• High Anxiety (1977)

High Anxiety

Release Date: 1977

PG |1 hr 34 min

Plot Summary

Just after becoming the director of the Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous, Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke (Mel Brooks) is greeted by a series of mysterious events. When his colleagues -- including the militaristic and mustachioed Nurse Diesel (Cloris Leachman) -- become leery of his questions, they accuse him of murder. Thorndyke's own mental health comes into question as he struggles to clear his name in the midst of a crippling bout of a condition known as "high anxiety."

Cast: Mel Brooks, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Korman, Ron Carey, Howard Morris, Dick Van Patten, Jack Riley

Director: Mel Brooks

Genres: Comedy

Production Co: Twentieth Century Fox

Keywords: Transformation, 1970s, Melodramatic, Los Angeles, Hospital, Hilarious, Suspenseful, Doctor, Hotel, Love, Daughter, Rivalry, Mystery

Ratings & Reviews

  • 40
    Ian NathanEmpire

    As with all great spoofers, you can feel the love the director has for Hitchcock, the thoroughness of his jokes vouches for that and the entire plot is loosely based on Spellbound. Perhaps, he was too devoted, the film lacks daring, it’s soft, Hitch would have sneered at such weakness. show more

  • 80
    The New York Times

    As witty and as disciplined as "Young Frankenstein," though it has one built-in problem: Hitchcock himself is a very funny man. His films, even at their most terrifying and most suspenseful, are full of jokes shared with the audience. Being so self-aware, Hitchcock's films deny an easy purchase to the parodist, especially one who admires his subject the way Mr. Brooks does. show more

  • 63
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    One of the problems with Mel Brooks's High Anxiety is that it picks a tricky target: It's a spoof of the work of Alfred Hitchcock, but Hitchcock's films are often funny themselves. And satire works best when its target is self-important. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy