Release Date: May 30, 1963
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette
Runtime: 119 min
Tagline: Suspense and shock beyond anything you have seen or imagined!
It’s a pretty good Hitchcock horror/suspense film.
A wealthy San Francisco woman follows a potential boyfriend to a small North Californian town where things soon start to turn nightmarish after birds of all kinds attack the small town with increasing numbers and drastic viciousness.
It really is suspenseful, but some of it can get a little ridiculous and is laughable at times, when it isn’t supposed to be. It’s somewhat flawed and was probably much scarier in its day and has some very intense sequences. It really is an original piece of work, and has such an effectively simple plot.
It’s generally memorable, and is a really great Hitchcock experience, but I don’t think I’ll return to it soon. Hedren delivers a good performance, as well of a performance she could give while being attacked by birds. The character development is actually very efficient, and they are generally likeable; and unlike the horror film characters of today (where for the annoying characters, you either wish they get killed off, cheer for their deaths and they eventually laugh your asses off when they get killed), you may actually be upset if a character here were butchered off by some hungry birds.
While some of the birds and sets feel so fake they took away from my enjoyment a little, the performances feel pretty genuine. I wouldn’t hate a remake of this one, as maybe they could throw in some better effects, and maybe even make it scarier with a modern touch.
Watch it if you like old suspense films, it isn’t a waste of time at all. It isn’t my favourite Hitchcock film, but really is quite an enjoyable experience.
10 thoughts on “The Birds – A Film Review by Daniel Prinn – Ahhhh, scary birds!”
Being a huge Hitchcock fan I’ve always loved this movie because it was one of the first films to really portray humans as so weak and small when something as simple as birds decided to turn on us and it’s scary because of how much they outnumber us! Another thing that always fascinated me about this film was that Hitchcock became obsessed with Tippi Hedren, so much so that it ultimately ended up destroying both of their careers.
That’s a really good take on it; I know it did enhance my already fear of birds (they’ve used me as a bathroom twice). Oh, why did it destroy both of their careers? I’m uneducated on that.. Yeah though, those are both really interesting points.
There is actually a docudrama coming to HBO this October called ‘The Girl’ which is specifically about Hitchcock’s obsession with the actress. If you have the time I wrote a bit about it over at my blog. But essentially he felt that Hedren was his vision of the “perfect” blonde and wanted her to love him but never quite won her heart.
(Sorry for the kind of late reply, I had no internet) That’s actually really interesting, I’ll definitely give the post a read. I really like Toby Jones, maybe he’ll make a cool Hitchcock. Now I’m apt to see the docudrama, thanks for sharing!
‘Ahhhh, scary birds!’ very funny, this film was very good a bit old now, but still a good watch though like most Hitchcock films 😀
Yes I agree, thank you!
This was the first Hitchcock film I watched, so I have fond memories of it…But it’s nowhere close to my favorite either. Nice review!
Oops, missed this one. This one was my second Hitchcock film I think, my first being Psycho which remains my favourite. Thank you!
Great write up, man! I love Hitch. I wrote a paper on him during film school. I love The Birds. In my Top 5 Best Hitch movies.
Thanks! Me too, I need to see more of him, though. That sounds like such a cool subject to write a paper on! I like it a lot, I didn’t love all of it but near to love, haha. Mine too (but I’ve only seen five of his, hahah).