Sunday, September 26, 2010

Movie review – “Frenzy” (1972) **

Hailed as a comeback for Hitchcock by some critics after Torn Curtain and Topaz and it was definitely more profitable than either of those - but I've got to admit, I didn't like it. It’s set in modern London with some nudity and sex (even some black people) but shot as if it was in the 30s – look at that opening head turning scene when the corpse is discovered; the broad character actors are as if they come out of 1935.
Jon Finch is perhaps the least likeable Hitchcock hero ever, even worse than Frederick Stafford -snarly and bad tempered, he's not good looking, charming or even funny. The murderer, Barry Foster, is more engaging. The two most likeable people in the film – Finch’s ex wife and girlfriend – are killed horribly.
Sometimes the film comes alive – the murder sequences in particular seem to be made by someone who cares (as were the murder sequences in Topaz and Torn Curtain). It’s too long and repetitive – in interviews Hitchcock used to show off how clever he was livening up exposition with a police detective by adding comedy with his horrible cook of a wife – but those scenes aren't even needed! And there's a horrible finale with the police acting too slowly to prevent another murder (I think they did this solely to have the end gag line “You’re not wearing your tie”) and Finch bashing a corpse (he thinks its Foster but it’s a dead girl – is it okay for it to be Foster?).
This film has its fans but honestly I think it's really people just feeling bad about bagging Hitchcock for his previous two films.

No comments: