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.
The trickster Madam Blanche Tyler lures the elder millionaire Julia Rainbird that believes she is a spiritualist. After a séance, she discovers that Julia is tormented by her past, when she forced her sister and single mother Harriet to deliver her baby for adoption to avoid a family scandal. Julia promises the small fortune of ten thousand-dollar to Blanche if she finds her nephew and heir of her fortune using her phony powers. Blanche asks her boyfriend George Lumley, who is an unemployed actor working as cab driver, to investigate the whereabouts of Julia's nephew. Meanwhile, the greedy jeweler and collector Arthur Adamson kidnaps wealthy people with his girlfriend Fran to increase his collection of diamonds with the ransom. When George concludes that Arthur Adamson might be the heir of Julia Rainbird, the reckless Blanche gets in trouble with the kidnappers. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Karen Black initially wanted the role of Blanche on this picture. Black ended up playing Fran in this movie. See more »
During the runaway car scene George is almost strangled by Blanche as she hangs on to his tie while flailing around in the back of the car. George's tie is clearly loose around his neck in several shots. When he crashes and climbs out of the car the tie knot is perfect. See more »
Don't start to fret, George, or our waterbed will be no fun at all tonight; as an actor, you should know that fretting will ruin a performance.
You don't have to worry about my performance tonight, honey - as a matter of fact, this very evening, you're gonna see a standing ovation!
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The Universal logo does not appear anywhere on this film. See more »
I think if you approach this movie beforehand knowing it's not going to be a "Vertigo" or "Rear Window," you'll have some fun. Sure it's fluff, but it is entertaining nonetheless. Even kooky, vegetable-like Karen Black aka "The World's Worst Actress" seems to have benefited from working with Hitch and pulls off an adequate performance. Never cared for Bruce Dern and here he's his usual Willard looking self. Barbara Harris was a true delight, "Don't blaspheme, George." and found her character of Madam Blanche quite amusing. I even found the run away car scene entertaining, if not a bit over the top. All in all, I liked the story and liked the way it wrapped up in the end. Hitchcock's last gift to us all.
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