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.
An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.
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 <email@example.com>
Mel Brooks mentioned "Mrs. Nussbaum" as being one of his patients. "Mrs. Nussbaum" was a radio character, Pansy Nussbaum, played by Minerva Pious in Fred Allen's famous "Allen's Alley" current-events skits. Two years later, in the comedy The Jerk (1979), a character has stolen "Mrs. Nussbaum's credit card". There's also a character named "Mrs. Nussbaum" in the comedy Hell Baby (2013). See more »
When singing 'High Anxiety', Thorndyke's mouth has fully closed during a long shot, yet the vocal continues for a few more seconds. See more »
Oh, get off it. I know you better than you know yourself. You live for bondage and discipline!
Dr. Charles Montague:
Too much bondage. Too much bondage. Not enough discipline!
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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 »
Extra footage added for network versions. See more »
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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