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The Birds DVD Cover

Hitchcock 104th Birthday Special

An Upcoming Aviary Presentation
at Friday Night Movies:

The Birds

Friday the 8th of August

Check out photos from the evening



Nothing You Have Ever Witnessed Before Has Prepared You for Such Sheer Stabbing Shock!
--Original tagline

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USA: 1963 -- Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Daphne Du Maurier (story) and Evan Hunter (screenplay)
Starring Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette and Veronica Cartwright

I'm neither poor nor innocent.
--Tippi Hedren as Melanie Daniels


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 Birds follows 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 Birds is 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 underrated Marnie. Treated with scant attention by serious critics in 1963, The Birds has grown into a classic and--despite the sci-fi trappings--one of Hitchcock's most serious films.

Hope to see you there. I'll save you an aisle seat and some bird seed.

Tippi Hedren inspiring drag queens and Halloween costumers On the set filming the attack on the school kids

Awards

Nominated for Oscar for Best Special Visual Effects

Ranks #238 on the Internet Movie Database's Top 250 Movies

Won Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer - Female (Tippi Hedren), Together with Ursula Andress for Dr. No and Elke Sommer for The Prize.

Nominated for Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture

More awards


Memorable Quotes

Mitch: What do you want?
Melanie Daniels: I thought you knew. I want to go throughout life jumping into fountains naked.

Cathy Brenner: He's got a client 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?

Mother in Diner (Doreen Lang) 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!

More quotes


Tippi Hedren with Assistant Director Foster Phinney Rod Taylor, Suzanne Pleshette and Hitchcock

Trivia

Though there is no musical score for this film, composer and Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Herrmann is credited as a "sound consultant" for the bird noises he helped produced on a Foley machine.

Hedren's daughter Melanie Griffith was given a present by Hitchcock during the filming: a doll that looked exactly like Hedren, eerily so. The creepiness was compounded by the ornate wooden box it came in, which the young girl took to be a coffin.

The poster for the movie said: "THE BIRDS IS COMING!" irritating English teachers worldwide.

An intended final shot with the Golden Gate Bridge covered in birds was not filmed because of cost.

In the film, it appears as if the schoolhouse is within the bay town limits. The frightened children are clearly shown running downhill towards the town and water. In real life, the schoolhouse used for those shots is located 5 miles southeast and inland of Bodega Bay in the separate township of Bodega, California.

In May 2001, the son 'The Birds' novelist Daphne du Maurier reported that he and his wife were being terrorized by seagulls nesting outside their cottage in Cornwall, England.

The movie features 370 effects shots, more than any other Hitchcock movie. The final shot is a composite of 32 separately filmed elements.

More trivia


Goofs

In some shots, the car being driven by Melanie has no gear shift. The engine shifting sounds are obviously from a manual transmission, but she never makes a shifting motion with her right arm.

After Melanie delivers the lovebirds to the Brenner home, the camera follows her as she walks back along the jetty to her boat, with the dolly track clearly visible.

More goofs


Tippi Hedren and Alfred Hitchcock The End?