Screening on Film
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
With Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Barbara Leigh-Hunt.
US, 1972, 35mm, color, 116 min.

The London of Frenzy is seamy, barren and inescapably misogynistic – hardly the nostalgic treatment one might expect of Hitchcock’s first feature set in England since Stage Fright. The film’s plot hearkens all the way back to The Lodger – a man stands wrongly accused for a brutal series of sex crimes – only here the innocent man is coldly unlikeable and the potential for violence seemingly limitless. Hitchcock reveals the true identity of the necktie killer early in the film, the better to situate his crimes in a full range of abject appetites. Controversial for its prolonged murder-rape sequence, Frenzy’s disturbing quality finally rests with its relentlessly macabre humor. The colorful cast of supporting roles includes a police inspector and his wife spinning out various murder plots over dinner – a cinch for Hitchcock and his lifelong co-scenarist Alma.

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