The Birds is a 1963 Alfred Hitchcock film about birds running amok and attacking people.
8 out of 10 stars. Yes, it uses a green screen, but for a creature feature it’s still pretty good.
Tippi Hedren plays Melanie Daniels, a rich socialite from San Francisco who recently was caught swimming naked in a fountain in Europe. Her name and face are plastered all over the newspapers so she’s lying low. Then she steps into a pet store and runs into a handsome attorney, Mitch Brenner (played by Rod Taylor). Mitch is trying to buy a pair of lovebirds for his 11 year old sister’s birthday. Although Mitch recognizes Melanie he pretends to think she’s a sales clerk and asks her to show him a pair of lovebirds. Melanie, who knows nothing about birds, shows him the wrong birds. (The store doesn’t have any lovebirds.) When she realizes he knows who she is, she’s angry, but she quickly gets over it and locates a pair of lovebirds herself. Then she drives up to Bodega Bay to deliver them to his sister Cathy.
It’s an unusual courtship that takes place over that weekend as Mitch invites Melanie to Cathy’s birthday party. When Melanie first arrives in Bodega Bay she rents a power boat and drives across the bay to Mitch’s house to deliver the lovebirds to Cathy. Mitch sees her, chases after her, and meets her at the dock in Bodega Bay. At the same time that Melanie is getting out of the boat, a seagull attacks her. This is the first of many attacks by birds in the film.
If you are from California this film is significant for other reasons. Take a look at the scenes of Melanie and Mitch walking around his family’s house. The bay is currently at low tide and you can see the mud flats. With the sea level rising these are significantly smaller now.
Among the most memorable scenes in the film is a scene in which schoolchildren are being chased and attacked by crows. Melanie, Cathy, and Cathy’s friend slip into a parked car to escape them and watch in horror as those crows kill other schoolchildren.
8 out of 10 stars. This was one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films.
Currently on STARZ.
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