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High Anxiety [Blu-ray] [1977] [US Import]

Mel Brooks    Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Mel Brooks
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: 11 May 2010
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0038Z5SGA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,459 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How funny is this film? 24 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
High Anxiety is a spoof of all of the major Alfred Hitchcock films. Both the characters and the plot line are the sort of thing you literally laugh out loud at. Mel Brooks plays a psychiatrist at the Institute for the very very nervous and has an extreme phobia of heights. The film is the same sort of humour as "Blazing Saddles" (but funnier) and also stars the magnificent Madeline Kahn who compliments Brooks perfectly. This film is so underated its untrue. From the pointy breasted bondage crazed Nurse Diesal to the fumbling nice-but-dim chauffer Brofy - the film just gives laugh after laugh - you just never want this film to end! It really does put the Leslie Nielson spoofs to shame. It is the funniest film I have ever seen.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Nobody is safe from satire, not even Alfred Hitchcock. But Mel Brooks straddles the line between parody and affectionate homage in "High Anxiety," a hysterical psychiatric comedy that deftly references all sorts of Hitch films -- while keeping in Brooks' trademark slapstick, hilarious dialogue, and weird characters.

Dr. Richard Thorndyke (Brooks) has just been hired as the director of Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, VERY Nervous, after the sudden death of the previous administrator. Something odd seems to be going on -- screams are heard, a patient signals Thorndyke with a mirror, and Dr. Charles Montague (Harvey Korman) frightens a patient into fits. Then one of the doctors dies mysteriously, while trying to leave the conspiracy.

And when Thorndyke is lecturing at a psychiatry convention, the evil Nurse Diesel (Cloris Leachman) sends a hired killer (wearing a Thorndyke mask) to frame the doctor for murder. Now Thorndyke must elude the police and the killer, clear his name with the help of a mysterious blonde heiress (Madeleine Kahn), and overcome his crippling "high anxiety."

As a homage/spoof, this is gold. Brooks deftly weaves together elements and storylines from various Hitchock movies, including "Vertigo" and "Spellbound," with some nods to "Psycho," "North By Northwest" and "The Birds." There's dizzying looks down a wooden tower, newspaper "stabbings" in the shower, and Madeleine Kahn's strange not-so-icy blonde.

But it's also a great movie in its own right. Rather than outright slapstick as in some of his movies, Brooks instead crafts a clever thriller framed with delicious comedy -- he even makes fun of some standard filmmaking devices. For example, Thorndyke's hotel suite is switched for a top-floor room because of a call from... "a Mr.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and even charming 28 July 2007
"Those who are tardy do not get fruit cup!" Trying to explain why you like one Mel Brooks film and have no particular feeling for another is like trying to explain why one guy slipping on a banana peel is funny and another guy doing the same is a medical emergency. All I know is that I think that line, especially as stated by Nurse Diesel, is uproarious and that High Anxiety is one of my favorite Mel Brooks films. Some say it's a take-off on Hitchcock, or even a satire. Far from it, in my view. I think it's an affectionate, good-natured hug from Brooks for a director he respects. So, on one level, we can sit back and enjoy the Hitchcockian references, some of which are very clever. On another level, we still can enjoy the famous Brooksian low comedy that sends one gag after another almost as fast as we can blink. When the two come together...when the birds splatter a fleeing Dr. Thorndyke, for's a match made in heaven. Besides, anyone who can turn a man being strangled in a telephone booth into a coy phone sex scene has my vote.

Sure, the movie is erratic, but that's Brooks. What makes so many of the gags work, I think, is that Brooks, as the dignified, mystified Dr. Thorndyke, is an observer. Brooks in this movie reacts to things far more often than he instigates. And if you enjoy the Hitchcock films that flash by -- Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, Spellbound, Under Capricorn, Notorious, The Birds and such -- there is a built-in level of affectionate amusement. High Anxiety, for all it's imperfections, is funny. This is no criticism of many of Brooks' other films, but I also think High Anxiety has a lot of charm, more than any of his except Young Frankenstein and The Producers (the first version).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!! 31 May 2014
By janis
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you like Mel Brooks and his humour,you will love this film!Quirky and very funny.Would thoroughly recommend this dvd.Superb.Good price too!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good film 9 Sep 2013
By N. Kemp
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The film is a great pastiche of Hitchcock's work, and has so many visual gags to get that the plot is almost irrelevant.

I guiess you either get it or you don't.
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5.0 out of 5 stars FUNNY 21 July 2013
By Kem
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film is FANTASTIC picture and sound quality is ACE, the acting and story line is brilliant, and its very funny Recommended
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Anxiety 3 Sep 2006
This is one of mel brooks best films, second only to Young Frankenstein. Lots of jokes at hitchcocks expense but, mel makes up for it by giving him an on screen dedication!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime comedy - without a hitch 9 Feb 2007
As someone who has been a Mel Brooks fan since my early teens, it's difficult to be entirely objective about this somewhat forgotten gem. True, it wasn't groundbreaking like Blazing Saddles or as obvious a labour of love as Young Frankenstein, but it's still up there with the very best of Mel's work. It feels less dated than Silent Movie, which came before it (VERY seventies) and afterwards...well, it was all downhill really until he had the idea of turning The Producers into a stage musical.

To really enjoy this film, you do have to be fond of Alfred Hitchcock's work and critics have often felt Brooks didn't do it justice. I disagree. As well as the blatant and hilarious scenes parodying Psycho, The Birds and Vertigo, the more devoted fan will spot references to Spellbound, Dial M for Murder, Suspicion, Rebecca and many more, right back to The Lodger. Furthermore, the music, colourschemes, even angles echo The Master of Suspense's innovative work.

I loved the camera crashing through the French windows or being trapped looking upwards through a glass table, the dissolve where Nurse Diesel's glaring eyes become the headlamps of a car at night, the fact that 'a Mr McGuffin phoned and asked me to change your room to the seventeenth floor' (a McGuffin was Hitchcock's pet name for an irrelevant plot device).

Of course, if you're not a Hitchcock fan (or at least familiar with his work), you're unlikely to be particularly amused by most of this, but unlike today's tendency to ape films everyone will have seen with so little creativity that there is nothing to laugh at at all, this movie rewards a little intelligence with a lot of laughs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love it
Published 16 days ago by james coulson
1.0 out of 5 stars DON'T BUY IT IF YOU WANT TO PLAY IT ON British dvd DOESN'T PLAY
Published 7 months ago by Cathy Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars High Anxiety
You either love Mel Brooks's form of comedy or you hate it. There's no middle path. If you're in the former camp, I think you'll find this is among his best.
Published 17 months ago by Henry
4.0 out of 5 stars Mel Brookes
Mel Brookes playing a psychiatrist with a fear of heights. Add a hospital where dodgy goings on are taking place, a weak willed Doctor and an evil looking Nurse and you have High... Read more
Published 17 months ago by David Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Rainy day video
Can't help but laugh out loud with this film, one of Mel Brookes best. Had this on video years ago so decided to get the DVD.A must see for those who like slapstick humour!!
Published 18 months ago by Lees J
4.0 out of 5 stars Mel Brooks Comedy
Mel takes you on a journey through satirical parodies of most of Alfred Hitchcock's best known movies as he weaves a tale of deceit and deception, not to mention personal phobias,... Read more
Published 19 months ago by lost coloradoan
5.0 out of 5 stars Madcap Mel
Nice homage to Hitchcock, and some good gags, especially the orchestra and bus scene. All the usual group of players that you associate with Mel Brooks are present, sometimes a bit... Read more
Published on 11 July 2012 by G. R. Wheatstone
5.0 out of 5 stars Very underrated film these days
This has some hilarious moments in it even if it is a bit dated by today's standards. Brooks stars in the central role as a professor suffering from a chronic medical condition,... Read more
Published on 11 Mar 2011 by Patrick D. Carey
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing
One of my brothers recommended this to us as very funny. We don't see him very often and hadn't realised how far our senses of humour had diverged. Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2011 by Lorna Meier
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the feint-hearted
M Brooks, a psychiatrist comes to a psychiatric hospital only to find out a conspiracy between the staff, and he finds help from the resident doctor for his fear of heights, in... Read more
Published on 5 Dec 2010 by Martin Jackson
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