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The Birds (1963)

PG-13  |   |  Horror  |  29 March 1963 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 120,630 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


The Birds is coming! 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
See  »

Did You Know?


Although it was never shot, another ending was scripted by Evan Hunter and sketched by Harold Michelson. The script and sketches appear as a bonus feature on the DVD version. See more »


When Melanie brings Lydia some tea, while Lydia is in her bed, Lydia's hair first looks disarranged. Then her hair is neatly arranged, the next shot it is disarranged again. 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 The Critic: Every Doris Has Her Day (1994) See more »


Rissle-dy, Rossle-dy
("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

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User Reviews

A highly innovative horror
31 May 1999 | by See all my reviews

Imagine Hitchcock trying to sell this idea to the film studios: the lives of a mundane country family are shattered when vicious rooks attack. Why? No particular reason. And what then? They fly away. and then? They come back again and attack. And then go and then . .. It seems like an impossible plot to pull off, but Hitchcock does it, slowly building up the tension which spasmodically swells and subsides. Younger viewers may get irritated with the slow stealth of the opening scenes and may want to thrash the T.V. when the film comes to its beautifully droll conclusion, but form once those birds start attacking, every viewer is riveted. It was fine Hitchcockian innovation that took this very slim, cock-a-mamy story and turned in to a tense thriller. But the greatest innovation is the film score - there isn't any. No director is more closely identified with the music of their films, but in Birds, Hitchcock created a horror that is uniquely quiet. The great man appreciated something that so few others do - the atmospheric potency of silence, and how, in different settings, silences can differ in character. Yet so many who watch the film seem to forget that the music isn't there. That's the film's greatest attribute.

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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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