Birds

( 21 )

Overview

The story begins as an innocuous romantic triangle involving wealthy, spoiled Melanie Daniels Tippi Hedren, handsome Mitch Brenner Rod Taylor, and schoolteacher Annie Hayworth Suzanne Pleshette. The human story begins in a San Francisco pet shop and culminates at the home of Mitch's mother Jessica Tandy at Bodega Bay, where the characters' sense of security is slowly eroded by the curious behavior of the birds in the area. At first, it's no more than a sea gull swooping down and pecking at Melanie's head. Things ...
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Overview

The story begins as an innocuous romantic triangle involving wealthy, spoiled Melanie Daniels Tippi Hedren, handsome Mitch Brenner Rod Taylor, and schoolteacher Annie Hayworth Suzanne Pleshette. The human story begins in a San Francisco pet shop and culminates at the home of Mitch's mother Jessica Tandy at Bodega Bay, where the characters' sense of security is slowly eroded by the curious behavior of the birds in the area. At first, it's no more than a sea gull swooping down and pecking at Melanie's head. Things take a truly ugly turn when hundreds of birds converge on a children's party. There is never an explanation as to why the birds have run amok, but once the onslaught begins, there's virtually no letup.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Arguably the last great movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock, The Birds eschews customary fright-film formulas and settings to show what might happen to ordinary people in everyday settings if one species decided to suddenly wage war on another. Beautiful blonde Tippi Hedren portrays a bored playgirl who arrives in a coastal California community just as huge flocks of birds begin attacking the inhabitants for no apparent reason. She seeks temporary shelter with bachelor attorney Rod Taylor while the feathered felons continue to wreak havoc in the small town. Evan Hunter's script never offers a satisfactory explanation for the mass assault, but rationality isn't important in this film -- survival is. In fact, because there is no reason for the birds to act as they do, Hitchcock is able to precisely manipulate the atmosphere of mounting terror. It's a reflection of his genius that The Birds still keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.
All Movie Guide
The Birds features a classic Alfred Hitchcock setup: average people placed in circumstances turned upside down. And of course, there are the requisite dark insinuations and strange psychological underpinnings. Though we're never sure why the birds are rising up, their behavior seems to be a response to humankind's complacency and arrogance. It's a frightening yet sportive vision of Judgment Day. As in Psycho, Hitchcock's previous film, the normalcy of the setting is allowed to set in before the audience is thrown into the perverse drama. When the bird violence comes, Hitchcock pulls out all the stops to make it as realistic as one could imagine. There are 371 trick shots in the film. Some have dated, but for the most part the effects are still effective. The last shots are especially memorable. And the movie features a unique soundtrack from frequent Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Herrmann: no music, only bird sounds organized as if they were music, for maximum creepy impact. The Birds stands as the end of an unprecedented period when Hitchcock could no wrong; he made only five more features, with decidedly mixed artistic and financial results.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/1/1992
  • UPC: 096895501036
  • Original Release: 1963
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rod Taylor Mitch Brenner
Tippi Hedren Melanie Daniels
Jessica Tandy Lydia Brenner
Suzanne Pleshette Annie Hayworth
Veronica Cartwright Cathy Brenner
Ethel Griffies Mrs. Bundy
Charles McGraw Sebastian Sholes
Ruth McDevitt Mrs. MacGruder
Joe Mantell Salesman
Malcolm Atterbury Al Malone
Morgan Brittany Schoolchild
Lonny Chapman Deke Carter
Suzanne Cupito
Richard Deacon Man in Elevator
Alfred Hitchcock Man Outside Pet Shop with Poodles
Doreen Lang Mother in Cafe
John McGovern Postal Clerk
Bill Quinn Farm Hand
Karl Swenson Drunk
Doodles Weaver Fisherman
Elizabeth Wilson Helen Carter
Technical Credits
Alfred Hitchcock Director, Producer
Evan Hunter Screenwriter
Robert Burks Cinematographer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
George Tomasini Editor
Howard Smit Makeup
Norman Deming Producer, Production Designer, Production Manager
Robert F. Boyle Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Bernard Herrmann Score Composer
George Milo Set Decoration/Design
William Russell Sound/Sound Designer
Waldon O. Watson Sound/Sound Designer
Daphne du Maurier Source Author
Lawrence A. Hampton Special Effects
Ub Iwerks Special Effects
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2011

    A GREAT CLASSIC THAT EVERY ONE SHOULD SEE

    This is a classic movie by one of the great film makers of his time.Even today people are saying his movies are great. if you buy it from the Barns and Nobles website you willbe treated right. The shipping they provide is fast. Hope this helps.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Creature Feature Thrills

    Hitchcock's genius made a story about seemingly laughable killer birds into a chilling and effective piece of cinematic history. The story opens slowly with a peculiar girl going out of her way (literally) to flirt with a strange man. Soon she arrives in the tiny seaside town of Bodega Bay, CA (a real-life town that since the filming remains almost untouched by time. If you happen to be in North California it is worth a side trip. Many of the film's locations still stand.). Almost as soon as she gets there things slowly start going awry. A seagull crashes into her head. Farm chickens stop eating and birds fly into front doors and die. Soon enough they become agressive towards the townsfolk and everyone starts to panic. Fingers are pointed and some wonder if the arrival of this strange woman has anything to do with the unnatural events taking place. Could she have trigged an avian armageddon? As the birds become more violent and the body count rises the population boards themselves inside their houses and some let fear get the better of them. Some make plans to flee the town but passing radio reports tell of attacks on other small towns. The ending is creepy and ominous but would have been even more so if Hitchcock's budget would have allowed for the original ending shot: the Golden Gate Bridge completely covered with birds. This film is iconic for a reason. It stands the test of time and lives up to all the hype: A Hollywood Classic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Well, there it is...

    Hitchcock is one of, if not, the best thriller moviemakers ever. There are two movies that have some major plotholes: The Birds, and Vertigo. But I'll talk about The Birds right now. For example: after the first major bird attack, @ the birthday party, why didn't they get out of there? Or, why would they think they are safe in the house when birds came flying through the fireplace? Or why would Mrs. Haywood or anyone else decide to let other people or themselves outside by the birds? Why didn't Tippi Hedren phone her newspaper dad right away after the first bird attacks? Why would she open the attic door if she already heard wings flapping? The ending wasn't great, either. Hitchcock's weakest film ever besides Vertigo. The Birds and Vertigo had their little moments, it's just that they didn't have enough of them.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    More like "Psycho" than meets the eye.

    One of the most striking features in "Psycho" is the recurrent bird imagery. Norman has stuffed birds hung up in his room, whose cruel eyes seem to follow his every move. In his very moving conversation with Marion, he says: "You know what I think? I think that we're all in our private traps . . . and none of us can ever get out. We scratch and claw, but only at the air, only at each other." It is almost as if Hitchcock were subconsciously preparing for his next film, "The Birds", in which, towards the end, the delirious heroine does literally try to scratch and claw at the air. Also, the characters have to erect their own cage to protect themselves from attack by birds, which have inexplicably declared war on the human race. "I have a phrase to myself," said Hitchcock, "I always say that logic is dull." "The Birds" is not an illogical film. It is an anti-logic film, in which the attempt to explain away the bird attacks by people like the sheriff in the Brenner home and the ornithologist in the café delays the process of acting responsibly and even costs lives. The narrative is full of enigmas. Why do the birds attack? What is the significance of the lovebirds, which Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) has brought as a present for the kid sister of Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor)? Is there a casual relationship between Melanie's arrival in Bodega Bay and the horror of what follows? By raising and refusing to answer these questions, Hitchcock ensures that the complacency of these characters has been completely undermined, which is one of the main themes of the film. "The Birds" is Hitchcock's most technically innovative film. The electrical effects on the soundtrack are superbly orchestrated, and the four hundred trick shots involving the birds move Hitchcock's cinema into the realm of special effects. (When asked by a lady journalist how he had managed to make birds act so well, Hitchcock replied, politely: "They were very well paid, ma'am.") In a way, "The Birds" is Hitchcock's closest film to Disney, a violent cartoon by which the fantasy creatures attack "real" people. It is also Hitchcock's most apocalyptic film, with an underlying exhortation to "Mend your ways, the end of the world may be nigh..." Unlike the opening forty minutes of Psycho", which screws the film's tension to its highest point, the opening of "The Birds" has sometimes been criticized for being slow and languid. But the opening encounter in the bird shop between Melanie and Mitch, whose surface antagonism conceals immediate attraction, is full of little ironies. The basic situation is one that the film will later reverse, to show the humans in their gilded cages and the birds on the outside looking in. What follows is equally important. Melanie follows Mitch to Bodega Bay with a present of lovebirds which is really a sort of practical joke. She encounters Mitch's former girlfriend, Annie (Suzanne Pleshette), and his mother (Jessica Tandy) whose edgy exchanges with Melanie imply a hostility that their civilized exterior hypocritically suppresses. Mitch and Melanie seem trapped in a game of surface and satirical sparring. The birds serve as an externalization if this inner tension. A story of lovebirds becomes a story of hatebirds, and what starts out as a peck on Melanie's head develops into a wholesale assault on her world. It is almost as if the birds come out of the sky in anger at human behavior, ripping apart the evasions, deceptions and snobbishness of these people and forcing them to discover a new sincerity and courage. A sequence in which Mitch and the sheriff argue about an invasion by sparrows of the Brenner home his visually dominated by the behavior of Mitch's mother, Mrs. Brenner. Her slow clearing up of the broken china seems both an attempt to piece normality together and an indication of he

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This movie is Hitchcock's best.

    This is the best horrow movie I have ever seen better then Haloween.The movie is preety slow in the begging but the amazing suspence grows very very high.Just because in Psycho theres the shower sence doesn't make it better then Allfred Hitchcock's The Birds

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    great

    This is a GREAT horror movie.But very scary.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of hichcocks best

    This film is exellent, it certainly goes up there with psycho, vertigo and strangers on a train. As with most of Hichcocks films the tension is expertly built up throughout the film. There is very little this film could get marked down on, but then again it is Hichcock.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Interesting Metaphor

    Although some may see this as a movie whose sole purpose is to show the frightening effects of supposed bird attacks, I see this movie as also something else, an extended metaphor. I see the cage in which the lovebirds are kept as representing man's control over nature. However, as the rest of the movie shows, it is nature that has control over man. This is most powerfully shown in the movie's last scene when Mitch drives his mother, his sister, and Miss Daniels away amidst thousands of silent birds. The car, and other places of refuge like houses and telephone booths, represents the cage where man is kept by nature. And so, you can see this movie in two ways: a horror film or a horror film with an included metaphor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is an excellent movie!

    This was one of those films where your little hairs will definitely stand up on end! Grab a blanket and someone to cling onto because this is a very scary movie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a hitchcock classic

    I'll never look at a seagull without closing my eyes ever again!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a great movie!!

    The Birds is a great movie! it is a creepy film and will keep you up all night hearing the sounds of birds! i love this movie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of Hitchcock's finest!

    In this Hitchcock classic, a high class woman (Tippi Hedren) meets a rough but good-looking guy named Mitch at a pet shop. To try and get to know him better (after a rough meeting in the store) she goes to his home town with the birds that he was looking for. After boating over to the home of his mother and dropping off the birds (as a suprise) she is suddenly hit in the head by a seagull. At first not much is thought of it, as she gets closer to Mitch and mets a former girlfriend of his and his distant mother. But soon the local birds are doing more odd things. Another gull slams into a door, gulls attack Mitch's little sister's birthday party, and Mitch's home is invaded by hundreds of sparrows. Then suddenly the nature of the attacks is discover by Mitch's mother, when she finds the dead body of a man. Now the town is in a war, man vs. nature. And our heros have nowhere to run to as they themselfs are under attack, in this unforgetable Hitchcock thriller!! Being a Hitch' film, the acting is great and so is the setting. Even by today's movies the effects are great and downright heart stoping! Great for all thriller and horror fans.

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    Posted December 31, 2008

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    Posted May 13, 2009

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    Posted January 29, 2011

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    Posted December 11, 2009

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    Posted February 14, 2009

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted May 27, 2009

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    Posted July 23, 2009

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews