7.7/10
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478 user 180 critic

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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(from the story by), (screenplay)
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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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Doreen Lang ...
Hysterical Mother in Diner
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Deputy Al Malone
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Drunken Doomsayer in Diner
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Helen Carter
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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:

The Birds is coming! 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)
 »

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

Tippi Hedren was required to really slap Doreen Lang, who played the hysterical mother that called Melanie "evil." Hedren was hesitant, having never slapped anyone before, but Lang convinced her to do it. See more »

Goofs

When the children are running from the school while being attacked, the birds attacking them cast no shadows. 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

During the credits are at the beginning, sound effects from the film are shown. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: It Conquered the World (1991) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Masterpiece
20 August 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Another film to prove that Hitchcock really was one of the most gifted film makers ever. His films are more 'fresh' today than any of current Hollywood megabuster.

The screeching bird soundtrack in itself was chilling.

The absence of backgound music added a sense of calm before the storm which made the bird attack scenes all the more intense.

The film builds up slowly and that serves to build up the tension and edginess.

The most chilling scene was definitely when Melanie (Tippi Hedren) was waiting outside the school while the singing was going on in the school. At each loop of the song, a few more crows would perch on the climbing frame. The site of them was truly grotesque. This scene is a lesson to all the "subtle as a sledge hammer" so called 'thrillers' that are churned out today.

By the end of the film, there is no conclusion, no neat result. It is somewhat uncomfortable watching a film like this and not seeing a conclusion. How will it end? Why did the birds attack?

Why spoil the film with an explanation?


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