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Thread: Frenzy

  1. #1
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    Although I have just voted for 39 Steps as the best British Hitchcock film,if I had the chance to vote for a second favourite I would gone for Frenzy.

    Now I am going to say something which might cause fisticuffs on this site eek! ,but I believe,now wait for it,I believe,erm,I really do believe,oh heck I am going to be up for heresy for this,I really believe...Psycho is one of the most overrated,boring and unscary movies ever made. Frenzy was far better and far unappreciated.

    Psycho fans in the red corner,Frenzy fans in the blue corner...

    Let's go...

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    After the soapy cold-war 'thrillers' of Topaz and Torn Curtain, Frenzy was a return to his roots and the wronged man scenario but there was something a bit too repugnant about Barry Foster’s character. Maybe Foster’s psychopath was a bit too thinly drawn and I’d have expected Shaffer and Hitch to maybe inject a bit of black humour as he did with the two murderers in Rope.



    The tracking shot down the stairway and into the London streets whilst the murder is taking place is a touch of genius tho.

  3. #3
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    I was mystified as to why Topaz disappeared from view for so long until I turned up a copy from a charity shop last year. It's dreadful !



    I can't remember where I read this, but I recall that, soon after Topaz , Hitchcock recoiled in horror from how safe and stale he had become as a director. His reaction was to plan something far more stylistically daring, but his studio (Universal) would not allow him to experiment as he wanted.



    At least there resulted a new spark in his final two films, the marvellous Frenzy and the fun Family Plot .



    I don't think Psycho is overrated, merely overanalysed and ripped off by every two-bob horror film for forty-odd years.



    Now The Exorcist - that's an overrated film!

  4. #4
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    Lord Brett:

    I don't think Psycho is overrated, merely overanalysed and ripped off by every two-bob horror film for forty-odd years.
    The Psycho sequels certainly didn't help the originals reputation. There was also Gus Van Sant's scene-by-scene colour remake - you have you ask why bother remaking it?

  5. #5
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    Actually, I quite enjoyed Psycho 2 , largely due to Anthony Perkins' performance.



    Have you ever seen John Llewelyn Moxey's City of the Dead (aka Horror Hotel )? It went into production some months before Psycho , and by a remarkable coincidence (and a coincidence is all it could be) the two films share the same plot structure - and nasty surprise a quarter of the way in.



    I've tried not to put any spoilers in this post, as even if there is someone out there doesn't know what happens in Psycho , I sure there are a few more people not familiar with City of the Dead .

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Lord Brett:

    Have you ever seen John Llewelyn Moxey's City of the Dead (aka Horror Hotel )?
    I've the DVD, It's better than most of the b&w releases and features an introduction by Christopher Lee.

  7. #7
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    Yes,I thought The Exorcist was vastly overrated and no more scary than an episode of Scooby Doo.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B sleep

  8. #8
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    I was at school when we watched Frenzy as part of our English Lit or language (can't remember which) we thought it was cool for us under 18's to watch an "X" rated movie.



    All essays aside, writing about the directors techniques and hidden meanings, I found it very hard to walk home that dinner time knowing just how sick men could be - Scarred for life!



    The potato wagon scene stayed with me a lot longer than any horror flick.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    This was taken from the Saturday Telegraph Magazine.



    It is accompanied by a photograph of Bernard Cribbens and Barry Foster with Alfred Hitchcock.

    In this piece BC remembers appearing in Frenzy, Hitchcock's penultimate film in 1972.





    I was asked to go and see Mr Hitchcock in his

    office in Piccadilly. We had a very pleasant chat, and he offered me the part of the pub landlord Felix Forsythe in Frenzy. The role was an interesting departure for me as I was best known for playing comedy parts.



    I was in my forties, and living in Surrey with my wife Gill (where we are still based!. I had been working in the theatre since I was 14 I started as an assistant stage manager doing a 70-hour week for 15 shillings. I became an actor by accident -the very first role I was offered was a comedy part, as a cheeky errand boy. When you say your line and you suddenly hear a roar of laughter, it is very rewarding and a wonderful thing.



    Most of my scenes in Frenzy were with Anna Massey, who played the barmaid - we were quite isolated in my boozer, and didn't have much to do with the rest of the cast. I think perhaps my character was spurned by the barmaid, or maybe just hungover, because he was permanently scratchy. Bloody grumpy, in fact.



    I was a great fan of Hitchcock's films - every actor was. He had been working in Hollywood for years, but Frenzy had an entirely British cast. He loved telling jokes. In this photograph [on the left is the actor Barry Foster] I'm making a crack and Hitchcock is thinking of his next line to top me. (Either that or he is thinking. What on earth is he talking about?) He was a great fan of limericks and once brought in a whole book of them to show me.



    He was getting towards the end of his life at that time, and was probably not as vibrant and jolly as he had been. He was like a sleeping buddha. He would sit quietly and you would think there was nothing going on there, but his little eyes would be taking everything in.



    He worked in a very economical way. He would discuss the shot with his cameraman, his lighting man, his first assistant director and his actors, then he would go and read a book while they set up the shot exactly how he wanted it. Then he'd come back, and it would be 'Cut! Print!' He knew we would all do exactly what he asked.

  10. #10
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    I love frenzy and watch it quite frequently,i think bernard cribbins plays a great part as he says a real departure for him,the landlord is a bit of a barsteward wink and to hear him utter the line "you should be pullin pints instead of pullin her tit's" eek! was a bit of a shock,old perks would turn in his grave.

    cheers Ollie.

  11. #11
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    Frenzy always reminds me of They Drive By Night. In both films the 'hero' of the piece is down on his luck in London and discovers the dead body of a former lover. Strangulation the cause of death in both instances. Both go on the run, but whilst Finch seeks out friends and Frenzy loses focus midway thru, in TDBN Emlyn Williams heads out of town to the dusky roadside cafes and the film gathers momentum. Of course haulage stops also come into Frenzy as 'Bob's yer uncle' becomes increasingly desperate. Both close with the innocent man-on-the-run unwittingly seeking refuge with, and uncovering, the real murderer.



    Frenzy does have one old Hitchcock touch in that the first scene produces a body in the water with an item of clothing attached; Young and Innocent opens similarly with a murdered female being washed ashore.

  12. #12
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    DB7:

    Frenzy always reminds me of They Drive By Night.

    [snip]
    That Hitchcock , he was always stealing stories :)



    One of the P&P group, Richard Layne has pointed out the similarities between I Know Where I'm Going! (1945) & The Birds (1963) :-



    A spoilt, rich young woman heads for a rural community and meets a young man. While there, she stays at the house of a second woman who she believes may have been in a relationship with the young man, but it transpires was not. Due to the forces of nature, she is forced to remain in the community long enough to fall in love.



    Of course, IKWIG is far superior since P&P felt no-need to resort to such attention-grabbing tactics as killer birds !



    I then pointed out that IKWIG does indeed have a killer bird - Torquil the Golden Eagle.



    Steve

  13. #13
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    Maybe Emeric had read The Birds before commencing the script for IKWIG. wink

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    Micheal Caine says in his book "WHATS IT ALL ABOUT" how he had lunch with Hitchcock at Universal Studios to discuss playing the part of Robert Rusk. He didn't want to play Rusk but went just to meet Hitchcock. Cain turned down the part later through his agent because he found the role of the sadistic killer of young women really loathsome. He saw Hitchcock very often around the studio and at Chasen's restaurant but he never spoke to Caine again. As he says 'so much for Cockney solidarity'.

  15. #15
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    DB7:

    Maybe Emeric had read The Birds before commencing the script for IKWIG.
    Maybe Daphne du Maurier wrote The Birds after watching IKWIG :)



    The earliest date I can find for The Birds being published is 1952.



    Steve

  16. #16
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    Damn you with your facts blush





    violent

  17. #17
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    I know I've said this before,but I preferred Frenzy to Psycho. In fact,I think Frenzy was one of Hitchcock's most under rated of movies.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  18. #18
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    Frenzy is a cracking movie, even that late in Hitch's career. Some of the more 'sensitive' critics gave it a battering though - it was called 'sordid' more than once.



    Myself, as soon as I sit down with it I am hooked - I think the basic tensions still work, even after seeing it so many times. The potato van scene with Foster still gets you up towards the edge of the seat...



    Finch, Foster and Cribbins are excellent in it, and we were well and truly robbed with the early death of Barry - he never seemed to look his age.



    Another favourite bit is that wonderfull sweeping titles shot and music :)



    SMUDGE

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    I recall once hearing Max Bygraves being interviewed on radio and he claimed that Hitchcock had spoken to him about a possible part in 'Frenzy' (!). I wonder which? Surely only Cribbens or McCowen's would be possibilities.

  20. #20
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    Bygraves turned down Jon Finch's role.

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