Spoiled socialite Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) pursues lawyer Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) to his Bodega Bay home after they meet in a bird shop. Melanie sails across the bay to deliver the gift of a lovebird to Mitch's young sister, only to be attacked by a gull on her way back. Soon random attacks on humans are taking place all over Bodega, as birds of all varieties mass in their thousands overhead. Director Alfred Hitchcock's classic is not for those easily perturbed by our feathered friends.
Vacationing in northern California, Alfred Hitchcock was struck by a story in a Santa Cruz newspaper: "Seabird Invasion Hits Coastal Homes". From this peculiar incident, and his memory of a short story by Daphne du Maurier, the master of suspense created one of his strangest and most terrifying films. The Birds
follows a chic blonde, Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), as she travels to the coastal town of Bodega Bay to hook up with a rugged fellow (Rod Taylor) she's only just met. Before long the town is attacked by marauding birds, and Hitchcock's skill at staging action is brought to the fore. Beyond the superb effects, however, The Birds
is also one of Hitchcock's most psychologically complicated scenarios, a tense study of violence, loneliness, and complacency. What really gets under your skin are not the bird skirmishes but the anxiety and the eerie quiet between attacks. The director elevated an unknown model, Tippi Hedren (mother of Melanie Griffith), to being his latest cool, blond leading lady, an experience that was not always easy on the much-pecked Ms. Hedren. Still, she returned for the next Hitchcock picture, the underrated Marnie
. Treated with scant attention by serious critics in 1963, The Birds
has grown into a classic and--despite the sci-fi trappings--one of Hitchcock's most serious films. --Robert Horton
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.