Birds

Birds

4.4 21
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy

     
 

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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… See more details below

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.

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:
07/09/2013
UPC:
0025192183645
Original Release:
1963
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Universal Studios

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 Actor
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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