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Parents' Guide to

High Anxiety

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Very very funny Hitchcock spoof with some adult humor.

Movie PG 1977 94 minutes
High Anxiety Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 12+


This made me laugh SO hard. It does include a bondage in one scene and a man thinking that he is a dog humps the main characters legs. We have had this film for YEARS but never got around to watching it. Well, I'm glad we did because it rules. I nearly DIED during the shower scene because I laughed so hard.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
age 13+

details on sexual content

awkward moment trying to explain a scene showing sado-masochism, and another with phone sex, and another where the Dr. clearly is avoiding using words for penis, breasts and genitals. All were funny, and fell just short of being explicit about the content, but not what I was expecting to see.

This title has:

Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (5 ):

The usual puns are restrained, but Mel Brooks' style of slapstick humor is evident in this classic spoof. The head of the Psycho Neurotic Institute for the Very Very Nervous is himself, a very, very nervous guy. But in this very nervous place he has reason to be: a rock the size of a car engine is tossed though his bathroom window with a welcome note from the "Violent Ward." His colleagues are plotting against him -- even pigeons in the park are out to get him.

Those who know Alfred Hitchcock's work will laugh even harder, knowing that those pigeons are a parody of his classic thriller The Birds. A shower scene straight out of Psycho is hilarious, since the weapon of choice is not a knife, but something that is black and white and read all over.

Though Mel Brooks plays the straight man among a bunch of loonies, he grabs the spotlight in a lounge singer act that comedies such as Will Ferrell's Anchorman have tried to equal. But it is Cloris Leachman who steals the show with her portrayal of the mustachioed Nurse Diesel. If you look closely, you can see her fellow actors suppressing smiles as she plays the mumbling disciplinarian to the hilt. A good bet for fans of Hitchcock and Mel Brooks.

Movie Details

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