Frantic is a thriller without much surprise, suspense or excitement. Drama about an American doctor's desperate search for his kidnapped wife through the demi-monde of Paris reveals director Roman Polanski's personality and enthusiasm only in brief humorous moments.

Frantic is a thriller without much surprise, suspense or excitement. Drama about an American doctor’s desperate search for his kidnapped wife through the demi-monde of Paris reveals director Roman Polanski’s personality and enthusiasm only in brief humorous moments.

San Francisco medic Harrison Ford arrives in Paris with wife Betty Buckley to deliver a paper at a conference and, incidentally, to revisit the scene of their honeymoon 20 years before. While Ford is showering, Buckley disappears from the hotel room, thus setting off an urgent woman-hunt that takes the distraught husband to young Emmanuelle Seigner, a sleek, punky drugette and nightclubber who appears to be the only lead to the kidnappers.

The McGuffin, or object of everyone’s pursuit, here is a miniature Statue of Liberty which contains an object that, predictably, could endanger the Free World. Action climax takes place alongside the small-scale replica of France’s gift to New York Harbor.

Ford sweats a lot while conveying Polanski’s view that anxiety is the natural state of the human condition. His latest discovery, Seigner, certainly is eye-catching and proves servicable in her part.

Frantic

Production

Mount/Warner. Director Roman Polanski; Producer Thom Mount, Tim Hampton; Screenplay Roman Polanski, Gerard Brach; Camera Witold Sobocinski; Editor Sam O'Steen; Music Ennio Morricone; Art Director Pierre Guffroy

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 120 MIN.

With

Harrison Ford Emmanuelle Seigner Betty Buckley John Mahoney Jimmie Ray Weeks
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