I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

My Photo
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

High Anxiety (1977)

Dr. Richard Thorndyke (Mel Brooks) takes over as head administrator of the Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous. After he discovers that suspicious activities are going on, he is framed for murder by Nurse Diesel (Cloris Leachman) and Dr. Montague (Harvey Korman). Thorndyke not only has to clear himself of the charge, but get over his own anxiety problems in the process.

Numerous references to Alfred Hitchcock classics such as Vertigo and Psycho are sprinkled throughout this comedy. One of my favorite scenes involves Thorndyke being called on to sing in a lounge. He protests at first, then tells the pianist what key he wants the song "High Anxiety" played in. Judging by the success of the Broadway hit, The Producers, based on the Brooks' movie of the same name, one gets the feeling that Mr. Brooks is a frustrated song-and-dance man.

Brooks is responsible for several nutty movies including Blazing Saddles (1974) and Silent Movie (1976). Harvey Korman, a fine character actor, was a regular on "The Carol Burnett Show" (1967-1977). Cloris Leachman is a great actress who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Last Picture Show (1971). She is also the only actress to have won Emmy Awards in five different categories. The late Madeline Kahn starred in another Brooks film, Young Frankenstein (1974). Barry Levinson, who directed Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) and Rainman (1988), shows up as a frustrated bellboy. Jack Riley, who was one of Dr. Hartley's most memorable clients, Mr. Carlin, on "The Bob Newhart Show" (1972-1978), appears as a desk clerk. Dick Van Patton, who was the affable patriarch on "Eight Is Enough" (1977-1981), plays a character who dies an unusual death. Murphy Dunne portrays a piano player. He was also a musician in the movie "The Blues Brothers" (1980).

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home