USA Today - 03/31/2000
"...One of the most logistically complex films of his entire half-century run..."
Total Film - 12/01/2003
"...Hitchcock's shocker will peck away at your sanity..."
Premiere - 04/01/2004
"[Hedren] is the ne plus ultra of Hitchcock's icy blondes..."
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.
Essential Cinema |
Small Town Life |
Small Towns |
Theatrical Release |
Theatrical Release: March 28, 1963.
Filmed on location in Bodega Bay and San Francisco, California.
Hitchcock cameo: Hitchcock can be seen leaving the pet shop carrying two small dogs.
Screenwriter Evan Hunter also uses the name Ed McBain.
The film marked the debut for Tippi Hedren.
Ray Berwick trained all the birds for the film.
The film's original ending was reportedly more pessimistic: Mitch and Melanie drive from Bodega Bay, assuming that the birds have only overtaken that one small town. Upon arriving in San Francisco, however, they catch sight of the Golden Gate Bridge, completely covered in birds.
A very young Morgan Brittany appears in the film under the name Suzanne Cupito.