The Birds

Released 1963


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Alfred Hitchcock

The Birds, based on a novel by Daphne du Maurier, is a 1963 horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), a wealthy and popular young woman, meets lawyer Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) in a pet shop. Melanie is annoyed but intrigued when Mitch plays a joke on her by pretending to mistake her for the shopkeeper before revealing that he has met her before. Deciding to pull a practical joke in return, Melanie buys a pair of lovebirds and drives to Bodega Bay, where she has learned that Mitch spends the weekends with his mother and sister. Their island home seems peaceful, but as Melanie leaves, a bird swoops down and pecks at her. As Melanie finds herself drawn into the dysfunctional relationship between Mitch and his mother, the bird attacks become more frequent and more deadly. Nearly as frightening is the lack of explanation for the birds' behavior. The Birds is often cited as one of Hitchcock's best films.

  • The Birds


    In many ways, The Birds is quite a strange film. It's got a plot that is very different for the time period let alone now and flaws that would ruin most films. That said, it's still one the finest horror films around. It's 60's horror that still works.

    Set in 1963, it has a simple plot involving an island plot getting attacked by killer birds. It was a highly anticipated film for Alfred Hitchcock as it was the next film after his massive hit, Psycho.

    Even though common but always to me to be a flaw regardless of the director, is how Hitchcock creates suspense. Set through the first act, he creates an act that makes the film progressively slow and loses touch with these characters and the film is much longer because of this set-up. The leads of Rod Taylor and Jessica Tandy put out good performances that continues on through the later acts and it's career marks for both of them.

    The film enters what I call it's "legendary style" in the birds scenes. The effects are no doubt showing age close to fifty years in but it is still groundbreaking. From the attacks at the school to it's ending, the horror here is revolutionary with a creepy vibe with 60's blood. These are the type of scenes that create inspiration to come and created one more of a mark in the film world for Hitchcock.

    This is not my absolute favorite Hitchcock film nor my favorite horror film but it is still great for the nostalgia, it's purpose and to see one of the greatest filmmakers with another memorable highlight to his career.

Karl Swenson

Karl Swenson

Drunken Doomsayer in Diner

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock

Man Walking Dogs Out of Pet Shop

Ruth McDevitt

Ruth McDevitt

Mrs. MacGruder

Suzanne Pleshette

Suzanne Pleshette

Annie Hayworth

Jessica Tandy

Jessica Tandy

Lydia Brenner

Tippi Hedren

Tippi Hedren

Melanie Daniels

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