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The Birds (1963)

PG-13  |   |  Horror, Romance  |  29 March 1963 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 112,325 users  
Reviews: 436 user | 171 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:
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Melanie Daniels (as 'Tippi' Hedren)
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...
...
...
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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
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:

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

Genres:

Horror | Romance

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production design makes much use of the color green. See more »

Goofs

When Melanie is approaching Mitch's house in the boat, and even while she's walking down his dock after leaving the love birds, his car is parked pointing directly out of the garage. But after she paddles away and he walks from the barn to the house, and for the remainder of the scene, the car is parked at an angle to the garage. 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 »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Birds don't just go around attacking people, do they?
30 August 2009 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

I still have quite a few of Hitchcock classics to see, but I can already rest assured that "The Birds" will remain my all-time favorite effort by this legendary director. Being primarily a horror movie junkie, I consider this milestone to be the pioneer in the delicious 'nature revolts' sub genre. For reasons that remain unexplained throughout the entire movie, birds spontaneously launch virulent and aggressive attacks against the inhabitants of Bodega Bay; a little seaside town 90 miles away from San Francisco. Still several years after the release of this film, clever and ingenious independent horror film directors borrowed this formula and used it as an excuse to manifest practically every species of the animal kingdom as vicious killing machines, usually because of the ongoing pollution by mankind. But "The Birds" remains the original classic even though the story develops itself very slowly and the script refuses to give any type of explanation whatsoever. For nearly a full hour, the film simply focuses on the bizarre love-story between the spoiled daughter of newspaper owner and an arrogant crime attorney. She drives out to his parental house in Bodega Bay, where he spends all of his weekends, to play out a practical joke. "The Birds" then subsequently unfolds itself as a strangely compelling romance between the two aforementioned characters, but also the embittered local school teacher and the attorney's frigid mother. The interactions between these four unusual characters are often downright eerie and there isn't even a bird in sight at that moment! Meanwhile, however, the menace of our 'feathered friends' is continuously present and noticeable. The attacks gradually increase in number and intensity, like the birds are putting up some sort of strategy even though there's no obvious motive. After the virulent attack during a child's birthday party, the thriller definitely shifts into high gear, with many sequences that are righteously considered as classic by now (the schoolyard, the phone booth, the exploding gas station). Hitch's nickname 'The Master of Suspense' is justified through many individual moments here in this film, like when the entire community seeks shelter inside the café and accuses the girl of bringing this mayhem upon them. The film's brilliant anti-climax, with thousands of birds just sitting and suspiciously waiting outside the Brenner house is legendary and imitated copious of times. "The Birds" is a perplexing Hitchcock landmark, with a couple of surprisingly shocking make-up effects and a truly ominous atmosphere that still manages to send cold shivers of fright down your spine.


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Recent Posts
Overall a terrible movie cotennfl-1
Tippi Hedren stalker? thomaswilliamboner
If birds actually started attacking, how screwed would we be? horneddemon
why does the old birdlady say: birds of the FIVE continents? zyggums
Oh, that perfect makeup butaneggbert
Dropping a match into gasoline astro218
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