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The Birds (1963)

PG-13  |   |  Horror  |  29 March 1963 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 120,534 users  
Reviews: 452 user | 178 critic

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.



(from the story by), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Melanie Daniels (as 'Tippi' Hedren)
Doreen Lang ...
Hysterical Mother in Diner
Deputy Al Malone
Drunken Doomsayer in Diner
Helen Carter
Lonny Chapman ...


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


Suspense and shock beyond anything you have seen or imagined! See more »




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 March 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds  »

Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (uncredited)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alfred Hitchcock approached Joseph Stefano (screenwriter of Psycho (1960)) to write the script, but he wasn't interested in the story. The final screenplay (from a Daphne Du Maurier short story) was written by Evan Hunter, best known to detective-story fans under the pen name Ed McBain. See more »


When Melanie arrives at the Brenner's dock, it is high tide and she easily climbs out of her boat to their dock, which are nearly level to each other. The same is true when she returns to her boat after leaving the lovebirds. However, when Mitch comes out with his binoculars right after seeing Melanie's boat, the tide has gone out quite far. The waterline has dropped considerably and a small boat near the dock can be seen floating several feet below it. Melanie would not have been able to easily climb in and out of her outboard under these conditions. The tide, while going out dramatically in a shallow bay like this one, cannot possibly go down that quickly in real time. Obviously, a lot more time has gone by between Melanie's return to her outboard and Mitch's appearance with his binoculars, even though the action is supposed to take place only minutes apart. See more »


[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,...
See more »

Crazy Credits

There were no ending credits. And in the opening credits the title "THE BIRDS" was slowly pecked away by the passing crows. See more »


Referenced in Kaw (2007) See more »


Arabesque no. 1 in E
(1888) (uncredited)
Claude Debussy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Tippi Feathers With Mother
5 February 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Seems silly to give a 10 to "The Birds" what can I give to "Notorius" then? Or "Rear Window"? A 20? It doesn't matter, a 10 shouldn't mean the best but one of the best. Best as in degrees of enjoyment, best as in time of enjoyment, 10 for the kind of enjoyment. "The Birds" is a ten for all of the above. Hitchcock's world varied consistently, it depended very much on his travelling companions. Writers first and foremost then composers. There is no music in "The Birds" so most of my questions are directed to the eclectic Evan Hunter who dissected Daphne de Maurier's original story and transformed it into something that not even Hitchcock had attempted before. A lyrically surreal horror soap opera kind of thing. It visits many of Hitchcock's obsession's of course, an icy blond and a castrating mother. Tippi Hedren follows a long line of Hitchcock blonds, from Madeline Carroll and Ingrid Bergman to Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, Janet Leigh, Eva Marie Saint and Doris Day as Jessica Tandy follows Madame Constantin, Jesse Royce Landis and Louise Latham not to mention Mrs. Bates. Evan Hunter was behind films like Richard Brooks's "Blackboard Jungle" and a semi forgotten gem Frank Perry's "Last Summer" As well as having Akira Kurosawa based his film noir "The Ransom" on one of his novels. Here, he follows Hitchcock's needs with religious reverence and at the same time comes out with something quite unique. I love the light weightiness of the heaviness. I've always loved the daringness of the pacing. The car trip to to Bodega Bay or the long shots of Jessica Tandy's truck driving away in horror from the farm. This movie is also a reminder to the filmmakers, depending in special effects, that effects tend to age a movie far too fast. The effects should be at the service of the characters and not the other way round. Rod Taylor, a charming, versatile matinée idol with a brain and the scrumptious Suzanne Pleshette ad to the many pleasures this 10 of a film will keep in store for generations to come.

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Recent Posts
why were the birds attacking people nickdodgerboy
Tippi Hedren's acting lynchislife95
Tippi Hedren stalker? thomaswilliamboner
If birds actually started attacking, how screwed would we be? horneddemon
Oh, that perfect makeup butaneggbert
why does the old birdlady say: birds of the FIVE continents? zyggums
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