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The Birds (1963)

PG-13 | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 29 March 1963 (USA)
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.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Melanie Daniels (as 'Tippi' Hedren)
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Deputy Al Malone
John McGovern ...
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Drunken Doomsayer in Diner
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Storyline

Melanie Daniels is the modern rich socialite, part of the jet-set who always gets what she wants. When lawyer Mitch Brenner sees her in a pet shop, he plays something of a practical joke on her, and she decides to return the favor. She drives about an hour north of San Francisco to Bodega Bay, where Mitch spends the weekends with his mother Lydia and younger sister Cathy. Soon after her arrival, however, the birds in the area begin to act strangely. A seagull attacks Melanie as she is crossing the bay in a small boat, and then, Lydia finds her neighbor dead, obviously the victim of a bird attack. Soon, birds in the hundreds and thousands are attacking anyone they find out of doors. There is no explanation as to why this might be happening, and as the birds continue their vicious attacks, survival becomes the priority. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...And remember, the next scream you hear could be your own! See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 March 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$11,403,529 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (uncredited)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hitchcock says he based the character of the drunken philosopher in the bar, played by Karl Swenson, on his friend Sean O'Casey. See more »

Goofs

When Malanie is driving up the coast road, a shot shows the lovebirds sitting in their cage on the floor. Audio clearly has a gear shift sound, but the shadow of the gear shift never moves, nor is a shadow hand shown. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Melanie Daniels: Hello there, Mrs. MacGruder.
Mrs. MacGruder, pet store clerk: Oh, hello, Miss Daniels.
Melanie Daniels: Have you ever seen so many gulls? What do you suppose it is?
Mrs. MacGruder, pet store clerk: Well, there must be a storm at sea, that can drive them inland, you know. I was hoping you'd be a little late because he hadn't arrived yet.
Melanie Daniels: Oh, but you'd said three o'clock...
Mrs. MacGruder, pet store clerk: Oh I know, I know. I've been calling all morning. Oh, Miss Daniels you have no idea. They are so difficult to get, really they are. We have to get them from India, when they're just baby chicks,...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

There is no music in the opening credits. See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: La monnaie de l'absolu (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Rissle-dy, Rossle-dy
(uncredited)
("I married my wife in the month of June")
Derived from the traditional Scottish folk song "The Wee Cooper o'Fife"
Additional lyrics by Evan Hunter
Sung by the schoolchildren
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Awesome Hitchcock movie with horror moments and hair-raising scenes
17 March 2010 | by See all my reviews

This suspenseful shocker deals about a beautiful and rich girl named Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), at the beginning she is shopping in a San Francisco pet store when she meets Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor). Mitch is looking to buy some birds for his young sister's birthday , he recognizes Melanie but pretends to mistake her for a shopkeeper. After that ,she decides to buy the birds and driving up to the pacific isolated coastal California community called Bodega Bay, where Mitch spends his weekends with his mummy (Jesica Tandy) and sister (Veronica Cartwright) . Shortly after Melanie Daniels is crossing a lake, then she is cruelly nipped by a gull. Gradually, events of bird attacks on people by pecking increases. Kids are attacked at a birthday party (where appears as little girl Morgan Brittany). Meanwhile, children are sent home from school run by teacher (Suzanne Pleshette), townspeople (Charles McGraw, Karl Swenson, Chapman) take refuge in a lunchroom, a gas station is burnt, Melanie is trapped in a phone booth, and, finally, everyone hides in homes tightly closed against repeated attacks by the birds.

Hitchcock's classic about a gorgeous woman who follows a gentleman until a quiet place where suddenly happens mass bird attacks . After frightening spectators of the 60s with ¨Psycho¨ director Hitch took one more successful outing at the terror genre with this excellent movie full of subterranean hints. Exciting scenes when birds attack with death dropping fiercely , its menace magnified similarly to crop-dusting images in ¨North by Northwest¨. Interesting screenplay by Evan Hunter based on Daphne Du Maurier's (Jamica Inn,Rebecca) short story. Al always, Alfred Hitchcock cameo, this time as man walking dogs out of pet shop. Wonderful Tippi Hedren as obstinate Melanie , she's marvelous and brilliantly dressed by Edith Head , but she had a tortuous involvement to Hitch, habitual issue with his leading ladies. Acceptable special effects by Ub Iwerks, Walt Disney's usual, and Albert Whitlock in pictorial designs and the future director John Bud Cardos as bird wrangler. And colorful and evocative cinematography by Robert Burks, also Hitchcock's customary. Rare and strange electronic musical score fitting to bird attacks. This delightful film is stunningly directed by the master Hithcock. Followed by a lousy and cheesy sequel in 1994 titled ¨The birds II : land's end¨ by Rick Rosenthal under ordinary pseudonym as Alan Smithee with Brad Johnson, Megan Gallaher and again Tippi Hedren. Rating : Not for squeamish but well worth seeing because it is an immortal classic movie. This is Hitchcock at his best.


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