Frenzy (1972)

35mm film, Technicolor, 1.85:1
mono, English

A British horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Plot Summary

are powerless to do anything about the brutal serial killer, the Necktie Murderer, terrorising the city. Of more immediate concern to melancholy ex-squadron leader Dick Blaney is the fact that his inexorable social decline is continuing; having lost his commission and his wife, he's now lost his job pulling pints in a Covent Garden pub. He also becomes number one suspect in the hunt for the Necktie Murderer when his ex-wife Brenda is killed the morning after a public row with Blaney in a restaurant. His bitter attitude towards life and bursts of emotional anger immediately alert the police. Blaney goes on the run, planning to leave the country with girlfriend Babs and old Air Force colleague Porter and relocate to Paris. Fate has it in again for Blaney, however, as the real killer lures Babs to her death in his apartment and eventually leads Blaney into a police trap…


Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
© MCMLXXII [1972] by Universal Pictures Limited
Universal presents
Producer: Alfred Hitchcock *
Associate Producer: William Hill
Screenplay by: Anthony Shaffer
Based on the novel Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square by: Arthur La Bern
Director of Photography: Gil Taylor, Leonard J. South *
Film Editor: John Jympson
Music Composed and Conducted by: Ron Goodwin
Sound Recordist: Gordon K. McCallum
Wardrobe Supervisor: Dulcie Midwinter
Make-Up: Harry Frampton
Hairdresser: Pat McDermott
Special Photographic Effects: Albert Whitlock
Production Designed by: Syd Cain
Made at Pinewood Studios, London, England and on location in London

Jon Finch (Richard Blaney)
Alec McCowen (Chief Inspector Oxford)
Barry Foster (Robert Rusk)
Billie Whitelaw (Hetty Porter)
Anna Massey (Babs Milligan)
Barbara Leigh-Hunt (Brenda Blaney)
Bernard Cribbins (Felix Forsythe)
Vivien Merchant (Mrs Oxford)
Michael Bates (Sergeant Spearman)
Jean Marsh [Monica Barling]
Clive Swift (Johnny Porter)
John Boxer [Sir George]
Madge Ryan [Mrs Davison]
George Tovey [Mr Salt]
Elsie Randolph [Gladys]
Jimmy Gardner [hotel porter]
Gerald Sim, Noel Johnson [men at bar]

Alternative Titles

Frenesí – Spanish title
Frenesi – Brazilian title
Perigo na Noite – Portugese title
Vanvett – Swedish title

Extracts included in
78/52 (2017)
The Men Who Made the Movies: Alfred Hitchcock (1973)
Hitchcock: Shadow of a Genius (1999)

See also
High Anxiety (1977)

Production Notes

Anthony Shaffer wrote the initial 60 page treatment with Hitchcock in Hollywood “laying out the scenes, what happens in each, how the characters develop, their motivations… everything except the dialogue,” he told Today's Cinema 1Today's Cinema no.9945 (5 October 1971) p.4 “The book [is] full of coincidences which we ironed out. The hero and villain kept meeting by chance – we have them working together.” Shaffer then completed his first draft alone in New York.



  • Cinema Rising no.3 (August 1972) pp.19-20 – review
  • CinemaTV Today no.9983 (3 June 1972) p.24 – review
  • Ecran no.7 (July / August 1972) pp.2-8, 9-12 – interview, review
  • Fangoria no.203 (June 2001) p.66 – illustrated DVD review
  • Film Comment vol.8 no.4 (November / December 1972) pp.54-57 – article
  • Filmcritica no.231 (January / February 1973) pp.31-33 (Italy) – article
  • Filmfacts vol.15 no.6 (1972) pp.117-121 – credits, reprinted reviews
  • Film Heritage vol.11 no.3 (Spring 1976) pp.1-10 – article
  • Film/Psychology Review vol.4 no.1 (Winter / Spring 1980) pp.59-69 – article
  • Film Quarterly vol.38 no.3 (Spring 1985) pp.30-38 – article
  • Film Review September 1999 pp.74-81 – illustrated article
  • Films and Filming vol.18 no.10 (July 1972) pp.58-59 – credits, review
  • Films Illustrated vol.1 no.3 (September 1971) pp.22-23 – interview
  • Films Illustrated vol.2 no.13 (July 1972) pp.22-24 – review
  • Film West no.38 (October 1999) pp.36-37 – illustrated article
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.217 no.36 (27 August 1971) p.8 – credits
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.221 no.26 (26 May 1972) p.3 – review
  • Is It Uncut? no.3 p.31 – illustrated review
  • Journal of Popular Film vol.2 no.1 (Winter 1973) pp.47-58 – article
  • Kine Weekly no.3328 (24 July 1971) p.21 – review
  • Monogram no.5 (1974) pp.17-18 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.39 no.461 (June 1972) p.113 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Photon no.27 (1976) pp.8-9 – review
  • Positif no.158 (April 1974) pp.46-60 (France) – article
  • Sight & Sound vol.41 no.3 (Summer 1972) pp.166-167 – review
  • Sight & Sound vol.42 no.3 (Summer 1973) pp.134-137 – article
  • Sight & Sound vol.5 no.8 (August 1995) p.28-29 – illustrated article
  • Sight & Sound vol.7 no.7 (July 1997) p.58 – illustrated review
  • Today's Cinema no.9934 (24 August 1971) p.4 – credits
  • Today's Cinema no.9945 (5 October 1971) p.4 – note (Chiller thriller by Sue Clarke)
  • TV Times 10-16 May 1986 p.34 – credits
  • TV Times 17-23 May 1986 p.40 – credits
  • TV Times 16-22 January 1988 p.33 – credits
  • TV Times 17-23 March 1990 p.18 – review
  • Variety 31 May 1972 p.6 – credits, review
  • Video Review September 1982 – review


  • Diário de Notícias 13 August 1999 p.55 – review


  • The BFI Companion to Crime p.137-138 by Phil Hardy (ed.) – credits, review
  • Film Review 1972-1973 by F.Maurice Speed p.220 – credits, synopsis
  • Serial Killer Cinema: An Analytical Filmography by Robert Cetti pp.180-181 – credits, synopsis, review