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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?. With the death of Charles Bronson on August 30, 2003, Robert Vaughn (Lee) is the only survivor of the seven actors who played the title characters. The caged lovebirds brought along throughout the movie serve as a subtle justification to the bird attacks. There have also been adaptations of the film's plot, notably in a German Karl May movie called "Thunder at the Border" (Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand) (1966), and in the science fiction movie "Battle Beyond the Stars" (1980), in which Robert Vaughn reprised his role from The Magnificent Seven. One reason could be revenge/uprising. It also inspired the Kazakh film Wild East. 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 Westworld, Yul Brynner played an android impersonating his black-dressed gunfighter role as "Chris Adams".

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 movie has also inspired a television series (The Magnificent Seven, 1998), and a parody in which a poor Mexican village hires three Western actors to protect their village from bandits (íThree Amigos!, 1986, starring Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short). 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. The film's success inspired three sequels: Return of the Seven (1966); Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969) and The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972), but none were as successful as the original film. 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. The shot of the seven gunfighters striding toward the camera is one of the most often-copied shots in cinematic history, appearing in such diverse films as The Right Stuff and Monsters, Inc., and the opening sequence of the animated Justice League. 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 score was nominated for an Academy Award in 1961.

Unable to fight, she collapses onto the floor, nearly dying before Mitch comes and rescues her. The movie's famous theme tune was by Elmer Bernstein, later being reused in commercials for Marlboro (cigarette) and Victoria Bitter beer. Birds attack her from all sides as she gazes at a gigantic hole in the ceiling. vs. She grabs Mitch's flashlight and carefully examines the rooms, then cautiously treads the stairs, opens a door, and goes inside. The Magnificent Seven is a John Sturges western film of 1960, a remake of Shichinin no samurai starring:. Later on, Melanie wakes up with the intuition that something is terribly wrong. The Magnificent Seven is one of the English language titles for the Akira Kurosawa film Shichinin no samurai (1954), also called The Seven Samurai.

The power goes out, and Mitch gets a flashlight from the basement. Eli Wallach (Calvera) and his 40 bandits. Finally, a clamor erupts, and Mitch quickly checks and repairs openings while the rest look on, terrified out of their wits. Robert Vaughn (Lee). In this claustrophobic environment, the four spend hours wondering when the next attack will come. Brad Dexter (Harry Luck). 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. Horst Buchholz (Chico).

Melanie comforts Cathy and Mitch brings Annie inside, as the afternoon descends into dusk. James Coburn (Britt). Annie lies dead on her porch, while a terrified Cathy uncontrollably sobs. Charles Bronson (Bernardo O'Reilly). Melanie sets out in search of Annie and Cathy. Steve McQueen (Vin). At last, the screeching of the birds comes to an end. Yul Brynner (Chris Adams).

Finally, Mitch ventures into the storm and brings her back into the pub, where a woman accuses her of being cursed. 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 local fire department soon arrives to fight the fire and end up fighting the birds instead. From that vantage point, she bears witness to the horrific spectacle as birds rush at her from all angles.

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. A trail of gasoline makes its way down the road, to where a man is lighting a cigarette. 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 flock of crows gather in the playground, and when Melanie evacuates the school, they viciously tear at the children, nearly killing one of them.

After fleeing the scene in a hysteria, Lydia begs Melanie to keep watch over Cathy during school the next day. Lydia drives over to the farmer who sold her the defective chicken feed and discovers a gory corpse with his eyes gouged out. From then on, things go from bad to worse as bird attacks increase, both in scope and in violence. Terrified guests rush into the house as birds scratch, peck, and bite at them ravenously and without motive.

All of a sudden, a bird swoops down and switches Cathy on the ear, and an attack on the party commences. As time goes on, however, the sound of bird calls grows louder, and a shadowy cloud appears over the festivities. A peaceful flock of birds make their way across the clear blue sky as Melanie and Mitch walk along the beach. The next day, Cathy hosts a birthday party.

Opening the door, Melanie discovers a dead crow sprawled on the ground. After dinner, Melanie returns to Annie's house and the two chat about their past, when a thud is heard against the front door. 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. She then returns to Annie's house, rents out a room for the weekend, and heads over to Mitch's house for dinner.

Cleaning up her wounds, Melanie gives Mitch the alibi that Annie was an old friend of hers and she wanted to pay a visit. On the way back, however, a seagull inexplicably swoops down and claws her. Then, she travels out by boat and stealthily enters Mitch's house, placing the present in the living room. 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).

Outside, a flock of pigeons menacingly circle the sky. 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. She pretends to be the shopkeeper, showing him various species of birds, until she accidentally lets out a canary. There, she meets Mitch (Taylor), a lawyer that is looking for two lovebirds for his little sister.

A young lady (Hedren) visits a bird shop on a Friday afternoon.
. It may be noted that in Du Maurier's story, the birds attack Britain instead of California. In the film, various kinds of birds attack Bodega Bay, California, a seaside village.

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". The screenplay for The Birds was written by Evan Hunter, better known as crime fiction novelist Ed McBain. (Hitchcock also adapted Du Maurier's novel Rebecca into an acclaimed film) about birds mobbing humans. The Birds (1963) is a horror film by Alfred Hitchcock, based on a short story by Daphne Du Maurier.

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