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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hitchcock Month - Frenzy

Frenzy (1972)
Starring Jon Finch and Barry Foster
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock's first film to be released with an R-rating (Psycho would later also get an R-rating, but that rating didn't exist at the time of its initial release) and his only film with nudity (once again, assuming that there's no split second images of nudity in the Psycho shower scene), Frenzy was the director's second-to-last film and it marked a return to England for him.  This was his first film shot in his native land since 1950.  And the return didn't do much to get his creative juices flowing.

Frenzy is the tale of two friends.  One, Dick Blaney (Jon Finch), is a down-on-his-luck guy who just got fired from his job.  Out of money, he finds himself angry at the world.  The other, Bob Rusk (Barry Foster), is somewhat of a ladies man.  He's incredibly charming and liked by all.  One of these men is a rapist and serial killer while the other is wrongly accused of these same murders.  

Considering that this is Hitch's penultimate film, one would think that he could have culled a great deal from his illustrious career and produced a wonderful flick.  Unfortunately, there's nothing here that works in the slightest.  There's nary a bit of suspense.  Hitchcock went all out with the R-rating, including a rather disturbing rape scene, but being able to "show" everything seems to hinder what the director did best -- create suspense by leaving certain things to the viewers' imaginations.  Even Hitch's standard scenes of humor (which often enhance the tension) don't work and simply bring the flick to abrupt halts throughout.

The flick was actually very well received by critics at the time who said that this was a true return to form by the director.  For me, though, at much as I'd like to say Hitch was trying to end things on a high note, Frenzy just doesn't showcase the master at his best.

The RyMickey Rating:  D


  1. Have you seen The Trouble with Harry?

    Probably my favorite of his lesser known movies.

  2. I have never seen it. And I'm looking forward to it.