Mel Brooks Lawrence Weschler - Essay

Lawrence Weschler

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

You need only be informed that in [High Anxiety] …, Brooks is sending up Alfred Hitchcock, and you will instantly surmise that here, on the last day of the 54-day shoot, he is trying to bury The Birds once and for all. Hitchcock's protagonists suddenly found themselves prey to a swarm of man-pecking birds. In Brooks's version, the psychiatrist-protagonist—"a reincarnation of the classic Hitchcockian hero, the tall, handsome innocent who gradually becomes ensnared in a nefarious plot breaking out all about him," played by Himself—is relaxing on a park bench one afternoon as gradually, one by one, a flock of pigeons convenes on a nearby jungle gym. Gradually, one by one, the birds take off, swoop in...

(The entire section is 1044 words.)