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.