After a playful lawyer charms a young socialite at a pet store, she travels to a small coastal town to bring him some lovebirds for his sister’s birthday. But things soon turn dark when the birds in the area mysteriously begin a brutal attack on the town’s inhabitants.
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Unrelentingly macabre in the depths into which it sinks. So much so for 1963, that I imagine Hitchcock felt emboldened hot off of Psycho's success. Like his other major works, it's as encoded and unreal as a dream, lending itself to the notion that we're really seeing Ms. Daniels' idle fantasy. Appropriate that the spectacle is conjured by anxiety, both maternal and filial, around leaving the nest.
The berserk masterpiece to supplant them all. Psychosexual. Cosmic. (Precisely the two together.) If you watch THE BIRDS on LSD you will not fail to recognize the birds themselves as the gatekeepers at the precipice.
Hitchcock distilled, with his predilection for upheaving lives extrapolated onto nature itself, the bird attacks all the more terrifying for their meaninglessness. Hitch's chaos cinema, down to the nihilistic screwball of Melanie hopelessly trying to warn the locals after the school attack. Perfectly crafted, intensely disturbing and (in the subtle quest for family) oddly moving, it's Hitch's purest film
The art of creating things without the digital era. Every time I see Hitchcock's movies I get a free cinema lesson. There is a smoldering violence and rage that assault us in every way. It does not scare us, however we feel impatient by what's happening in and - specially - out of field. A really powerful acting by Jessica Tandy who plays the jealous mother.
Generally effective but with its mechanical bones more exposed than usual, the film is little more than a concentric series of set-piece frenzies with often pointless or underexplored exposition padding out the narrative between avian attacks. Of course, there is much to enjoy along the way and the sense of location is well realised, but its all a very narrow trajectory.
I'm not sure this one lives up to its rep, and not just because the effects have dated. The story gets laughs when it shouldn't and doesn't give the psychodrama enough of the Hitchcock atmosphere, while the decision to go without music is hell on some scenes and Rod Taylor is boring. But the finale is still flawless, and poor Veronica Cartwright has no idea Alien is coming—things will get so much worse. 4 stars.
The first movie I ever saw by Hitchcock. The imagery of the birds chasing children through the streets is something that will stay embedded in my subconcious for as long as I live. The look of the film is suprisingly impressive and because the film starts off slow it adds to the suspense.