Vacationing in northern California, Alfred Hitchcock was struck by a story in a Santa Cruz newspaper: "Seabird Invasion Hits Coastal Homes." From this peculiar incident, and his memory of a short story by Daphne du Maurier, the master of suspense created one of his strangest and most terrifying films.The Birdsfollows a chic blonde, Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), as she travels to the coastal town of Bodega Bay to hook up with a rugged fellow (Rod Taylor) she's only just met. Before long the town is attacked by marauding birds, and Hitchcock's skill at staging action is brought to the fore. Beyond the superb effects, however,The Birdsis also one of Hitchcock's most psychologically complicated scenarios, a tense study of violence, loneliness, and complacency. What really gets under your skin are not the bird skirmishes but the anxiety and the eerie quiet between attacks. The director elevated an unknown model, Tippi Hedren (mother of Melanie Griffith), to being his latest cool, blond leading lady, an experience that was not always easy on the much-pecked Ms. Hedren. Still, she returned for the next Hitchcock picture, the underratedMarnie. Treated with scant attention by serious critics in 1963,The Birdshas grown into a classic and--despite the sci-fi trappings--one of Hitchcock's most serious films.--Robert Horton
Early HItchcock was as much funny as suspenseful (sometimes way more funny than spooky), but when he hit his American phase, the humor was largely tossed aside. In this "turkey" no only is humor tossed aside, it seemed that reliable suspense was also cast aside. The movie is mostly notable for being the first Hitch movie to use special effects. Too bad they were lost on a crap movie.
Still terrifying even today, Alfred Hitchcock's THE BIRDS is the ultimate for sheer thrills and exitement.Tippi Hedren (MARNIE) and Rod Taylor (THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT) lead a strong cast as Melanie Daniels and Mitch Brenner. When Melanie travels down to Mitch's family estate in Bodega Bay (bringing a pair of lovebirds with her), a bizarre chain of events begins when she is attacked by a seagull. Soon more and more birds flock and descend on the sleepy hamlet in one horrifying attack after another, … more