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The Birds (1963)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 104,320 users  
Reviews: 422 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.

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Title: The Birds (1963)

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

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Cast

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

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The schoolhouse in the film is the Potter Schoolhouse, which served Bodega, California, from 1873 to 1961. The building is now a private residence. 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

Edited into Zaum - Andare a parare: L'O di G8/Genova 2001 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Last Masterpiece
8 August 2014 | by (london uk) – See all my reviews

Although not his final film, this was Hitchcock's final masterpiece, full of fascinating cinematic ideas, some realised better than others, but considering the difficulties he set himself in this movie, well before our time's all-pervasive CGI, most of the hundreds of trick shots work out amazingly well.

The brittle female lead was given to a strangely brittle first-timer, who acquits herself well - certainly a great deal better than she did in her (and Hitch's) next picture, MARNIE, in which the title character's complexities eluded her grasp. Melanie Daniels in THE BIRDS is much less of an acting challenge, although the role proved to be an endurance test, especially in the infamous, dazzlingly edited final bird attack.

The rest of cast do sterling work, with a substantial contribution from Jessica Tandy and a noteworthy one from Doreen Lang.

The element of the film that still feels wonderfully experimental is the soundscape of bird screeches, wing flaps and tweets. Way, way ahead of its time.


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Message Boards

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