MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 23 this week

The Birds (1963)

7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 103,173 users  
Reviews: 419 user | 166 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.

Director:

Writers:

(from the story by), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 02 Jan 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 25 Oct 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 01 May 2013
 
a list of 41 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 22 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Birds" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Birds (1963)

The Birds (1963) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Birds.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Marnie (1964)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Mark marries Marnie although she is a habitual thief and has serious psychological problems, and tries to help her confront and resolve them.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Diane Baker
Notorious (1946)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
The Hunger (1983)
Fantasy | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The Egyptian vampire lady Miriam subsists upon the blood of her lovers. In return the guys or girls don't age... until Miriam has enough of them. Unfortunately that's currently the case ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, Susan Sarandon
The Exorcist (1973)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair
The Innocents (1961)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis
Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher
Halloween (1978)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A psychotic murderer institutionalized since childhood for the murder of his sister, escapes and stalks a bookish teenage girl and her friends while his doctor chases him through the streets.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran
Dracula (1992)
Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The vampire comes to England to seduce a visitor's fiancée and inflict havoc in the foreign land.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After Jonathan Harker attacks Dracula at his castle (apparently somewhere in Germany), the vampire travels to a nearby city, where he preys on the family of Harker's fiancée. The only one ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough
1408 (2007)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man who specializes in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Director: Mikael Håfström
Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Francis Barnard goes to Spain, when he hears his sister Elizabeth has died. Her husband Nicholas Medina, the son of the brutest torturer of the Spanish Inquisition, tells him she has died ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After a teenager has a terrifying vision of him and his friends dying in a plane crash, he prevents the accident only to have Death hunt them down, one by one.

Director: James Wong
Stars: Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith
Edit

Cast

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 ...
...
Edit

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:

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

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 May 1963 (Argentina)  »

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The famous poster art for the film where a woman is pictured screaming is not Tippi Hedren but is in fact Jessica Tandy taken from the scene where the birds come down the chimney. See more »

Goofs

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. 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,...
[...]
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Little Nicky (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Seaside gulls go mental in Hitchcock's macabre masterpiece!
29 December 2004 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Despite spending most of his career within the realms of the thriller genre, Alfred Hitchcock hasn't restricted himself where variation is concerned. Most of his best work represents a different type of thriller, and The Birds is no different. It is often said that Psycho is Hitchcock's first foray into the horror side of the thriller, and it is indeed; but it's not the complete horror film that The Birds is. Often cited as an obvious influence for Night of the Living Dead, The Birds follows Melanie Daniels as she travels to the seaside town of Bodega Bay with a pair of lovebirds for Mitch Brenner, an eligible bachelor that she met in a pet shop in San Francisco. However, while there the birds of the coastal town begin to attack the residents and so begins a terrifying tale of man's feathered friends waging a war against humanity...

It could be said that the plot of The Birds is ridiculous, and it is. The idea of birds, a type of animal that isn't aggressive, attacking humans despite living with us for millions of years is preposterous and is never likely to happen. However; it is here where the film's horror potency lies. Birds live with us in harmony; we're so used to them that for the most part we don't even realise that they're there, and the idea of something that we don't notice suddenly becoming malicious is truly terrifying. Especially when that something is unstoppable, as the birds are portrayed as being in this film. The fact that the birds' motive is never really explained only serves in making it more terrifying, as it would appear that somewhere along the line they've just decided to attack. Of course, the film could be interpreted as having Melanie's arrival, or the presence of the lovebirds as the cause for it all; but we don't really know. This bounds the film in reality as if there was a reason given, it might be improbable; but there's no true reason given (although there are several theories), so it can't be improbable!

The first forty minutes of the film feature hardly any - if any - horror at all. Hitchcock spends this part of the movie developing the characters and installing their situation in the viewers' minds, so that when the horror does finally come along, it has a definite potency that it would not have had otherwise. In fact, at first the birds themselves come across as a co-star in their own movie as there are brief references towards them, but they never get their full dues. However, once the horror does start, it comes thick and fast. Hitchcock, the master craftsman as always, uses his famous montage effects and never really shows you anything; but because you're being bombarded with so many different shots, you'd never realise it. Many people have tried to copy this technique, but most have failed. Hitchcock, however, has it down to an art and this is maybe the film that shows off that talent the best. There are numerous moments of suspense as well, many of which are truly nail biting. We see the birds amassing and ready to strike - but they don't. And this is much more frightening than showing an attack from the off. Hitchcock knows this. The final thirty minutes of The Birds is perhaps the most thrilling of his entire oeuvre. First, Hitchcock gives us an intriguing situation where numerous inhabitants of the town give their views on the events, and also explains the birds' situation with humans, even giving the audience an angle of expertise from an ornithologist's point of view. He then follows it up with a truly breathtaking sequence of horror that hasn't been matched since for relentless shock value.

Hitchcock has made many great films, and this certainly stands up as one of them. Here, Hitchcock gives a lesson in film directing and creates a truly macabre piece of work in the process. I dread to think what the state of cinema would have been if Hitchcock had never picked up a camera, but luckily for us; he most certainly did.


150 of 231 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
If birds actually started attacking, how screwed would we be? horneddemon
Melanie denham
why does the old birdlady say: birds of the FIVE continents? zyggums
Why did Melanie run into the phone booth? aircrftmec
Dropping a match into gasoline astro218
Apparently no one in Bodega Bay has a shotgun... Sbaldwin
Discuss The Birds (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?