MovieChat Forums > Frenzy (1972) Discussion > Is there a better title?

Is there a better title?

I can't articulate exactly why the title disappoints me. A title can be the least important part of a motion picture. They surely don't serve as labels. I just saw the film for the first time and was pleased but thought, "Were there more than average frenzied actions in this movie?" I know titles are a tricky thing. They're about catching attention. quick. Punchy. Excite curiosity.
Frenzy is a mania. It's a brain term from long long ago I imagine when people thought other organs also affected behavior. Might as well be Frenzy. Everything else is cliché, done before. It would have to fit the title formulae The Noun followed by prepositional phrase but not The gerund. (ugh. I hate titles of movies consisting of gerunds by themselves.)


Well, Hitchcock made a lot of movies with one-word titles:


Indeed, the movie that was released as "Family Plot" began as "Deceit" in a concerted effort to make a "classic Hitchcock one-word title."

Sometimes,the novel from which Hitchcock worked had the one-word title to start with: Psycho. Topaz.

But Frenzy began as a novel entitled, "Goodbye Picadilly, Farewell Leiceister Square" and ended up with a one-word title that, I believe, was meant to bring back memories of Hitchcock's big psycho-killer hit: Psycho.

Indeed, one thing I like to note is:

Psycho could have been called "Frenzy"(Mrs Bates kills in a frenzy)
"Frenzy" could have been called "Psycho"(Rusk is a psycho.)

But Psycho is now the much more famous Hitchcock title.


Hitchcock's London-based "Frenzy" came out in 1972, but he had actually sought that title for a New York-based thriller he wanted to make in 1967, about a young killer of women and his Broadway-star mother(Ingrid Bergman was contemplated for that role.) Universal rejected the 1967 "Frenzy" but when Hitchcock found the novel "Goodbye, Picadilly, Farewell Leiceister Square" in 1970(it was a 1966 book) inherited the title, "Frenzy."

I like the title "Frenzy." "Frenzy" is a word that turns up in newspaper headlines and everyday speech all the time, it has "punch." And Rusk both kills in a frenzy and searches his flat for the tiepin in a frenzy. The movie "enacts the title."

But, for the record, for awhile, "Frenzy" had this working title on its script copies:




"Alfred Hitchcock's Necktie" would sound like a description.


The title 'Frenzy' is just fine. Any problem with it, is on your side.


I don't have a lot to add (not a native English-speaker, it's much harder)...

But I mostly want to say that I'm with you on that. The title evokes something intense and quick (could be because of the French equivalent, "frénésie", which might not have the exact same meaning). That is not what the movie gives to you.


The title evokes something intense and quick (could be because of the French equivalent, "frénésie", which might not have the exact same meaning). That is not what the movie gives to you.


I'm reminded that, while Frenzy got many rave reviews as "Hitchcock's comeback movie" in 1972, a few reviewers didn't like it.

One was Gene Shalit of The Today Show, who said:

"Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy? This is more like Alfred Hitchcock's Lethargy, it moves so slow."

So someone agreed with you.

Me, I like the title Frenzy a lot and "frenzy" is enacted several times by Bob Rusk in the picture, I think: when he strangles Brenda, when he strangles Babs(in brief flashback), when he searches his flat for the tiepin, and when he struggles with Babs corpse on the potato truck to find the pin.


Wow, an answer by none other that the famous ECARLE ! ;) Great contribution on this board, by the way.

I totally agree. While the movie in itself is not really frenetic, it's really Rusk who is frenzied in a couple of occasions. His scene with Brenda is quite incredible.