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Product Details

  • Actors: Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Alec McCowen, Billie Whitelaw, Anna Massey
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Writers: Anthony Shaffer, Arthur La Bern
  • Producers: Alfred Hitchcock, William Hill
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Mca (Universal)
  • VHS Release Date: Oct. 29 2002
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783235682
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,383 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)
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Product Description

Alfred Hitchcock's penultimate film, written by Anthony Shaffer (who also wrote Sleuth), this delightfully grisly little tale features an all-British cast minus star wattage, which may have accounted for its relatively slim showing in the States. Jon Finch plays a down-on-his-luck Londoner who is offered some help by an old pal (Barry Foster). In fact, Foster is a serial killer the police have been chasing--and he's framing Finch. Which leads to a classic Hitchcock situation: a guiltless man is forced to prove his innocence while eluding Scotland Yard at the same time. Spiked with Hitchcock's trademark dark humor, Frenzy also features a very funny subplot about the Scotland Yard investigator (Alec McCowen) in charge of the case, who must endure meals by a wife (Vivien Merchant) who is taking a gourmet-cooking class. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By markus king on May 26 2004
Format: DVD
What can be said that has not already been noted? Hitchcocks penultimate film, FRENZY was a return to form after a rough period in the late 60's.
It has it all- the familiar, yet still exciting premise, the mix of suspense and black humor so prevalent in his classic films. Yes, it is violent at times, but the remarkable thing is that restraint and taste ARE still excercised here- it may have received an R rating, but do not expect FRENZY to have anywhere near the nudity and violence we see in today's films.
Hitch also chose to use a cast void of big names- he probably felt, after TORN CURTAIN, and considering the grisly subject matter, that having stars may hurt the credibility, and he was probably right. I don't know Jon Finch as anyone BUT his character, and that is a plus here.
What is most impressive is that, even in his 70's, the Master had lost none of his imagination- the film is well-paced, and there are several incredible camera shots (including the long camera pull away from our murderers' apartment, just as he's invited his next victim in).
Mildly underappreciated today, FRENZY is perhaps not in a league with NORTH BY NORTHWEST, but definitely deserves to be ranked with several of his best films: compared alongside FOREGIN CORRESPONDENT, ROPE, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, DIAL M FOR MURDER, THE BIRDS, MARNIE, etc. FRENZY holds up admirably...a different film, but an excellent one all the same...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 27 2004
Format: VHS Tape
For the first time in twenty-plus years, Alfred Hitchcock returned to his native England to make what turned out to be his final psychological thriller FRENZY. Despite a series of only modestly successful films since his 1963 triumph with THE BIRDS, Hitchcock had not lost his touch when he was handed Anthony Shaffer's fine screenplay (based on the Arthur LaBern book "Goodbye Picadilly, Farewell Leicester Square"). And although his approach to sex and violence is more explicit here (thanks to the ease in censorship restrictions that happened only a few years before), Hitchcock still delivers a film quite typical of his work--suspenseful, chilling, and often quite funny in a blackly humorous way.
The film revolves around a series of grisly strangulations of women occurring around London that have the police totally baffled. The killer's choice is a necktie, which pretty much leaves the door wide-open, since almost every man there wears a necktie. We are then introduced to Richard Blaney (Jon Finch) an ex-RAF officer and divorcee who has this tendency to drink too often and get a little bit too rough with people, including his ex-wife (Barbara Leigh-Hunt). The only real solace he gets is from his friend Robert Rusk (Barry Foster), a fruits-and-vegetables salesman in Covent Garden. What Finch doesn't realize, however, is that Foster is, in fact, the necktie strangler. And when Leigh-Hunt is found strangled in her office, the police, having interviewed her secretary, who had heard Finch arguing with her violently only half an hour before she was killed, immediately suspect and later arrest Finch, while Foster gets away. But an alert detective (Alec McCowen) suspects that there is something to Finch's story that could prove him innocent of the crimes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C.H. on March 9 2001
Format: DVD
Hitchcock entered the seventies with his last great film, a delicious thriller with a down on his luck ex-RAF pilot with a hot temper who is suspected of a rash of rape/strangulations in London. In typical Hitchcock fashion, a load of circumstancial evidence is heaped on an innocent man, and matters aren't helped any when his ex-wife and girlfriend turn up as the latest victims. With all the plot twists, black humor, and creative camerawork, Hitchcock must have enjoyed this immensely. Highly recommended, but avoid the butchered TV version.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 23 2014
Format: DVD
By 1972, the great Alfred Hitchcock was nearing the end of his career, but he still had one last great suspense movie in him.

That movie was "Frenzy," a deeply disturbing tale that dips into some familiar Hitchcock story territory, but also shows murders more explicit and grotesque than he had ever been able to before. While the prolonged rape scene is a really disturbing experience (as I'm sure it was meant to be), the rest of the movie is a strong whodunnit with some moments of dark comedy.

London is being plagued by a serial killer who is raping and strangling women, leaving them with a necktie around their throats. The police have no idea who the strangler is, and they have no suspects.

But when professional matchmaker Brenda Blaney (Barbara Leigh-Hunt) is found raped and murdered, circumstantial evidence points to her ex-husband Richard, a troubled and angry ex-pilot (Jon Finch). It's not much of a spoiler to say that it's actually his buddy Robert Rusk (Barry Foster), a seemingly innocuous fruit-seller with some secret sexual issues.

Richard desperately tries to avoid the police, but things become even worse when his girlfriend Babs (Anna Massey) is also murdered -- and when he's captured by the cops, it seems like an open-and-shut case. But Chief Inspector Oxford (Alec McCowen) begins to suspect that Rusk may be the murderer after all...

JUST A WARNING: if you have been sexually assaulted at some point, you probably shouldn't watch "Frenzy." Or at least you should skip the scene where Brenda is raped and murdered -- it's a long, grotesque scene that might serve as a trigger. Even for people who haven't been raped, it's a horrific scene to watch.
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