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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?.
For the album by the Swedish band Opeth, see Deliverance. The caged lovebirds brought along throughout the movie serve as a subtle justification to the bird attacks.
. One reason could be revenge/uprising. Running time: 109 minutes. 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. The film was selected by the New York Times as one of "The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made.".

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... In 2001, the book was named as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the editorial board of the American Modern Library. 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 rapids within both book and film become a major symbol and plot device to reflect the natural dangers of the untamed wilderness towards urban outsiders. 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. In the years following the film's release, more than 30 people have drowned attempting to recreate the canoe trip along the section of the river where the film was shot. 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. Deliverance was shot on the Chattooga River, dividing the states of South Carolina and Georgia.

Unable to fight, she collapses onto the floor, nearly dying before Mitch comes and rescues her. The three leave the river valley forever, lying about their ordeal to police investigators (the sheriff was played by author James Dickey) in order to escape their double murder charge, and vowing to keep their story of death and survival a secret for the rest of their lives. Birds attack her from all sides as she gazes at a gigantic hole in the ceiling. For their survival, Ed must climb the cliffs and overcome his very fears in order to dispatch the other mountain man with his bow and arrow. She grabs Mitch's flashlight and carefully examines the rooms, then cautiously treads the stairs, opens a door, and goes inside. One mountain man is killed by Lewis' archery skills, and the four make a run for it downriver, but soon Drew is shot and killed from behind in his canoe by the other mountain man, and then Lewis breaks his femur in the following boat crash in the rocky rapids. Later on, Melanie wakes up with the intuition that something is terribly wrong. The song won the 1974 Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance.

The power goes out, and Mitch gets a flashlight from the basement. In the scene at the rural gas station, character Drew Ballinger plays the instrumental "Dueling Banjos" on his guitar with a retarded mountain boy named Lonny (implied as being an inbred albino in the James Dickey novel), who eventually outplays Drew with his banjo. Finally, a clamor erupts, and Mitch quickly checks and repairs openings while the rest look on, terrified out of their wits. The film is also noted for the memorable music scene near the beginning that sets the tone for what lies ahead: a trip into unknown and potentially dangerous territory. In this claustrophobic environment, the four spend hours wondering when the next attack will come. In what remains one of the most disturbing scenes in film history, at gunpoint one of the canoeists, character Bobby Trippe, is forced to strip naked, his ear twisted to bring him to his knees, and then ordered to "squeal like a pig" before being sodomized while Ed is bound to a tree by his belt tightened around his neck. 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. Travelling in twos, their canoes are briefly separated and the occupants of one canoe (Bobby and Ed) encounter a pair of gritty mountain men emerging from woods.

Melanie comforts Cathy and Mitch brings Annie inside, as the afternoon descends into dusk. The trip turns into a terrifying ordeal revealing the primal nature of man, his animal instincts of survival, and even his potential for violence. Annie lies dead on her porch, while a terrified Cathy uncontrollably sobs. Widely acclaimed as a landmark film, it is the story of four southern suburbanites on a weekend getaway to canoe down the fictional Cahulawassee River in the remote Georgia wildernesses, hoping to have fun and see the glory of nature before the river valley is flooded over with the upcoming construction of a dam. Melanie sets out in search of Annie and Cathy. Studios into a 1972 motion picture drama. At last, the screeching of the birds comes to an end. Deliverance is a 1970 novel by American author James Dickey that was made by Warner Bros.

Finally, Mitch ventures into the storm and brings her back into the pub, where a woman accuses her of being cursed. Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay - James Dickey. 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. Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song - Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith, Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell. The local fire department soon arrives to fight the fire and end up fighting the birds instead. Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Drama - Jon Voight. From that vantage point, she bears witness to the horrific spectacle as birds rush at her from all angles. Academy Award for Film Editing - Tom Priestley.

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. New York Film Critics Circle for Best Director - John Boorman. A trail of gasoline makes its way down the road, to where a man is lighting a cigarette. Golden Globe Award for Best Director - John Boorman. 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. Academy Award for Directing - John Boorman. 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. New York Film Critics Circle for Best Film.

After fleeing the scene in a hysteria, Lydia begs Melanie to keep watch over Cathy during school the next day. Golden Globe Award for Best Picture - Drama. Lydia drives over to the farmer who sold her the defective chicken feed and discovers a gory corpse with his eyes gouged out. Academy Award for Best Picture. From then on, things go from bad to worse as bird attacks increase, both in scope and in violence. Herbert 'Cowboy' Coward - Toothless Man. Terrified guests rush into the house as birds scratch, peck, and bite at them ravenously and without motive. Bill McKinney - Mountain Man.

All of a sudden, a bird swoops down and switches Cathy on the ear, and an attack on the party commences. Randall Deal - Second Griner. As time goes on, however, the sound of bird calls grows louder, and a shadowy cloud appears over the festivities. Seamon Glass - First Griner. A peaceful flock of birds make their way across the clear blue sky as Melanie and Mitch walk along the beach. Billy Redden - Lonny. The next day, Cathy hosts a birthday party. James Dickey - Sheriff Bullard.

Opening the door, Melanie discovers a dead crow sprawled on the ground. Ronny Cox - Drew Ballinger. After dinner, Melanie returns to Annie's house and the two chat about their past, when a thud is heard against the front door. Ned Beatty - Bobby Trippe. 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. Burt Reynolds - Lewis Medlock. She then returns to Annie's house, rents out a room for the weekend, and heads over to Mitch's house for dinner. Jon Voight - Ed Gentry.

Cleaning up her wounds, Melanie gives Mitch the alibi that Annie was an old friend of hers and she wanted to pay a visit. Music: Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell - "Dueling Banjos" (1955 composition by Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith). On the way back, however, a seagull inexplicably swoops down and claws her. Cinematography: Vilmos Zsigmond. Then, she travels out by boat and stealthily enters Mitch's house, placing the present in the living room. Screenplay adaption: James Dickey. 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). Original story: James Dickey from his novel.

Outside, a flock of pigeons menacingly circle the sky. Producer: John Boorman. 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. Director: John Boorman. 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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