High Anxiety (1977) Directed by Mel Brooks
Cloris Leachman as Nurse Charlotte Diesel

Nurse Diesel: Dinner is served promptly at eight in the private dining room. Those who are tardy do not get fruit cup.

9 Responses to “High Anxiety (1977)”

  1. Ha Cloris Leachman is a hoot in this one!

    Mel Brooks has crafted one masterpiece (THE PRODUCERS) and one near-masterpiece (BLAZING SADDLES) but I’d say this film and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN do have their moments. And I also like the “It’s good to be the King” shtick in HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART I. I know a number of friends though that like YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN far more than I do, and fair enough.

  2. High Anxiety doesn’t hold up all that well, though it has its bright spots, including Nurse Diesel. I wonder if it would’ve been better if Gene Wilder had played the lead as originally planned rather than Brooks. I tend to like Brooks best behind the camera and in supporting roles. Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein are my favs I think. The Producers always strikes me as a little bit shrill.

  3. I agree about The Producers, Craig – it really is shrill. And yet there are moments in that movie that are so priceless.

    To be honest High Anxiety is not my favorite Brooks, but there are parts of it that I do appreciate. Leachman and the other supporting cast members are definite bright spots. The fruit cup riff is definitely one of the ones that stand out.

    Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles are Brooks’ high point for me though, and I did like Silent Movie, too.

  4. Yes I wouldn’t want to have to do without Producers. I mean, come on, the world would be a sadder place without Springtime for Hitler.

  5. Shrill in the best possible sense though I think. To this day I recite many of the lines to friends and vice versa.

    I will be voting it among the top 10 comedies of all time in an upcoming comedy countdown.

    “Carmengia” and the Nazi writer are hoots.!

  6. This and “History of the World, Part 1” are the last of his really entertaining comedies, I think, because they showcase Brooks parodying a type of movie that he has genuine affection, interest and knowledge of. Starting with “Spaceballs”, you can sense a fatigue setting in where he’s spoofing movies he doesn’t really have the same kind of intimate feel or appreciation of (though to be fair, even that movie’s a fair deal better than the nadir of “Men in Tights” and “Dracula: Dead and Loving It”). I kinda wish that he’d done more original scripts following the 70’s, along the lines of “Life Stinks”, which was pretty good, if not great.

  7. Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles are my favorites. But the distant memories of scenes in High Anxiety still tickle me – the patient who thinks he’s a dog, the passing bus playing the suspenseful music, and best of all – the hilarious reprising of Psycho’s shower death scene.

    I’ve never seen The Producers.

  8. Those who do not see The Producers do not get fruit cup!

  9. sartre — for shame! The Producers should be required reading.

    I love many of Brooks’ films, though it seems his later stuff was simply too slow. It’s like the world sped up and Brooks didn’t.

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