The Birds

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Universal Released 1963

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9.2
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Movie Summary

Director:
Alfred Hitchcock
Released:
1963
Rating:
PG-13

The Birds (1963) takes only its basic idea from the famous short story by Daphne du Maurier - birds are inexplicably attacking people. It begins like a light romantic comedy when Melanie Daniels, an heiress, meets lawyer Mitch Brenner in a San Francisco pet shop. Melanie is annoyed but intrigued when Mitch plays a joke on her by pretending to mistake her for a shop assistant before revealing that he knows who she is. Deciding to pull a joke on him in return, Melanie buys a pair of lovebirds and drives to Bodega Bay, a village on the coast, where she has learned that Mitch spends the weekends with his widowed mother and kid sister. It seems a peaceful sort of place - until a bird swoops down at Melanie and pecks at her. As she finds herself drawn into the quietly dysfunctional relationship between Mitch and his mother, the bird attacks become more frequent, more widespread, and also more deadly. No explanation is forthcoming. The Birds is often cited as one of Alfred Hitchcock's finest films.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Empire Kim Newman

    Genuinely disturbing thriller classic from the master of suspense.

  • 100

    The Guardian Xan Brooks

    The essential Hitchcock movie, the purest and most confident, a brilliant distillation of the themes that had fueled him ever since he sent the lodger creeping to his upstairs room.

  • 90

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Alfred Hitchcock has concocted an elaborate tease in The Birds, as if to prove that suspense and thrills can be induced as much by the expectation of horror as by horror itself.

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