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Nothing equals The Birds for sheer terror when Alfred Hitchcock unleashes his foul friends in one of his most shocking and memorable masterpieces. As beautiful blonde Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) rolls into Bodega Bay in pursuit of eligible bachelor Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), she is inexplicably attacked by a seagull. Suddenly thousands of birds are flocking into town, preying on schoolchildren and residents in a terrifying series of attacks. Soon Mitch and Melanie are fighting for their lives against a deadly force that can't be explained and can't be stopped in one of Hollywood's most horrific films of nature gone berserk.
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Look at the film with fresh eyes and it begins like a screwball romantic comedy. Aren't they cute, this aloof blonde and this wisecracking man? Will they get together? And what about that smoldering brunette school teacher, Annie Hayworth? Suddenly we learn about checkered lives, past trysts, lost loves, domineering family members, bad reputations...and that's just the backstory of the main characters. Then on top of this the invasion of the birds slowly begins. Slowly. Hitch creates atmosphere and suspense with amazing prowess. Some may not care for this deliberate pace. But it works.
Film students need to watch this. Consider when Melanie decides that she's going to have some fun with this Mitch person. She goes way out of her way, even renting a motorboat, to bring a pair of lovebirds as a gift for his younger sister. (It is a Trojan Horse because it is a symbol, but that's another analysis.) Anyway, the scene that enfolds when she carefully stalks Mitch, and takes the birdcage to the Brenner home, making sure she is not seen, is like watching a spy stealthily deliver a bomb. There is such suspense here, and it's just a lady dropping off some pets. More directors and writers could do well to pay attention to Mr. Hitchcock's work.
This is just one scene in the film that's fascinating and expertly crafted. There are many more. Yes, the film is dated, and some call it silly, but in its time it was like Jaws. Hitch purposely stayed away from the original story by Daphne DuMaurier, allowing screenwriter Evan Hunter to create a very interesting set-up and relationships.
It's a fun horror film that's multifaceted and fascinating.
Hay it was a movie and Hitchcock knew what he was doing. It is a good movie to see and just remember, all birds are good and friendly. OOOOOps my bird just chirped and wants his blanket on to go to sleep now, before he calls all his friends over here. Just kidding he's a good bird. This movie was a winning one and very well done in it days. SEE IT, if you can someday.