In The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock’s heart-pounding follow-up to Psycho, the director couples a tone of rigorous morality with dark humor to create a thriller that begins as a light comedy and ends as an apocalyptic allegory. Tippi Hedren (Melanie Griffith’s mother) carries the picture in her first film role ever, embarking on a career as an icy-cool leading lady. Loosely based on a Daphne du Maurier story and a Santa Monica newspaper account, “Seabird Invasion Hits Coastal Homes,” The Birds also features groundbreaking special effects that, in 1963, surprised and delighted audiences.
Wealthy reformed party girl Melanie Daniels (Hedren) enjoys a brief flirtation with lawyer Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) in a San Francisco pet shop and decides to follow him to his Bodega Bay home. Bearing a gift of two lovebirds, Melanie quickly strikes up a romance with Mitch while contending with his possessive mother and boarding at his ex-girlfriend’s house. One day, during a birthday party for Mitch’s younger sister, a flock of birds attacks the children in what seems to be a random incident. In fact, it signals the beginning of a massive avian assault on the residents of the town—a mysterious assault that no one can explain…and from which no one may come out alive.
Alfred Hitchcock has been the most well-known director to the general public since the 1940s – and he remains so in the 21st century, more than 25 years after his death. His name evokes instant expectations on the part of audiences around the world: of a memorable night of movie-watching highlighted by at least two or three great chills (and a few more good ones), some striking black comedy, and an eccentric characterization or two in virtually every one of the director’s movies across a half-century – and usually laced with a comical cameo appearance by the director himself.
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born into a devoutly Catholic family in London, and his religious upbringing – with its attendant issues of guilt – would have a powerful influence on the psychological underpinnings of his later work. He was trained at a technical school, and initially gravitated to movies through art courses and advertising. He studied the work of other filmmakers, most notably the German expressionists… read more
The lack of explanation makes this terrifying. Seeing several gifs of the dated effects of birds attacking, I had always assumed this movie would be hilarious or boring. Quite the contrary. It's horrifying.
Decent Hitchcock. The love story angle is overdone and ultimately unimportant. Tippi's character seems like an approximate ripoff of Hepburn's Holly Golightly without any actual depth. The most interesting character, Suzanne Pleshette's, is criminally under-utilized. Some very good shots, though, particularly near the end of the film... the final scene is great.
Delbert Mann’s amnesia drama Mister Buddwing sees James Garner in search of his true identity in New York City.
Two mysterious bird attacks: one by Jean Epstein in 1927 and one by Alfred Hitchcock in 1963.
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