The Birds (1963)
(Release Date: March 28, 1963)

Good Lord, there are Feathers and Droppings EVERYWHERE! You should clean this place up!

A Bird in the Hand is worth a Zillion in your DVD Player!

J.C. Mašek III... 

AVIAN Critic!
J.C. Mašek III
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A little Bird told me this might scare the hell out of you!
Trivia on the Wing!

Flipping The Birds
  • The role of Annie Hayworth was played by none other than Suzanne Pleshette from The Bob Newhart Show!
  • The Screenplay was written by Evan Hunter, better known by his Crime Novelist pseudonym "Ed McBain"!
  • Tippi Hedren was reportedly chosen for this role after being seen in a soda pop commercial. Her performance in The Birds was so acclaimed that she won the "Most Promising Newcomer - Female" award at the 1964 Golden Globes! Hedren's daughter (with Peter Griffith), actress Melanie Griffith, Won a 1989 Golden Globe for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical" for Working Girl (1988)
  • According to Hollywood Lore, young Melanie Griffith was given a statue of her mother, Tippi, by Alfred Hitchcock himself on the set of The Birds. Though Hitch's intention was to give little Melanie a considerate gift, the fact that the nearly exact replica was given to her in a wooden box caused Griffith to take this as an ominous omen of her mother in a tiny coffin. The guy was scary even when he didn't mean to be!
  • Rick Rosenthal, famous for directing Halloween 2 and every TV show from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Smallville to Tru Calling actually made a Sequel to The Birds called The Birds II: Land's End. The sequel was reportedly so piss poor that Rosenthal actually had his name removed from the credits and replaced with "Alan Smithee"!
  • Director Cameo: Hitchcock appears in all his films, naturally. Here he can be seen in the opening act walking his two dogs by the Pet Shop where Melanie meets Mitch.

-Trivially yours,

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In a small town in Northern California our fine feathered friends are sick and tired of being sick and tired of being caged, eaten and plucked for the pleasure, dinner and adornment of man, so they organize and mount an assault on humanity, striking with extreme prejudice. They swarm, they dive-bomb, they pull out the eyes of the Living... Sound silly? In the hands of any less a director than Alfred Hitchcock it probably would have ended up that way. On paper it certainly sounds like a B-Movie. Somehow, though, 1963's The Birds manages to fly in almost every way, and remain a classic even over 30 years after its release.

Tippi Hedren is great as Melanie Daniels who gets a little down in the mouth when Rod Taylor's Mitch Brenner dissed her and dismissed her in San Francisco! So like any sensible and reasonable... stalker... she tracks him down to his Beach Front home in the small hamlet of Bodega Bay, California. After insinuating her way into Mitch's life, along with that of his Mommy Jessica Tandy and little sister Veronica Cartwright, Melanie's life takes a bizarre turn as first she, and then every other citizen of the old berg start getting beaked to death by every angry feathered one from the Pigeon to the yard bird to the Crow to Larry Bird! It's a twist worthy of a Hitchcock movie on a subject worthy of an Alan Smithee movie!

And somehow it works. Hitchcock's camera work and eye for detail is as good here as it ever is, and his spin on the under-siege household is the best in any movie. Amazingly many of the conceits used in this movie are re-used in many a zombie movie, replacing the old aepyornis genus with the walking dead.

From Daphne Du Maurier's story to Evan Hunter's screenplay to Hitch's translation the suspense is tighter than Anna Nicole Smith's Bra, but the spelled-out explanation of the chaos is as elusive here as... as Anna Nicole Smith's bra. The idea of unending terror without a given reasoning behind how these birdies got this way tends to make the understanding of this movie wholly encapsulated in the eye of the viewer. However with such skill in front of and behind the camera, there's little to complain about or to find lacking. It's a hell of a movie from a hell of a director, who had wings himself.

And you thought that domestic policy, international affairs and the Patriot Act were enough to keep you frightened! Next time you sit down to that fresh and sweet bucket of KFC's Popcorn Chicken, just remember when it's time to cash in your chips, there might be a sky filled with diseased winged rats just waiting to be your banker (over the top superlative corniness, mine!). Four Stars out of Five for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, a truly creepy and scary thriller with the proficiency to help you fill in the blanks for yourself! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to put on my PETA T-Shirt, grab some bird seed, renew my vow of vegetarianism, and go sit in the park feeding black birds and blue jays! Hey, you may say that feeding birds gives you one thing: Fat Birds, but when that mini-Roc is swooping down toward your head while you're holding your Turkey Sandwich, don't come crying to this man! I'll be seeing you in the next reel, thank you Very much!

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The Birds (1963) Reviewed by J.C. Mašek III
who is solely responsible for this article
and for the fact that he just flew in from Bodega Bay
and boy are his arms tired!
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