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A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people there in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness.
While attending a medical conference in Paris, American physician Dr. Ben McKenna, his wife, retired musical theater actress and singer Jo McKenna née Conway, and their adolescent son Hank McKenna decide to take a side trip to among other places Marrekesh, French Morocco. With a knife plunged into his back, Frenchman Louis Bernard, who the family met earlier in their bus ride into Marrakesh and who is now masquerading as an Arab, approaches Ben, cryptically whispering into Ben's ears that there will be an attempted assassination in London of a statesman, this news whispered just before Bernard dies. Ben is reluctant to provide any information of this news to the authorities because concurrently Hank is kidnapped by British couple, Edward and Lucy Drayton, who also befriended the McKennas in Marrakesh and who probably have taken Hank out of the country back to England. Whoever the unknown people the Draytons are working for have threatened to kill Hank if Ben divulges any information ... Written by
Doris Day had a fear of flying that stemmed from tours with Bob Hope in the 1940s that resulted in some close calls in impenetrable winter weather. She almost turned down her role in this film because it required travel to London and Marrakesh. Her husband and manager, Martin Melcher talked her into accepting it. See more »
Although the assassin and the ambassador are seated in the same tier of boxes, the assassin's view of his target through the opera glasses is from below and not across. See more »
Partly because the rights to this film were acquired from Paramount by Universal, the Paramount VistaVision fanfare is played over the opening Universal logo. This is the way it is currently (2005) shown on television in the re-release version (1984). See more »
I don't know if this is Hitchcock's worst film but it comes close. Much of it is so terrible one actually feels embarrassed for the actors. It is as if Hitchcock deliberately wanted to make them look bad. One scene that stands out in particular is when James Stewart climbs out of the bell tower at the church. It is hard to imagine a clumsier sight than this; plus it makes his character seem particularly stupid. Another scene is when the little boy is told to whistle in order to attract his mother's attention. This is so contrived as to make one shudder in disbelief. Finally, there is the matter of Doris Day. She simply is not believable in a so-called serious role, and her constant whining of "Que Sera Sera" eventually makes one want to throw rocks at the TV. But Hitchcock was probably so bored by re-making one of his lesser British films he just didn't care how ridiculous all of this was. So he struck back at the audience, then took the money and ran!
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