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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Under-rated film
I've seen several reviews for this film over the years, most feeling Frantic is average and carried by Harrison Ford's usual strong character performance. The film itself is better than simply relying on Ford. The Parisian atmosphere and loneliness of an American struggling against stubborn authorities (not just French) to find his kidnapped wife. His only help is a...
Published on 8 Jun 2001

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ah, Paris!
An enjoyable thriller which again gave Harrison Ford the chance to shine, to throw off the shackles of Indy and Solo. A simple mix-up of suitcases at an airport plunges Dr Walker (Ford) and his wife (Buckley) into a web of intrigue. His wife missing, Walker begins a search for her through the streets of Paris. Evidence points to he being kidnapped - but by whom and...
Published on 10 April 2000 by Mr. S. Carlin


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Under-rated film, 8 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Frantic [DVD] [1988] (DVD)
I've seen several reviews for this film over the years, most feeling Frantic is average and carried by Harrison Ford's usual strong character performance. The film itself is better than simply relying on Ford. The Parisian atmosphere and loneliness of an American struggling against stubborn authorities (not just French) to find his kidnapped wife. His only help is a temptuous French girl involved in illegal trafficing and Ford's character's own battle falling for the girl but facing upto his love for his wife forms a subtle backdrop. I've always liked this film, and it makes for a good evenings viewing which draws you in scene by scene.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars top-notch suspense, 20 Oct 2009
By 
W. Hamilton (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frantic [DVD] [1988] (DVD)
A convention in Paris, a wife gone missing, an incompetent officialdom, a girl in a tight red dress, Israelis and Arabs competing for a hi-tech trophy... out of this mix Roman Polanski fashions a top-notch suspense-drama. The film's attention to detail and pacing are marks of the very best movie story-telling. Harrison Ford is as good as he gets (which is pretty good) but he is outshone by Emannuelle Seigneur and a fabulous supporting cast. I have seen this a few times now, and it does not fade.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No corpse stinks that much after only 12 hours., 1 Jun 2013
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Frantic [DVD] [1988] (DVD)
Frantic is directed by Roman Polanski who also co-writes the screenplay with Gerard Brach. It stars Harrison Ford, Betty Buckley, Emmanuelle Seigner, John Mahoney, Jimmie Ray Weeks, Yorgo Voyagis and David Huddleston. Music is scored by Ennio Morricone and cinematography by Witold Sobocinski.

Visiting Paris for a medical convention with his wife, Dr. Richard Walker's (Ford) life is turned upside down when his wife disappears, apparently the victim of a kidnapping. Exasperated by the lack of help from the authorities, Walker takes to the streets himself and chases down a clue left in a suitcase mistakenly picked up by the Walker's at the airport.

For the most part Frantic is a tense and well scripted Hitchcockian thriller. The thrum of a neatly designed Paris puts a near surreal edge on the atmosphere, and Ford is terrific as the American abroad shifting often between paranoia, frustration and panic. The insertion of Seigner as a sexy side-kick works well in spite of the actress not being blessed with much talent, and the slow burn approach, as the duo trawl through the hazy maze of possibilities, is handled with great skill by Polanski. If only the ending wasn't such a damp squib! It lacks credibility or any kind of suspense and doesn't pay off on the good work played out previously. A shame because this is still an otherwise damn fine mystery thriller. 7/10
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten Masterpiece, 13 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Frantic [DVD] [1988] (DVD)
Surely if any film deserves the blu-ray clean up, it's this fantastic, and haunting Polanski masterpiece.
One of Harrison Ford's very best roles, he pitches it perfectly in all his scenes, however Emmanuele Seigner
(Polanski's wife of the time) produces a truly masterful display, and the two sparkle with chemistry on
the screen. It remains one of my favourite ever films
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More to this than meets the eye., 6 Sep 2012
By 
S Smyth (Belfast, Co Antrim United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frantic [DVD] [1988] (DVD)
On a trip to Pairs for a medical convention, Dr. Richard Walker becomes embroiled in a dangerous situation. Taken at face value, the plot and situation, for an A-List Star, Hollywood movie, are somewhat underwhelmingly utilitarian. Then again, life's sort of like that :-) However, upon reflection, the film's primary objective would appear to be about how Dr. Richard Walker comes to better appreciate what he has in life and in his marriage, via his acquaintance of Michelle who provides an element of temptation and symbolises his kidnapped wife Sondra, from twenty-years earlier, when they romantically honeymooned in Pairs. Thus the ending in which the paths of the two similarly dressed ladies (Michelle and Sondra) in the red dresses, etc., literally overlap, and Michelle is killed, as if putting the ghost of a memory to rest.

To add to the potential for unsettlement/tension, in those who are not paying scrupulous attention, there is a trick variation on this at the beginning of the movie, when the taxi pulls up to the hotel: As a a hint of foreshadowing, a lady pedestrian in a long skirt walks by, and then, because of how the lady taxi driver is dressed, it seems that Sondra gets out of the driver's side door and not the rear passenger door.

To the extent that Frantic has failings, it seems to me that Frantic does not convincingly bridge the expectations of popular American and European expectations. Nevertheless, it is a good movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With an S for Sublime!, 29 Aug 2011
By 
Noel T Simpson (Dublin, Co.Dublin Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Frantic (Blu-ray)
This movie came about between the 2nd and 3rd Indy movies and it was a golden period for Harrison Ford's career in terms of diversity. Frantic isn't exactly a great, tense thriller but Polanski's slow burn approach and focus purely on Ford has the effect of immersing you into the film. We get lost in the Parisienne atmosphere along with our leading man and Ennio Morricone's music. Contrary to the kidnapping plot, there's a real sly black humor to the proceedings. Its as if Polanski has gleefully surrounded our star with people intent on provoking him. Watching Ford's mounting frustration with the US Embassy, French police and doors that won't open is a joy. Then Emanuelle Seigner's ditzy smuggler turns up to really wind him up! And John Mahony's brief but inane performance in the cafe towards the end always crack me up. Prior to that scene, Mahony's telephone manner is responsible for one of the greatest Harrison Ford moments ever. It would be wrong of me to tout this as an out and out comedy but there is a subtlety at work. (Watch out for the 2 pigeons shagging on the rooftop.)And as the unlikely two leads grow affectionate towards each other we become fond of them right up to the sombre conclusion. I've always liked films which have a certain wandering quality, not an easy thing to do, and whilst Frantic doesn't succeed as a great thriller it excels as a wonderfully atmospheric movie to get lost in. It's probably my favorite Harrison Ford film and definitely one of my favorite movies of all time.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 3 Feb 2004
This review is from: Frantic [DVD] [1988] (DVD)
drama of the highest quality,from start to finish frantic keeps the viewer enthralled,twisting and turning until the tragic ending.ford delights as the frustrated husband searching for his lost wife in a foreign city,finally finding hope in michelle,before being reunited with his spouse.three things make this film,paris,michelle and finally ford frustrated beyond belief at each turn of the way.he as always comes across as mr.dependable but also shows his vunerable side no more so than the scene in the night club.
all i can say is see this film,top class acting,top class drama.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Polanski/Harrison combo works well, 30 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Frantic [DVD] [1988] (DVD)
Harrison Ford has often played the role of a confused man in a sometimes hostile environment with nobody to turn to for help.

Here Roman Polanski uses the language barrier and French bureaucracy to isolate Ford in his search for his missing wife in Paris,something I can understand clearly living here in France and not being fluent in Francais.

He creates a slow paced thriller,very European not Hollywood,that flows effectively with much detail and good cameo roles by the supporting cast.

It's a film I could watch again and still enjoy.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minor classic., 4 May 2011
This review is from: Frantic [DVD] [1988] (DVD)
There appears to be a particular genre that never fails to please. That of the thriller set in a European location. There are countless examples, Ronin, In Bruges, etc. where the backdrop is perfect for thrills and spills. But Frantic has the added bonus of Harrison Ford playing the role of the ordinary man thrown into an extraordinary situation, something that he excels at. A film which appears to have been all but forgotten is quite simply a classic thriller, set in Paris, which starts innocently enough and builds to a thrilling climax. Ford has the opportunity to display not only his talent for action but also his ability to inject humour in the most tense of situations. It is the benchmark by which all European based thrillers should be judged and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Have you and your wife been to Paris before?, 8 April 2010
By 
A. Willard (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frantic [DVD] [1988] (DVD)
A Doctor and his wife visit Paris on a business trip. She gets kidnapped. He tries to find her - but he doesn't speak much French.

There! Nice simple synopsis. Of course what happens after that is the important thing - what does happen after that? I must have seen this film 3 or 4 times and each time when the actual `plot' turns up I think `Oh yeah, that's what it's all about!'. You see it doesn't matter - `Frantic' is not a `why' film, it's a `how' film or even a `what' film, as in `What the ---- is going on?' It's not a thriller - it's a comedy. It's Polanski having a laugh at the expense of Yanks abroad and Arabs abroad and basically anyone who's not from Paris trying to get things done in Paris.

Aside maybe from `The Mosquito Coast', it's my favourite Harrison Ford performance. I'm not, I must confess, his biggest fan, but his look of angry bafflement as he receives no help from U.S. Embassy officials or French police is a joy. The scene where he slips and slides around on the sloping roof also shows a real gift for physical comedy. Emmanuelle Seigner is also perfect as the French girl who `helps' him. I think she's Polanski's embodiement of Paris; irritating, pretentious, shallow, but also beautiful, charming and sexy. She's got it all.

There are some terrific scenes; Ford's adventures on the roof as mentioned above, him trying to `buy' drugs in the nightclub, and, best of all, Ford and Seigner `dancing' in the second nightclub towards the end - a wonderfully funny scene.

There's no getting away from it - the ending jars and, to me, stops it from being a `great' film, but it's still hugely enjoyable and never fails to raise a smile.
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Frantic [DVD] [1988]
Frantic [DVD] [1988] by Roman Polanski (DVD - 1999)
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