable. Cribbins is always fun to watch, and Foster is effectively creepy. Also look out for the underused Gerald Sim commenting on the necktie-murders in an early pub scene. One of my favourite parts of the movie, is when "the odd couple" (Massey and Finch) check in at the hotel. Why ?. This bit with that other "odd couple" (the two who run the hotel) is priceless, and the whole thing reminds me of "The 39 Steps". There are just too many brilliant scenes to run through them all here of course, but that only add to the enjoyment of watching this 30 year-old classic again and again. And no 70s fashion jokes, please. So what if fashion has changed since then, so have styles from 1930s movies but we don't necessarily refer to those as dated all the time, do we ?. By the way, just thought I'd add that the grisly rape-scene is cut in this UK video version of "Frenzy".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A killing frenzy
By 1972, the great Alfred Hitchcock was nearing the end of his career, but he still had one last great suspense movie in him. Read more
Published 1 month ago by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic one of the top ten directors of all time.
This film just shows what makes a director a genius didnt cost much to make great cast and set in the home of great classic films, London forget Hollywood that is all money and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by join
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to London, Back to his roots
It had been at least 20 years since Hitchcock filmed in England. And his return is a triumphant one. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Colonel Decker
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Thriller
Classic Thriller from Hitchcock set in London in late 60s great scenes around the markets and really good transfer to blu=ray.Highly recommended to all who like 60s movies.
Published 2 months ago by Pauly
4.0 out of 5 stars Chillingly humorous Hitchcock piece of work.
I hadn't seen this film since about 1979 and since the GF expressed an interest in watching it I thought it a good idea to re-evaluate it post haste. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Spike Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars hiichcocks best film
This film was set in london where I'm from so its already a winner, barry foster was a very disturbing character in this and when he's in the back of the lorry trying to get the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by sally channing
5.0 out of 5 stars frenzy
i think this is one of hitchcocks finest films.right from the beginning yiu are gripped.apart from the surroundings and the vehicles used it has not dated at all .a great film.
Published 4 months ago by D. Frew
5.0 out of 5 stars great british film
Love this film, hadn't seen it for years until I saw it on amazon. Great to see London when there wasn't so many people and cars plus it reminds me of just how magical London was... Read more
Published 5 months ago by jb007
5.0 out of 5 stars excellant
I think this film has one of the best ever opening sequences in a British film. My favoutite out of all the Hithcock films mainly as it was filmed in London.
Published 8 months ago by merlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock rules OK
Hitchcock made this film in England using a British cast and boy does it pay off. There are all the usual twists and turns and the camerawork is classic Hitchcock. Read more
Published 8 months ago by QM1
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