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The Birds (film)

The Birds (1963) is a horror film by Alfred Hitchcock, based on a short story by Daphne Du Maurier. (Hitchcock also adapted Du Maurier's novel Rebecca into an acclaimed film) about birds mobbing humans.

The screenplay for The Birds was written by Evan Hunter, better known as crime fiction novelist Ed McBain. This film is notable in that it has no music score per se (other than brief source music); instead a montage of assorted bird calls and sound effects put together by perennial Hitchcock composer Bernard Herrmann provides the "incidental music".

In the film, various kinds of birds attack Bodega Bay, California, a seaside village. It may be noted that in Du Maurier's story, the birds attack Britain instead of California.


Synopsis

Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

A young lady (Hedren) visits a bird shop on a Friday afternoon. There, she meets Mitch (Taylor), a lawyer that is looking for two lovebirds for his little sister. She pretends to be the shopkeeper, showing him various species of birds, until she accidentally lets out a canary. When Mitch reveals after the incident that he knows her as Melanie Daniels, the daughter of a newspaper magnate, and tells her off for being a spoiled prankster, she decides to pay a visit to his house to get back at him and give his sister the lovebirds that he couldn't obtain. Outside, a flock of pigeons menacingly circle the sky.

When she arrives at the town of Bodega Bay, she seeks out Annie Hayworth (Suzanne Pleshette), the local teacher, in order to learn the name of Mitch's sister, Cathy (Veronica Cartwright). Then, she travels out by boat and stealthily enters Mitch's house, placing the present in the living room. On the way back, however, a seagull inexplicably swoops down and claws her.

Cleaning up her wounds, Melanie gives Mitch the alibi that Annie was an old friend of hers and she wanted to pay a visit. She then returns to Annie's house, rents out a room for the weekend, and heads over to Mitch's house for dinner. There, his mother, Lydia (Jessica Tandy), argues with someone over the phone that the chicken feed she bought was defective—her chickens wouldn't eat a bite—only to learn that the vendor's own fowl, who had been given a different brand, had the same problem. After dinner, Melanie returns to Annie's house and the two chat about their past, when a thud is heard against the front door. Opening the door, Melanie discovers a dead crow sprawled on the ground.

The next day, Cathy hosts a birthday party. A peaceful flock of birds make their way across the clear blue sky as Melanie and Mitch walk along the beach. As time goes on, however, the sound of bird calls grows louder, and a shadowy cloud appears over the festivities. All of a sudden, a bird swoops down and switches Cathy on the ear, and an attack on the party commences. Terrified guests rush into the house as birds scratch, peck, and bite at them ravenously and without motive.

From then on, things go from bad to worse as bird attacks increase, both in scope and in violence. Lydia drives over to the farmer who sold her the defective chicken feed and discovers a gory corpse with his eyes gouged out. After fleeing the scene in a hysteria, Lydia begs Melanie to keep watch over Cathy during school the next day. A flock of crows gather in the playground, and when Melanie evacuates the school, they viciously tear at the children, nearly killing one of them.

At a pub where a majority of the children have evacuated, Melanie bears witness to the death of a gas clerk across the street after a seagull attacks him. A trail of gasoline makes its way down the road, to where a man is lighting a cigarette. The cries of bystanders are in vain, and a shattering explosion alerts scores of birds, who attack those who rushed out to help the clerk. Melanie runs to assist, but quickly retreats to a phone booth as she is attacked. From that vantage point, she bears witness to the horrific spectacle as birds rush at her from all angles. The local fire department soon arrives to fight the fire and end up fighting the birds instead. A dying man leans against the booth, slowly collapsing and leaving a streak of blood on the glass, which begins to crack as birds endlessly peck and fly at it. Finally, Mitch ventures into the storm and brings her back into the pub, where a woman accuses her of being cursed.

At last, the screeching of the birds comes to an end. Melanie sets out in search of Annie and Cathy. Annie lies dead on her porch, while a terrified Cathy uncontrollably sobs. Melanie comforts Cathy and Mitch brings Annie inside, as the afternoon descends into dusk.

Cathy, Melanie, Mitch, and Lydia hole up in their house, boarding up all the windows, doors, and openings, with the exception of a single fireplace that has a fire going around the clock. In this claustrophobic environment, the four spend hours wondering when the next attack will come. Finally, a clamor erupts, and Mitch quickly checks and repairs openings while the rest look on, terrified out of their wits. The power goes out, and Mitch gets a flashlight from the basement.

Later on, Melanie wakes up with the intuition that something is terribly wrong. She grabs Mitch's flashlight and carefully examines the rooms, then cautiously treads the stairs, opens a door, and goes inside. Birds attack her from all sides as she gazes at a gigantic hole in the ceiling. Unable to fight, she collapses onto the floor, nearly dying before Mitch comes and rescues her. Realizing that she needs to get to a hospital, he tells the others that they have to leave, and daringly ventures outside to get the car. Here, Hitchcock offers one of the most surreal and apocalyptic scenes to appear on film, as a sea of birds move under a cloudy twilight. Mitch quietly enters the garage and turns on the car radio, which reports that bird attacks have occurred further inland, mentioning the town of Santa Rosa, about thirty miles away. He brings the car around front and helps Cathy, Melanie, and Lydia inside, then drives away, parting waves of birds that seem to lie in anticipation of something...

The ending to this movie is purposefully abrupt in order to allow the audience to make their own guesses as to why these birds attacked. One reason could be revenge/uprising. The caged lovebirds brought along throughout the movie serve as a subtle justification to the bird attacks. Could the birds be getting back at mankind for all the abuse, exploiting and hunting they have been through?


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Could the birds be getting back at mankind for all the abuse, exploiting and hunting they have been through?. This is one of three Tom Hanks movies, (along with Forrest Gump and Apollo 13) where socks play a role in the plot. The G.I.s use socks for the shells of their sticky bombs. The caged lovebirds brought along throughout the movie serve as a subtle justification to the bird attacks. Months later, the FCC released a statement that stated the affiliates would not have been banned if they presented the film. One reason could be revenge/uprising. Other stations showed infomercials, while other affiliates showed their own tributes to Veterans Day. The ending to this movie is purposefully abrupt in order to allow the audience to make their own guesses as to why these birds attacked. In its stead, affilates showed alternative films, such as Hoosiers, Far & Away, and Return to Mayberry.

He brings the car around front and helps Cathy, Melanie, and Lydia inside, then drives away, parting waves of birds that seem to lie in anticipation of something... The affiliates which chose not to broadcast the film represented over a third of the network's potential viewing audience; besides Sinclair, some ABC stations owned by Cox Television, Belo, Hearst-Argyle, McGraw-Hill, and EW Scripps all chose to preempt the film. Mitch quietly enters the garage and turns on the car radio, which reports that bird attacks have occurred further inland, mentioning the town of Santa Rosa, about thirty miles away. Although the film had been broadcast by all ABC affiliates in two prior years, the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy and the subsequent FCC response led at least 66 stations to choose not to broadcast it, including:. Here, Hitchcock offers one of the most surreal and apocalyptic scenes to appear on film, as a sea of birds move under a cloudy twilight. A significant number of ABC affiliates decided to preempt the network's broadcast due to concerns of repercussions from the FCC due to the film's depiction of violence and profanity. Realizing that she needs to get to a hospital, he tells the others that they have to leave, and daringly ventures outside to get the car. The film was the focus of some controversy leading up to a Veterans Day 2004 broadcast of the film by ABC.

Unable to fight, she collapses onto the floor, nearly dying before Mitch comes and rescues her. Locations for the film include:. Birds attack her from all sides as she gazes at a gigantic hole in the ceiling. See the page at the Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120815/) for a more comprehensive cast list. She grabs Mitch's flashlight and carefully examines the rooms, then cautiously treads the stairs, opens a door, and goes inside.
. Later on, Melanie wakes up with the intuition that something is terribly wrong. Francis Sampson wrote about Niland and the story of the 101st, in his 1958 book, Look Out Below! (ISBN 1877702005).

The power goes out, and Mitch gets a flashlight from the basement. Fr. Finally, a clamor erupts, and Mitch quickly checks and repairs openings while the rest look on, terrified out of their wits. Additionally, the brother believed killed in the Far East turned out to have been captured and later returned home. In this claustrophobic environment, the four spend hours wondering when the next attack will come. There was no behind-the-lines Ranger rescue mission, Niland was not a simple private, his mother was not a widow, nor is she believed to have received all three telegrams together. Cathy, Melanie, Mitch, and Lydia hole up in their house, boarding up all the windows, doors, and openings, with the exception of a single fireplace that has a fire going around the clock. Sampson arranged passage back to Britain and thereafter to his parents, Augusta and Michael Niland, in Tonawanda.

Melanie comforts Cathy and Mitch brings Annie inside, as the afternoon descends into dusk. Under the US War Department's Sole Survivor Policy, brought about following the death of five Sullivan brothers serving on the same ship, Fr. Annie lies dead on her porch, while a terrified Cathy uncontrollably sobs. Father Francis Sampson, told Niland about the death of his three brothers, two at Normandy and one in the Far East. Melanie sets out in search of Annie and Cathy. Col. At last, the screeching of the birds comes to an end. They eventually made their own way back to their unit at Carentan, where the Chaplain, Lt.

Finally, Mitch ventures into the storm and brings her back into the pub, where a woman accuses her of being cursed. Frederick (Fritz) Niland who, with some other members of the 101st, was inadvertently dropped too far inland. A dying man leans against the booth, slowly collapsing and leaving a streak of blood on the glass, which begins to crack as birds endlessly peck and fly at it. The real "Ryan" was Sgt. The local fire department soon arrives to fight the fire and end up fighting the birds instead. Ryan survives, but Miller is killed in the assault. From that vantage point, she bears witness to the horrific spectacle as birds rush at her from all angles. Miller and his men protect him, and all but two members of the unit are killed in a ferocious German tank assault on the bridge over the Merderet River in the (fictional) village of Ramelle, which they are defending.

The cries of bystanders are in vain, and a shattering explosion alerts scores of birds, who attack those who rushed out to help the clerk. Melanie runs to assist, but quickly retreats to a phone booth as she is attacked. Ryan is reluctant in the decision but decides not to desert his strategically important post. A trail of gasoline makes its way down the road, to where a man is lighting a cigarette. They break the news of his brothers' deaths to him and tell him that he is going home. At a pub where a majority of the children have evacuated, Melanie bears witness to the death of a gas clerk across the street after a seagull attacks him. Eventually, at the expense of two members of their unit, Miller and his men catch up with Ryan. A flock of crows gather in the playground, and when Melanie evacuates the school, they viciously tear at the children, nearly killing one of them. The American command takes the decision to bring him back for his mother's sake.

After fleeing the scene in a hysteria, Lydia begs Melanie to keep watch over Cathy during school the next day. Ryan is the sole surviving member of four brothers, the other three having been killed in action. Lydia drives over to the farmer who sold her the defective chicken feed and discovers a gory corpse with his eyes gouged out. As the position consolidates, Miller is given his new assigment, to find Private Ryan, who had been parachuted in as a member of the 101st Airborne, which, as the film historically correctly asserts, was scattered widely across Normandy. From then on, things go from bad to worse as bird attacks increase, both in scope and in violence. The bond between Miller and his men is forged in the beachhead assault on a German bunker, where his decisive action saved the day. Terrified guests rush into the house as birds scratch, peck, and bite at them ravenously and without motive. Under intensely difficult circumstances, Miller displays a decisive and courageous manner to his soldiers - his suppressed nervousness is communicated only by his unsteady hands.

All of a sudden, a bird swoops down and switches Cathy on the ear, and an attack on the party commences. Miller, as played by Hanks, conceals his erstwhile profession of schoolteacher and his background from the troops under his command; the uncovering of Miller's background becomes a sub-plot of the film in as much as the men have a pool on his origins, which he steadfastly refuses to reveal. As time goes on, however, the sound of bird calls grows louder, and a shadowy cloud appears over the festivities. Many critics commented that the film seemed marred somewhat by Spielberg's propensity for sentimentalism. A peaceful flock of birds make their way across the clear blue sky as Melanie and Mitch walk along the beach. The general plot of the film, as the title suggests, is a humanitarian rescue mission led by John Miller, an army captain, played by Tom Hanks to return the last surviving Ryan brother from the Normandy front line to his mother. The next day, Cathy hosts a birthday party. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and won five: for Best Director, Best Film Editing (Michael Kahn), Best Cinematography, Best Sound, and Best Sound Effects Editing.

Opening the door, Melanie discovers a dead crow sprawled on the ground. Spielberg later pursued his interest in the Normandy campaign with the television mini-series Band of Brothers which he co-produced with Tom Hanks. After dinner, Melanie returns to Annie's house and the two chat about their past, when a thud is heard against the front door. The beachhead assault and the other battles shown in the movie have inspired many PC and video games, such as Unreal Tournament (1999), Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Frontline, and Call of Duty, all of which have tried to re-create the famous D-day landing. There, his mother, Lydia (Jessica Tandy), argues with someone over the phone that the chicken feed she bought was defective—her chickens wouldn't eat a bite—only to learn that the vendor's own fowl, who had been given a different brand, had the same problem. Thereafter it takes a very heavily fictionalised route built around the search for a particular member of the United States 101st Airborne Division. She then returns to Annie's house, rents out a room for the weekend, and heads over to Mitch's house for dinner. The film is particularly notable for the intensity of the scenes in its first twenty minutes or so, which depict the Omaha beachhead assault of June 6, 1944.

Cleaning up her wounds, Melanie gives Mitch the alibi that Annie was an old friend of hers and she wanted to pay a visit. Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 film directed by Steven Spielberg dealing with the World War II Battle of Normandy. On the way back, however, a seagull inexplicably swoops down and claws her. All ABC affiliates owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Then, she travels out by boat and stealthily enters Mitch's house, placing the present in the living room. WRIC-TV of Richmond, Virginia. When she arrives at the town of Bodega Bay, she seeks out Annie Hayworth (Suzanne Pleshette), the local teacher, in order to learn the name of Mitch's sister, Cathy (Veronica Cartwright). WCDC-TV of Adams, Massachusetts.

Outside, a flock of pigeons menacingly circle the sky. WTEN-TV of Albany, New York. When Mitch reveals after the incident that he knows her as Melanie Daniels, the daughter of a newspaper magnate, and tells her off for being a spoiled prankster, she decides to pay a visit to his house to get back at him and give his sister the lovebirds that he couldn't obtain. WMUR-TV of Manchester, New Hampshire. She pretends to be the shopkeeper, showing him various species of birds, until she accidentally lets out a canary. KVUE-TV of Austin, Texas. There, she meets Mitch (Taylor), a lawyer that is looking for two lovebirds for his little sister. WCPO-TV of Cincinnati, Ohio.

A young lady (Hedren) visits a bird shop on a Friday afternoon. WGNO-TV of New Orleans, Louisiana.
. WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina. It may be noted that in Du Maurier's story, the birds attack Britain instead of California. WHAS-TV of Louisville, Kentucky. In the film, various kinds of birds attack Bodega Bay, California, a seaside village. KITV-TV in Honolulu, Hawaii.

This film is notable in that it has no music score per se (other than brief source music); instead a montage of assorted bird calls and sound effects put together by perennial Hitchcock composer Bernard Herrmann provides the "incidental music". WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. The screenplay for The Birds was written by Evan Hunter, better known as crime fiction novelist Ed McBain. WOI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa. (Hitchcock also adapted Du Maurier's novel Rebecca into an acclaimed film) about birds mobbing humans. Curracloe, Wexford, Ireland: D-Day scene. The Birds (1963) is a horror film by Alfred Hitchcock, based on a short story by Daphne Du Maurier. Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

World War II Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial: first and last scenes of the movie. Marshall. George C. Harve Presnell - Gen.

Walter Anderson. Col. Dennis Farina - Lt. William Hill.

Paul Giamatti - SSgt. Ted Danson - Captain Fred Hamill. Vin Diesel - Private Adrian Caparzo. Giovanni Ribisi - Private Irwin Wade, the medic of Miller's group.

Barry Pepper - Private Daniel Jackson, the sniper of Miller's group. Adam Goldberg - Private Stanley Mellish. He is presented as somewhat na´ve and cowardly. Upham, added to Millers's team as an interpreter, speaking French and German.

Jeremy Davies - Corporal Timothy E. Matt Damon - Private James Ryan. Michael Horvath. Tom Sizemore - Sgt.

Edward Burns - Private Richard Reiben, from Brooklyn. Tom Hanks - Captain John Miller, a former schoolteacher.

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