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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.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Daphne Du Maurier (from the story by), Evan Hunter (screenplay by)
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Popularity
1,953 ( 46)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 5 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 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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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)

Gross USA:

$11,403,529
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System) (uncredited)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When audiences left the U.K. premiere at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London, they were greeted by the sound of screeching and flapping birds from loudspeakers hidden in the trees to scare them further. See more »

Goofs

When Melanie is trapped upstairs flailing at the attacking birds with the "flashlight" the power cord is briefly visible entering her sleeve. Note also the typical floodlight patterned glass on the end; sometimes an actual flashlight of that era couldn't put out enough light for the needed effect. These movie flashlights can often be recognized by the oversized bell - like reflector housing as in the "Sound of Music". 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

During the credits are at the beginning, sound effects from the film are shown. See more »


Soundtracks

Rissle-dy, Rossle-dy
(uncredited)
("I married my wife in the month of June")
Derived from the traditional Scottish folk song "The Wee Cooper o'Fife"
Additional lyrics by Evan Hunter
Sung by the schoolchildren
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Awesome Hitchcock movie with horror moments and hair-raising scenes
17 March 2010 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This suspenseful shocker deals about a beautiful and rich girl named Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), at the beginning she is shopping in a San Francisco pet store when she meets Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor). Mitch is looking to buy some birds for his young sister's birthday , he recognizes Melanie but pretends to mistake her for a shopkeeper. After that ,she decides to buy the birds and driving up to the pacific isolated coastal California community called Bodega Bay, where Mitch spends his weekends with his mummy (Jesica Tandy) and sister (Veronica Cartwright) . Shortly after Melanie Daniels is crossing a lake, then she is cruelly nipped by a gull. Gradually, events of bird attacks on people by pecking increases. Kids are attacked at a birthday party (where appears as little girl Morgan Brittany). Meanwhile, children are sent home from school run by teacher (Suzanne Pleshette), townspeople (Charles McGraw, Karl Swenson, Chapman) take refuge in a lunchroom, a gas station is burnt, Melanie is trapped in a phone booth, and, finally, everyone hides in homes tightly closed against repeated attacks by the birds.

Hitchcock's classic about a gorgeous woman who follows a gentleman until a quiet place where suddenly happens mass bird attacks . After frightening spectators of the 60s with ¨Psycho¨ director Hitch took one more successful outing at the terror genre with this excellent movie full of subterranean hints. Exciting scenes when birds attack with death dropping fiercely , its menace magnified similarly to crop-dusting images in ¨North by Northwest¨. Interesting screenplay by Evan Hunter based on Daphne Du Maurier's (Jamica Inn,Rebecca) short story. Al always, Alfred Hitchcock cameo, this time as man walking dogs out of pet shop. Wonderful Tippi Hedren as obstinate Melanie , she's marvelous and brilliantly dressed by Edith Head , but she had a tortuous involvement to Hitch, habitual issue with his leading ladies. Acceptable special effects by Ub Iwerks, Walt Disney's usual, and Albert Whitlock in pictorial designs and the future director John Bud Cardos as bird wrangler. And colorful and evocative cinematography by Robert Burks, also Hitchcock's customary. Rare and strange electronic musical score fitting to bird attacks. This delightful film is stunningly directed by the master Hithcock. Followed by a lousy and cheesy sequel in 1994 titled ¨The birds II : land's end¨ by Rick Rosenthal under ordinary pseudonym as Alan Smithee with Brad Johnson, Megan Gallaher and again Tippi Hedren. Rating : Not for squeamish but well worth seeing because it is an immortal classic movie. This is Hitchcock at his best.


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