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New York Times (16/Jul/1972) - Letters: Hitchcock's weakest



Letters: Hitchcock's weakest

To the Editor:

Along with many other Hitchcock fans I have been eagerly awaiting his latest film, "Frenzy." Now that it has arrived it has been praised like no other Hitchcock film within memory. His films are usually badly received at their premieres, then given "classic" stature a decade later.

It is distressing to see instant praise being heaped upon one of Hitchcock's weakest films. Vincent Canby stated that "Frenzy" was Hitchcock in dazzling form. Has he forgotten the tight, ingenious editing of "Psycho"; the marvelously tricky loopholes in "The 39 Steps"; the sharp, technical mastery of "Rear Window" or "Vertigo"? Does Canby really think that showing the breaking of a corpse's fingers is in good taste? How can any true admirer of Hitchcock think his clumsy handling or a strangulation is a "perfection of technique"? Hitchcock ends this sequence with a freeze frame of the dead woman's face and her tongue sticking out. The effect is more humorous than horrifying. We are then given a blast of melodramatic music and in the next shot the corpse is plainly breathing!

All of Hitchcock's old tricks (making us root for the villain, throwing away the mystery) seem silly here. Everything is done to excess and the film suffocates. "Frenzy" seems like an imitation.

Kevin Collopy
Matawan, N. J.