Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), a young socialite, meets Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) in a San Francisco bird shop. Brenner wants to purchase a pair of lovebirds for his sister's eleventh birthday, but the shop has none. He pretends to mistake Daniels for a salesperson, which infuriates her; she requests an explanation. He says they met previously, but she doesn't remember him. Intrigued, she tracks down his address in Bodega Bay, California and purchases a pair of lovebirds herself. After driving several hours, she sneaks across a bay in a motor boat and secretly deposits the birds inside Mitch's house with a note. He spots her on the water during her escape, and he intercepts her as she is attacked and injured by a seagull. Mitch requests she stay for dinner, and Melanie reluctantly agrees. Melanie develops a relationship with Mitch, meets his clinging mother Lydia (Jessica Tandy) and his younger sister Cathy (Veronica Cartwright), and befriends Mitch's ex-lover Annie Hayworth (Suzanne Pleshette). When Melanie stays for the night at Annie's house, a gull kills itself by diving into the front door. At Cathy's birthday party the next day, the children are set upon by seagulls. The following evening, sparrows invade the Brenner home. Lydia discovers a neighbor who has been killed by birds that invaded his house, and she flees the scene in terror. After being comforted by Melanie and Mitch, Lydia becomes concerned about Cathy's safety at school. Melanie goes to the school and waits for class to end, initially unaware that a huge number of crows are massing nearby. Horrified when she sees the playground engulfed by them, she warns Annie and they evacuate the children. The birds attack, injuring several children. THE BIRDS - as a child I enjoyed 3 pet birds. A halfmoon parrot named Booby, a mynah bird named Jody, and a captains parrot named Cappy. The Hitchcock classic The Birds was one of my favorite movies. THE PLOT begins in a San Francisco restaurant. Several patrons describe personal encounters with strange bird behaviour. A drunk believes the attacks are a sign of the Apocalypse, and a traveling salesman condemns all birds and suggests that they be destroyed. A young mother becomes increasingly distressed by the conversation and shames them all for frightening her children. Outside the restaurant, a motorist is attacked while filling his car with gasoline; hysterical warnings cry out, but an innovent man burns up in the fire. The birds attack in greater numbers as people pour from the diner to survey the damage, and Melanie is forced to take refuge in a phone booth. Mitch rescues her and return to Annie's house and find that Annie has been killed by birds while pushing Cathy indoors to safety. Melanie and the Brenners barricade themselves inside the Brenner home. The house is attacked in waves by the birds, and several times they nearly break in through the sealed doors and windows. During a nighttime lull between attacks, Melanie hears noises from the upper floor. A sea of birds ripple menacingly around the Brenner farm as Mitch prepares Melanie's car for their escape. The radio reports the spread of bird attacks to nearby communities, and suggests that the National Guard may be required because civil authorities are unable to combat the inexplicable attacks. The film concludes ambiguously, as the car carrying Melanie and the Brenners slowly makes its way through famialiar winding roads of Bodega Bay. On August 18, 1961, residents in the town of Capitola, California, awoke to find sooty shearwaters slamming into their rooftops, and their streets covered with dead birds. News reports suggested shellfish poisoning as the cause. According to a local newspaper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Alfred Hitchcock requested news copy in 1961 to use as "research material for his latest thriller". The Birds released in 1963