The Birds (1963)


Produced & Directed by: Afred Hitchcock

Written by: Evan Hunter

Story by: Daphne DuMaurier


Rod Taylor .... Mitch Brenner
Tippi Hedren .... Melanie Daniels
Jessica Tandy .... Lydia Brenner
Suzanne Pleshette .... Annie Hayworth
Veronica Cartwright .... Cathy Brenner

Release Dates: Theatrical: March 28, 1963; Cannes Film Festival: May, 1963



A beautiful woman named Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) encounters a bachelor named Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) who enters her bird store but comes off the wrong way but however, she does go to Bodega Bay where he resides to give him love birds that he ordered. Yet she is attacked by a seagull.
Suddenly afterwards she spots a flock of birds in her town near schoolyards and other areas as they viciously attack and kill people.
Soon Melanie and Mitch are brought together more so as they are fighting for their lives along with Mitch's family as these birds can't be explained for their nasty behavior.


This film by Alfred Hitchcock adds suspense to it here and there with good romantic moments but however he doesn't add on as much horror to it like he did in Psycho but it does start to happen a quarter way through the film.
There's a perfect scene between Mitch Brennar and Melanie Daniels at the bird store when he asks for love birds making out that he was being fresh and trying to pick her up. It is quite funny when they have a dispute. The timing is great by what we spot here. Also beforehand when he enters the store he sees a flock of birds swarming in the air as it left a creepy impression by what will happen later on in the story.
There's a good camera shot on Melanie in a boat and a seagull swoops in her face. This for sure left a great suspense by making you think that this is just the beginning on what these animals will do later on in the story.
There's a great setting in a house between Melanie playing the piano and Cathy Brennar mingling with her as it looked natural. All of this looked peaceful and uplifting to watch all of these scenarios coming together.
It's Cathy's birthday as she plays games with her friends at her party with her family preparing the cake and other stuff outside and that's when the terror starts with seagulls attacking everyone as it kept me in good suspense as to whether or not these people will make it into their house for safety or not.
Nice shots on a flock of birds standing on the telephone pole and the wires as well as at playgrounds and on roofs of houses too which gives the movie a horror feel to it.
Certainly I had a deep scared feeling when Melanie tries to warn some children at the school to run as fast as they can when it's time to go home as the settings looked good with the birds attacking people outside.
I had to admit there was a situation with sparrows entering from the chimney of a home and attacking some people quite hilarious to watch. It didn't scare me at all but it was done in nice taste.
We see a perfect shocked reaction on Lydia Brennar's face with an o shaped look out of pure shock when she sees her dead feather lying in his room with some dead seagulls and then she goes ballistic later.Great horror timing with this happening indeed.
A well remembered moment is when Melanie is up in the bedroom attic and the seagulls attack her from the window there and she has a hard time trying to get out in which there's careful camera shots on her trying to turn the door knob but is failiang as it made me wonder as to whether or not she will escape.
Melanie and Mitch look very adventureous when running to get away from the seagulls and trying to rescue Cathy.
Melanie and Mitch go to a diner to warn people about birds attacking and we have a local drunk warning that the end is near which we often have these types in horror flicks as it worked greatly in a story.
We spot a perfect frightened shot on a waitress in a diner going crazy by accussing both Melanie and Mitch for having these seagulls attacking which looked good to watch.
There are perfect shots on the birds going into the house and attacking Melanie. A great suspenseful shot on Mitch when he tries to block a window and a seagull attacks his hand.
One of the best scene's is when Mitch and Annie Hayworth are holding Melanie while finding some way of escaping the house and Melanie herself is looking terrified by all of this.
They are cautious when the birds are nestled on the ground when they try to find their way to get in their car which left me watching and wondering if they will attack or not as the camera shots and scenery really drew me in while watching bit by bit as to what will unravel here.
Bottom line is that this seemed like a romantic drama to start with as it took forever for the horror to start and although the movie was well done in some ways it lacks in other spots as you wonder what the point to this film is.
It does get better and more enjoyable with the birds invading the small town and good reactions from people too as this film became a classic.

The acting is marvelloussly well done by a great cast of legendary actors in this film. Rod Taylor (Mitch Brenner) knew his craft as a smart aleck but charming young man in the film as his personality really shines in the film. He shows it off nicely as a guy next door type making what he does convincingly likeable with his wit and intelligent type of behavior.
Another cast member who shines just as well is his fellow actress Tippi Hedren (Melanie Daniels) in her first starring role as she remained an icon for this film. She does well playing a woman who is sensitive but really speaks her mind and not scared about what she says. She looked good at freaking out from the birds attacking her especially. She also does a great job by acting terrified by what is going on.
Jessica Tandy (Lydia Brenner) plays a nice family woman as she offers a great mellow and calm type of personality along with showing off a good friendly attitude whenever she needed to behave this way. Plus does great with her emotional sobbing when the terror strikes. I really liked on what she did here.
Suzanne Pleshette (Annie Hayworth) had a great sharp and outgoing personality as she really shines off by what she did here. She stood out strong in her speaking as well as doing a good job by getting to the point with stuff and studied this role incredibly well.
We also have a very young performance by Veronica Cartwright (Cathy Brenner) who is believeably charming as a young teenage girl and stands out well plus has a ton of energy with her scared emotions bringing a perfect intensity too as she usually has been pitted against terrifying incidents in other films.

Eyes are plucked out of a corpse
There are bloody bite marks on people

Melanie Daniels: Just what is it you're looking for, sir?
Mitch Brenner: Lovebirds.
Melanie Daniels: Lovebirds, sir?
Mitch Brenner: Yes. I understand there are different varieties. Is that true?
Melanie Daniels: Oh yes, there are.
Mitch Brenner: Well, uh, these are for my sister, for her birthday, see, and uh, as she's only gonna be eleven, I, I wouldn't want a pair of birds that were... too demonstrative.
Melanie Daniels: I understand completely.
Mitch Brenner: At the same time, I wouldn't want them to be too aloof, either.
Melanie Daniels: No, of course not.
Mitch Brenner: Do you happen to have a pair of birds that are... just friendly?

Mitch Brenner: Be able to find your way back all right?
Melanie Daniels: Oh, yes.
Mitch Brenner: Will I be seeing you again?
Melanie Daniels: San Francisco's a long way from here.
Mitch Brenner: Well, I'm in San Francisco five days a week with a lot of time on my hands, I'd like to see you. Maybe we could go swimming or something. Mother tells me you like to swim.
Melanie Daniels: How does Mother know what I like to do?
Mitch Brenner: I guess we read the same gossip columns.
Melanie Daniels: Oh, that. Rome.
Mitch Brenner: Yeah, I really like to swim, I think we might get along very well.
Melanie Daniels: In case you're interested, I was pushed into that fountain.
Mitch Brenner: Without any clothes on?
Melanie Daniels: With all my clothes on. The newspaper that ran that story happens to be a rival of my father's paper.
Mitch Brenner: You're just a poor, innocent victim of circumstances, huh?
Melanie Daniels: Well I'm neither poor nor innocent, but the truth of that particular...
Mitch Brenner: Truth is you were running around with a pretty wild crowd, isn't it?
Melanie Daniels: Well yes, that's the truth, but I was pushed into that fountain, and that's the truth, too.
Mitch Brenner: Uh huh. Do you really know Annie Hayworth?
Melanie Daniels: No. At least I didn't till I came up here.
Mitch Brenner: So you didn't go to school together?
Melanie Daniels: No.
Mitch Brenner: And you didn't come up here to see her.
Melanie Daniels: No.
Melanie Daniels: You were lying!
Melanie Daniels: Yes, I was lying.

Cathy Brenner: [while Melanie is playing the piano] I still don't understand how you knew I wanted lovebirds.
Melanie Daniels: Your brother told me.
Lydia Brenner: Then you knew Mitch in San Francisco. Is that right?
Melanie Daniels: No, not exactly.
[grabs a cigarette out of an ashtray]
Cathy Brenner: Mitch knows a lot of people in San Francisco. Of course, they're mostly hoods.
Lydia Brenner: Cathy!
Cathy Brenner: Well, Mom, he's the first to admit it. He spends half his day in the detention cells at the Hall of Justice.
Lydia Brenner: In a democracy, Cathy, everyone is entitled to a fair trial. Your brother's practice...
Cathy Brenner: Aw, Mom, please. I know all that democracy jazz. They're still hoods.
[Mitch comes in]
Cathy Brenner: He has a client now who shot his wife in the head six times. Six times! Can you imagine it? I mean, even twice would be overdoing it, don't you think?
Melanie Daniels: [to Mitch] Why did he shoot her?
Mitch Brenner: He was watching a ball game on television.
Melanie Daniels: What?
Mitch Brenner: His wife changed the channel.
[laughs and leaves]
Cathy Brenner: Are you coming to my party tomorrow?
Melanie Daniels: I don't think so. I have to get back to San Francisco.
Cathy Brenner: Don't you like us?
Melanie Daniels: Oh, darling, of course I do.
Cathy Brenner: Don't you like Bodega Bay?
Melanie Daniels: I don't know yet.
Cathy Brenner: Mitch likes it very much. He comes up every weekend, you know, even though he has his own apartment in the city. He says that San Francisco's like an anthill up the foot of a bridge.
Melanie Daniels: Well, I suppose it does get a little hectic at times.
Cathy Brenner: Well, if you do decide to come, don't say I told you about it. It's suppose to be a suprise party. You see, they've got this whole complicated thing figured out, where I'm going to Michele's for the afternoon, and Michele's mother will say she has a headache. Would I mind very much if she took me home. And when I get here, all the kids'll jump out! Oh, won't you come. Won't you please come?
Melanie Daniels: I don't think so.

Cathy Brenner: Mitch, can I bring the lovebirds in here?
Lydia Brenner: No!
Cathy Brenner: But Mom, they're in a cage.
Lydia Brenner: They're birds, aren't they?

Mother in Diner: Why are they doing this? Why are they doing this? They said when you got here, the whole thing started. Who are you? What are you? Where did you come from? I think you're the cause of all this. I think you're evil! EVIL!

Cathy Brenner: Mitch, can I bring the lovebirds in here?
Lydia Brenner: No!
Cathy Brenner: But Mom, they're in a cage.
Lydia Brenner: They're birds, aren't they?