7.7/10
171,407
567 user 173 critic

The Birds (1963)

PG-13 | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 29 March 1963 (USA)
Trailer
5:13 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Daphne Du Maurier (from the story by), Evan Hunter (screenplay by)
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Popularity
1,829 ( 1,390)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rod Taylor ... Mitch Brenner
Jessica Tandy ... Lydia Brenner
Suzanne Pleshette ... Annie Hayworth
Tippi Hedren ... Melanie Daniels (as 'Tippi' Hedren)
Veronica Cartwright ... Cathy Brenner
Ethel Griffies ... Mrs. Bundy
Charles McGraw ... Sebastian Sholes
Ruth McDevitt ... Mrs. MacGruder
Lonny Chapman ... Deke Carter
Joe Mantell ... Traveling Salesman at Diner's Bar
Doodles Weaver ... Fisherman Helping with Rental Boat
Malcolm Atterbury ... Deputy Al Malone
John McGovern ... Postal Clerk
Karl Swenson ... Drunken Doomsayer in Diner
Richard Deacon ... Mitch's City Neighbor
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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

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It could be the most terrifying motion picture I have ever made! See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Alfred Hitchcock considered Sir Sean Connery for the role of Mitch Brenner. He cast Connery in Marnie (1964). See more »

Goofs

When the firemen are trying to extinguish the fire, two of them can no longer control the hose and drop it, after which it is propelled backwards due to the water thrust. However, in the next shot it is suddenly a lot further ahead than it ever was. 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, and ...
[...]
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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 The Happening (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Arabesque no. 1 in E
(1888) (uncredited)
Claude Debussy
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User Reviews

 
A fable, a parable, an allegory...
6 October 1999 | by HSauerSee all my reviews

Hitchcock bragged that The Birds was pure fantasy, with no connection to real life (as we know it). I've seen this movie a few times and I still wonder what it "means," if it has a specific meaning. It might just be a horror film about preternatural killer birds, but I humbly suggest that it might, in a sense, be an allegory about the Nuclear Paranoia of the era. Not an exact allegory like "Pilgrim's Progress," but perhaps a parable, or a fable if you like, with the birds standing in for all those forces ready to kill innocent people for no good reason. "The Birds" is so richly suggestive that there's an Oedipal theme as well, and some hints that Mitch isn't a very admirable guy, and so on... very Kubrickian, but predating "2001" by 4 or 5 years. It's a film that can simply entertain, or frighten, or hold one's interest, without begging for interpretation. But it's fun to wonder what the writer and director were thinking, and how much the actors/actresses knew of the artistic intent of the filmmakers. It's interesting too that after "Psycho," with its classic musical score, Hitchcock made "The Birds" a 2-hour film with no music - except the squawks, clucks and cries of The Birds. Wonderful picture.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,655
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System) (uncredited)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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