HIGH ANXIETY

year: 1977
cast: Mel Brooks, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, Ron Carey
rating: ***

Mel Brooks sends-up all things Hitchcock in a film that's more entertaining than funny. You can't help but to get involved in the story of a new head shrink (Brooks) of a crooked insane asylum who has an extreme fear of heights. From one situation to the next, this parody encompasses "Vertigo", "Psycho", "The Birds", "Frenzy", and all the (other) Hitch-flicks that has the main character being falsely accused of murder. Homage-driven jabs at Alfred H's signature camera shots and dramatic musical scores are the funniest. Somewhere between "Blazing Saddles" (as the high-point) and "History of the World" (as a low-point), this movie has a cozy place within the Mel Brooks canon. Nothing gained, nothing lost. But you should enjoy the ride.

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