Just an ordinary necktie used with a deadly new twist.

Crime Thriller Horror
116 min     7.112     1972     United Kingdom


After a serial killer strangles several women with a necktie, London police identify a suspect—but he claims vehemently to be the wrong man.


John Chard wrote:
Chillingly humorous Hitchcock piece of work. It's always great to take a revisit to Frenzy some years after your last viewing, to re-evaluate it post haste. As a proud Englishman it gives me great pleasure to see the Master back in England capturing the English time frame of London perfectly, for the film works because we really get the vibe of the place and believe in the characters who frequent the area, Hitch delivers this no problem at all. The story stands up as genuine thriller material, some crazy fruit loop is strangling women with neck ties and the police are trailing the wrong man...Sound familiar? Well yes it is, but Hitch being Hitch, he manages to bring dashes of humour to go with the tense taut terror unfolding on the screen. The cast do fine here, and I do believe that the fact that none of the actors are top draw names actually helps the film bring out an uneasy feel, here the interesting fleshing of the characters is one of Hitchcock's great strengths in this particular piece. The villain of the piece stands up as one of the best because he could easily be your best mate, someone you readily turn to in times of need, yet strip away that facade and you get the savage murdering rapist that Hitchcock takes great delight in assaulting our eyes with. Lovely...Lovely...LOVELY....LOVELY ! Although its rating on the IMDb movie site hovers around 7.5 I have always been led to believe that Frenzy wasn't all that well thought of, with tales of America refusing to embrace the film because of the London sensibility, and tired old arguments about the great man being past his peak etc. I have no idea if any of those statements are true? But what I personally know is that Frenzy is a very good film that has me squirming and laughing in equal measure. So with that it may just be shy of being a Hitchcock classic, but still it stands up as better than what most other thriller directors could ever have hoped to have achieved back in that era. 8/10
DalekDave01 wrote:
This is one of those thrillers that is in no way a whodunnit as it becomes evident very early on that the killer is who you think it is going to be. But that is not sloppy film making, it is entirely deliberate, for the mystery here is not who is the killer, but will he get away with it, and what will happen to our hero? It is a well plotted piece, and, oddly, based on a true story. [see Jack The Stripper -] Some fine performances from good, steady actors, all giving well rounded characterisations, especially Barry Foster and Billie Whitelaw. The general feel of London in the early 70s is well presented, and the locations are well chosen to give the overall viewing of the film a very satisfactory glow. Not one of Hitchcocks classics, to be fair, but still a great film and one that will certainly entertain.
CinemaSerf wrote:
This is probably my least favourite Hitchcock story. It is still cleverly constructed, but somehow it has a vulgarity to it that I rather struggled with. The premiss is a serial killer who has been brutally killing women using a neck tie, then dumping their bodies. The police are baffled until "Brenda Blaney" (Barbara Leigh-Hunt) is found raped and killed in her office, and suspicion falls on her ex husband "Dick" (Jon Finch). He flees, is apprehended and judicial process takes it's course. We all know who actually killed "Brenda" so insofar as this is a murder mystery, then that's that. It is, though, quite a curious character study of the mind of a man who is jovial and engaging one moment, then brutally lethal the next - a sort of deadly schizophrenia that might be borne out of sexual frustration, or misogyny, childhood - all of the above? Barry Foster is efficient, if a little lightweight as "Rusk" and there are enthusiastic efforts from Anna Massey and pub landlord Bernard Cribbins. What raises this (slightly) above the norm, is the fun sub-plot between Alec McGowen ("Chief Insp. Oxford") and his wife Vivien Merchant - she a budding gourmet who seems intent on offering the poor man the most complex dishes when all he wants is pie and mash; and - as ever with Hitch - intimate and clever use of the camera. What suspense there is all comes to a rather weak head, I felt, and though this is still an eminently watchable film, it is all just a little bit tacky, and it lacks much that made it's director great. It might have worked better in black and white?