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ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S 'FRENZY' WITH JON FINCH & BARRY FOSTER

Opening credit sequence for FRENZY Year: 1972
After a dry-spell with melodramas and big budget espionage films, Alfred Hitchock had an artistic comeback with FRENZY: Also serving as a grand return to England where Piccadilly Circus feels like its own busy character while the main protagonist, an antagonistic former RAF hero, gets embroiled in what Hitchcock perfected early on...

The Wrong Man theme, and it's an avalanche here, bordering on satire and with some of the coldest dark-humor sprinkled in. Yet FRENZY is no laughing matter, being perhaps the darkest and definitely most modern Hitchcock vehicle: and not just because people use swear words, or the nudity in one of the rape sequences: The most shocking and in-your-face involves Barbara Leigh-Hunt followed by Anna Massey's off-screen demise, in which one of Hitchcock's greatest shots makes for that key signature moment (the shower in PSYCHO; the umbrellas in FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, etc.) that all his films rely on and/or are best remembered for.

Barry Foster peaking out into FRENZY Rates: *****
Jon Finch is perfect in the leading role, ironically un-likeable compared to Barry Foster's mother-loving secret psychopath: Both stories play out side by side, and as the grouchy Finch is understandably blamed for each murder (including that of his successful ex wife), Foster jovially engages on his spree — and at one point even takes a suspenseful, pivotal, paper trail covering road trip because of it: making you root for the sicko, for the time being...

Meanwhile, Alec McCowen as an affable police chief (whose wife is a horrible cook but is damn smart deep down) adds a different kind of levity in what's Hitchcock's most underrated film.  Unlike the VistaVision epics of the 1950's, there aren't any noticeably phony superimposed backdrops that make it seem as if the actors and actresses were walking in front of someone else's motion picture. FRENZY doesn't rely on big movie stars but instead belongs to the auteur and his characters, and the audience: Only this time, it seems there's a more dedicated one in mind.
Jon Finch, Billy Whitelaw and Anna Massey in FRENZY
Barry Foster as Bob Rusk in Alfred Hitchcock's FRENZY
Jon Finch smokes in Alfred Hitchcock's FRENZY
The famous Barbara Leigh-Hunt tongue shot from Alfred Hitchcock's FRENZY
Jon Finch goes bird-watching in Alfred Hitchcock's FRENZY
Alfred Hitchcock beautiful establishing shot in FRENZY
Anna Massey with a still-smoking Jon Finch in FRENZY (the only superimposed backdrop used)
Vivien Merchant as the bad-cooking wife of Alec McCowen in Alfred Hitchcock's FRENZY
The Alfred Hitchcock director cameo in FRENZY right after his director credit
The Master's is welcomed back into England in what should have been his Swan Song FRENZY
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