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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » High Anxiety (1977)

   
Author Topic: High Anxiety (1977)
Michael Brown
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1518
From: Bradford, England
Registered: May 2001


 - posted 07-11-2007 05:00 PM      Profile for Michael Brown   Email Michael Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm a fan of Mel Brook's The Producers (the original film, the stage musical and the musical film) so I decided I needed to see another classic Mel Brooks film and High Anxiety happened to be playing on cable 3 days ago.

It's a mildly amusing film, not as good as I thought it was going to be. There are hardly any laughs and the plot and ending doesn't make much sense.

I need to see some more Mel Brooks films, maybe this is just a dud.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10677
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 07-11-2007 10:28 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think High Anxiety had some good moments. Cloris Leachman's character, "Nurse Diesel" was a riot. Madonna certainly had to be thinking about that movie when she came up with that costume featuring cone shaped tits. Harvey Korman had a great line about her (after she fell to her death), "I didn't like her; she never bathed."

Still, I agree, High Anxiety is definitely a step down from his earlier films. Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and Silent Movie are my favorite Mel Brooks films.

Brooks did okay in 1980's with History of the World Part I and Spaceballs, but they're not in the same league as his earlier movies, some of which are now qualified classics.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16112
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-11-2007 10:36 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
High Anxiety is meant to be a parody of Hitchcock films and has some classic Mel moments. My favorite part is with MEl in Golden Gate Park... walking by the jungle gyms with the Birds all over them.... then running as they dive at him and appropriately douse him in bird doo. Even the "High Anxiety" reaction at the top of the Hotel is pretty funny but I don't think much of that generation knew the film Vertigo so they didn't get it.

Mark

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John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5436
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 07-12-2007 05:31 AM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The scene I remember most in High Anxiety was the tracking shot through the window while they were all eating dinner or talking or something.

It was a slow tracking shot that literally went through the window *SMASH*...stopped...they all looked up...then it tracked backwards slowly as if embarrassed.

Excellent.

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Hillary Charles
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 748
From: York, PA, USA
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 07-12-2007 05:40 AM      Profile for Hillary Charles   Email Hillary Charles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh yeah, that tracking shot hitting the glass! Very funny! Also Ron Carey's. "I got it...I got it...I got it!" SLAM "I ain't got it." was memorable, as was the orchestra in the bus playing the dramatic music.

Like several of Brooks' later films, this one is very derivative. I saw it in the cinema as I was (still am) a big Brooks fan, but most of the Hitchcock references went over my head (hadn't seen enough of those at the time). NOW, after seeing many of the original films, it's more enjoyable, and I appreciate it more, especially when the hotel desk clerk gives Thorndyke a message from a "Mr. MacGuffin." [Big Grin]

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16112
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-13-2007 07:24 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: John Wilson
It was a slow tracking shot that literally went through the window *SMASH*...stopped...they all looked up...then it tracked backwards slowly as if embarrassed.

Yea, I forgot about that scene... You made me laugh out loud just reading your post [Big Grin] [Big Grin] !! No body could do that sort of scene like Brooks could. Can you imagine the fun times they had making those films??? The out-takes must be priceless...

Hillary... you nailed it! I think thats why the film never did well when it was intially released... If you don't know Hitchcock then you won't have a clue whats going on in the Brooks film. Vertigo for instance had been hidden away for about 30 years when H.A. was released. In reality several generations wouldn't have had a clue...

I wish Hollywood would put the 70mm and artsy fartsy stuff stuff aside for a while and do a Mel Brooks Film Festival!!

Mark

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Phil Hill
I love my cootie bug

Posts: 7595
From: Hollywood, CA USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 07-13-2007 07:37 PM      Profile for Phil Hill   Email Phil Hill       Edit/Delete Post 
I LUV that film! It had sooo many visual and plot jokes that it kept me laughing even after it ended.

It was cast perfectly and all the actors did a GREAT job!

I did tons of work on that film. Mel, as usual, was great to work for/with...did several films with him.

I even have 3/4" U-Matic outakes from the "I got it" stuff at the Universal Hilton and other stuff! [Smile]

(I oversaw the video recording for "instant dailies") [Smile]

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Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5242
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 07-16-2007 01:08 PM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Phil, did Paul Lohmann have his big, ugly dog back then? On the show I worked with him (in '82) it was always around, pissing everywhere. Rumor was he kept the dog so there'd always be something on the set uglier than he was! [Big Grin]

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Phil Hill
I love my cootie bug

Posts: 7595
From: Hollywood, CA USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 07-20-2007 08:08 PM      Profile for Phil Hill   Email Phil Hill       Edit/Delete Post 
Tim, I remember Lohmann, but I don't think he had the dog on the stage.

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