6.7/10
18,838
126 user 58 critic

High Anxiety (1977)

A psychiatrist with intense acrophobia (fear of heights) goes to work for a mental institution run by doctors who appear to be crazier than their patients, and have secrets that they are willing to commit murder to keep.

Director:

Mel Brooks
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Brooks ... Richard H. Thorndyke
Madeline Kahn ... Victoria Brisbane
Cloris Leachman ... Nurse Diesel
Harvey Korman ... Dr. Charles Montague
Ron Carey ... Brophy
Howard Morris ... Professor Lilloman
Dick Van Patten ... Dr. Wentworth
Jack Riley ... The Desk Clerk
Charlie Callas ... Cocker Spaniel
Ron Clark ... Zachary Cartwright
Rudy De Luca ... Killer (as Rudy DeLuca)
Barry Levinson ... Bellboy
Lee Delano ... Norton
Richard Stahl ... Dr. Baxter
Darrell Zwerling ... Dr. Eckhardt
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Storyline

Dr. Richard Thorndyke arrives as new administrator of the Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, VERY Nervous to discover some suspicious goings-on. When he's framed for murder, Dr. Thorndyke must confront his own psychiatric condition, "high anxiety," in order to clear his name. An homage to the films of Alfred Hitchcock; contains many parodies of famous Hitchcock scenes from THE BIRDS, PSYCHO, and VERTIGO. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Master of Comedy takes on The Master of Suspense! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Anxiety See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,015,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$31,063,038

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$31,063,038
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Crossbow Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Three of the film's writers appear in comedic supporting roles. See more »

Goofs

After the nurse falls out the tower and tries to fly away on her broom, when they cut back to everyone in the tower, a broom is seen leaning against the wall. However, there are actually 2 brooms: a broom (with a thick handle) is clearly seen against a wall in the tower. Nurse Diesel has a broom in her left hand (thinner handle) as she enters the tower room, and it clearly remains in her grasp as she falls from the tower. The second broom with the thicker handle remains untouched against the wall of the room. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: As I was saying, it came to my attention that just before Dr. Ashley's untimely death, he was planning to make some very big changes here at the institute. Do any of you know specifically what those changes might be?
Dr. Wentworth: Well, for one thing, he wanted to change...
Nurse Diesel: The drapes.
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: The drapes?
Nurse Diesel: The drapes. He wanted to change the drapes in the Psychotic Game Room.
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke: That was the extent of the big change, the... drapes?
Nurse Diesel: Oh, yes. Dr. Ashley felt that color has a great deal to do with the well-being of the ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits roll over stills from the movie, except for the "the end" credit. The still of Mel Brooks running towards the camera is an outtake and was not in the movie. See more »

Alternate Versions

Extra footage added for network versions. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Family Plot (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

High Anxiety
(1977)
(title song)
Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks
Original music and lyrics copyright © 1977 Fox Fanfare Music, Inc.
Sung by Mel Brooks
See more »

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User Reviews

Dizzy parody is Brooks at his height.
2 May 2000 | by James.S.DaviesSee all my reviews

Though often overlooked in favor of Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein, I believe this to be the pick of Brooks' parodies. Whether you share this opinion would depend on your familiarity with all things Hitchcockian.

It is not only Vertigo, as the title suggests, that gets the Brooks treatment here, but The Birds, Spellbound and Psycho are all parodied to various degrees of subtlety. Many of these films key scenes are simply re-enacted with comic touches, whilst the Hitchcock formalae is very much in evidence. The style is particularly amusing in its parody. Highlights include a probing camera becoming all too literally intrusive when it crashes through a pane of glass in the window, and a dramatic sound composition turning out to be merely the didactic passing bus load of a touring philamonic orchestra.

Resisting the out and out farce of his earlier effort, Blazing Saddles, and managing not to evolve into simply being a one joke movie such as the tendency of his recent efforts, High Anxiety is Brooks at his most clever. The cast, mainly consisting of Brooks regulars, all display splendidly entertaining and aptly silly impersonations of recognisible Hitchcock stereotypes. It is Brooks' finest hour however, with not only directing, writing, and acting to his credit but singing as well!!!


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