7.7/10
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497 user 178 critic

The Birds (1963)

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

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(from the story by), (screenplay by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Mitch Brenner
... Lydia Brenner
... Annie Hayworth
... Melanie Daniels (as 'Tippi' Hedren)
... Cathy Brenner
... Mrs. Bundy
... Sebastian Sholes
... Mrs. MacGruder
... Deke Carter
... Traveling Salesman at Diner's Bar
... Fisherman Helping with Rental Boat
... Deputy Al Malone
John McGovern ... Postal Clerk
... Drunken Doomsayer in Diner
... 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

Taglines:

...And remember, the next scream you hear could be your own! See more »


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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,403,529
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (uncredited)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The automobile driven by Tippi Hedren is an Aston Martin DB2/4 drop-head coupe. See more »

Goofs

In the phone booth, Melanie has her back on the phone. But in the next shot, she is by the phone not front. 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,...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

There is no music in the opening credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Scariest Movie Moments (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Arabesque no. 1 in E
(1888) (uncredited)
Claude Debussy
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Masterpiece
20 August 1999 | by See all my reviews

Another film to prove that Hitchcock really was one of the most gifted film makers ever. His films are more 'fresh' today than any of current Hollywood megabuster.

The screeching bird soundtrack in itself was chilling.

The absence of backgound music added a sense of calm before the storm which made the bird attack scenes all the more intense.

The film builds up slowly and that serves to build up the tension and edginess.

The most chilling scene was definitely when Melanie (Tippi Hedren) was waiting outside the school while the singing was going on in the school. At each loop of the song, a few more crows would perch on the climbing frame. The site of them was truly grotesque. This scene is a lesson to all the "subtle as a sledge hammer" so called 'thrillers' that are churned out today.

By the end of the film, there is no conclusion, no neat result. It is somewhat uncomfortable watching a film like this and not seeing a conclusion. How will it end? Why did the birds attack?

Why spoil the film with an explanation?


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