Frenzy and the British Humour

In the Hitchcock Studies class yesterday, we discussed Frenzy, Vertigo and Rebecca.


Unlike Vertigo and Rebecca, I was the only one who said I really enjoyed Frenzy.

The rest of my cohorts disregarded it as “shallow” or “jarring” to watch.

Frenzy was the second last film by Hitchcock. It was back to his hometown in England. No more James Stewart, Cary Grant, or his blonde female celebrities.

True, the rape/murder scenes “objectified” those women. But as a pure viewer, I had a great time watching it — as it was, a film to enlighten, a film to entertain.

Frenzy seems to me a hybrid of Corgi and Husky. I haven’t watched another film that combines suspense, thrill, crime so well with (dark) humour.

My film cohorts didn’t appreciate the hero saying that he seemed pathetic. But isn’t that the case with the British movies? An Average Joe’s adventure in his mundane life. My year-long sojourn in England lent me this perspective.

The Brits want someone they can recognize on the street. They root for the underdogs. They despise wisecrackers, quite the reverse to the American audience.

That’s why the Brits created Mr. Bean. That’s why they have heartfelt little story like The Full Monty, a group of unemployed men strip off to regain their manhood.

I certainly don’t dream of persuading my opinionated cohorts. But as true in film as in life —

There is not but one right answer, one right taste.

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