Action / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 87%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 78%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 34614


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October 28, 2012 at 06:08 AM


Alfred Hitchcock as Spectator at Opening Rally
Jean Marsh as Monica Barling
Bernard Cribbins as Felix Forsythe
Billie Whitelaw as Hetty Porter
850.10 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 56 min
P/S 0 / 17

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Tweekums 8 / 10

A disturbing thriller from Alfred Hitchcock

As this Hitchcock thriller opens a politician is standing by the Thames giving a speech about cleaning up the river… moments later a member of the crowd spots the body of a woman in the river; naked apart from the tie round her neck. She is clearly a victim of the 'Necktie Killer' who has been murdering women in the capital. We then cut to Richard Blaney a former RAF Squadron Leader who is down on his luck; fired from his job in a pub he goes to see his friend Robert Rusk, a Covent Garden vegetable seller before seeing his ex-wife, who runs a match-making agency, they have a meal together then he goes off to sleep in a hostel not realising that she has slipped twenty pounds in to his pocket. The next day Rusk visits Mrs Blaney and viciously murders her. Shortly after Blaney goes to see his wife again but leaves when nobody answers the door. As he leaves her assistant returns and discovers the body. Blaney is soon the number one suspect; all the evidence points to him and the only people who seems to believe him are Babs Milligan the barmaid at the pub he worked at and Rusk of course but he obviously can't be trusted and soon directs the police to Blaney.

The most famous murder in a Hitchcock film is obviously the 'Psycho' shower scene; this manages to be more disturbing though. The murder of Blaney's ex-wife lacks any music and there are no multiple-cuts; instead it feels very real and is difficult to watch. The fact that we've seen this murder means there is no suspicion about who the killer is but that doesn't reduce the tension; because we know Blaney is innocent there is the worry that he will get arrested and the real killer go free. With such a dark subject matter some light relief is required and this is provided by scenes where we see the police officer investigating the case having to endure his wife's 'fancy' cooking. The film does show its age at times, and not just because of the way the London skyline has changed since it was made… to say some attitudes expressed by characters aren't PC is an understatement and are likely to shock modern viewers; one just has to accept that these are just character views and they were different times. The cast does a solid job; Jon Finch plays Blaney as a not entirely sympathetic manner so we can understand why people are so likely to believe he is the killer; Barry Foster is delightfully disturbing as Rusk; a sharp-suited man who it is equally easy to believe people wouldn't suspect and Anna Massey is solid as Babs. The content means that this film won't be for everybody but if you are a Hitchcock fan or enjoy gritty thrillers I'd certainly recommend this.

Reviewed by frankwiener 8 / 10

And twelve years later...

While great pain was endured during the filming of Psycho in 1960 to appease the censors by covering parts of Janet Leigh's body with "flesh colored patches of moleskin", was director Hitchcock finally free in 1972 to expose the naked bodies of his female victims in the way that he always wanted to expose them? What a difference twelve years makes in the movie business.

The film opens with the speech of a politician promising to "clean up the Thames for once and for all". The only person in the crowd who is not enthusiastically applauding is the director himself in one of his trademark cameo appearances. The director knows best. Suddenly, in the middle of the speech, a body (yes, naked!) washes up on the nearby river bank, and the politician is forced to interrupt his speech. The river is far more polluted than he ever imagined.

Having seen this film, I've concluded that there are a whole bunch of very talented British actors out there with whom I need to familiarize myself more. I think that this cast did an amazing job with the material, and why other reviewers didn't appreciate the sideshow provided by Chief Inspector Oxford (Alec McCowen) and his very eccentric but very astute wife (Vivien Merchant) is beyond me. Their amusing relationship not only demonstrated the human side of Chief Inspectors but also allowed for much needed relief from the shock and terror of the awful crimes that were occurring at the same time.

The theme of an innocent man being mistaken for a criminal (or a spy) is one that runs throughout Mr. Hitchcock's long and impressive career, and he handles it as skillfully as ever in this instance. Jon Finch realistically portrays the unlucky schlemiel who is falsely accused. Throughout the movie, Barry Foster as Rusk very much reminded me of Michael Caine before I learned that Caine had been offered the part but refused it because he found the character to be so reprehensible. The fact that Rusk is dressed so formally at work in a vegetable market, including a suit and a TIE, probably should have been a strong hint from the start.

Although this film was very disturbing and graphic at times, Hitchcock's masterful direction, with the help of an excellent cast, kept me very interested from start to finish as it almost always does.

Reviewed by avik-basu1889 7 / 10

Hitchcock back to his tricks in his later days !!!

Gets really disturbing at times, reminiscent of 'Psycho'. There are sporadic moments in the film that scream out vintage Hitchcock. This film has one of the greatest tracking shots that I have ever seen in a film, not just because of the technical mastery, but also because of how it implies the concept of giving the murder victim her due dignity. Hitchcock also does what he does best which is to put us in the criminal's shoes and almost sweat with him while he tries to escape arrest.

Although it is fun to see the juxtaposition of disturbing psychotic criminal activity with the Victorian humour of the cops and their family members, 'Frenzy' is still a film that is a bit devoid of thematic depth. It feels like an episode of a crime procedural show since it doesn't do deep beneath the surface of the crime/the criminal as Hitchcock did with some of his previous films like 'Psycho' or 'Vertigo'. However the technical brilliance of the film does make it a fun watch.

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