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“All blokes are that sort of bloke.”

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Hitchcock's penultimate film sees the Master of Suspense revisiting the hallmarks of his earlier works— sexually repressed killers, macabre humour and mistaken identity— in a far more explicit mode updated for the nasty 1970s. The "Necktie Killer" is stalking London and the the murdered women all seem to be linked to one man, divorced and newly-unemployed former bartender Richard Blaney. As the body count grows, Blaney only falls under deeper suspicion and is forced to evade the authorities as he desperately tries to uncover the real killer and clear his name.

Audience note: this film contains a depiction of sexual assault

Why See This Film

After a string of commercial and critical flops in America Hitchcock was determined to show audiences he could still deliver the thrills, returning to the grimy London backstreets and dingy pub boarding houses that were the backdrop for his early films. The permissive giallo-influenced cinema landscape gave him free reign to make explicit what had previously been only suggested, unleashing the urges that were kept in check by the Hayes Code and audience sensibilities. A late-career minor masterpiece, Frenzy is the culmination of a career-long fixation on mankind's darkest impulses, giving a glimpse at the carnival-horror maestro hiding behind the veneer of a technically accomplished auteur.

Alfred Hitchcock
Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Barbara Leigh-Hunt
116 minutes

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