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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?. The film also is an early film to make extensive use of different color temperatures in the same shot: for instance, at the beginning during the break-in, the light from inside is noticeably orange, whereas the light from outside is noticeably blue. The caged lovebirds brought along throughout the movie serve as a subtle justification to the bird attacks. Use of a dioptric lens requires a sharp dividing line to hide the effect; All the President's Men typically used pillars and desks for dividing lines. One reason could be revenge/uprising. Much of the film uses dioptric lenses, which allow a "split screen" effect on a single take: each half of a shot can have its own focal length (that is, a man in the foreground can be in focus, yet on the other side of the frame, a man in the background can also be in focus--with objects between the two of them out of focus). 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. It was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Jane Alexander), Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Picture.

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... It won Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jason Robards), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay. 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. Pakula and adapted for the screen by William Goldman. 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. It was directed by Alan J. 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 All the President's Men stars Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook, Jason Robards, Jane Alexander, Meredith Baxter, Ned Beatty, Stephen Collins and Penny Fuller.

Unable to fight, she collapses onto the floor, nearly dying before Mitch comes and rescues her. Following the success of All the President's Men, Woodward and Bernstein wrote something of a sequel, The Final Days, chronicling the last months of Nixon's Presidency, starting around the time that their previous book ended. Birds attack her from all sides as she gazes at a gigantic hole in the ceiling. Only in 2005 was Deep Throat revealed to be FBI Associate Director Mark Felt. She grabs Mitch's flashlight and carefully examines the rooms, then cautiously treads the stairs, opens a door, and goes inside. It also gives detailed accounts of Woodward's secret meetings with his source Deep Throat whose identity was kept secret for over 30 years. Later on, Melanie wakes up with the intuition that something is terribly wrong. It relates the events behind the major stories the duo wrote for the Post, naming some sources who had previously refused to be identified for their initial articles, notably Hugh Sloan.

The power goes out, and Mitch gets a flashlight from the basement. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, and the revelation of the Nixon tapes by Alexander Butterfield in 1973. Finally, a clamor erupts, and Mitch quickly checks and repairs openings while the rest look on, terrified out of their wits. R. In this claustrophobic environment, the four spend hours wondering when the next attack will come. The book chronicles the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporting of Woodward and Bernstein from the former's inital report on the Watergate break-in through the resignations and H. 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. It was made into a film produced by and starring Robert Redford, released in 1976.

Melanie comforts Cathy and Mitch brings Annie inside, as the afternoon descends into dusk. All the President's Men is a 1974 non-fiction book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two journalists investigating the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post. Annie lies dead on her porch, while a terrified Cathy uncontrollably sobs. Penny Fuller - Sally Aiken. Melanie sets out in search of Annie and Cathy. Sloan, Jr. At last, the screeching of the birds comes to an end. Stephen Collins - Hugh W.

Finally, Mitch ventures into the storm and brings her back into the pub, where a woman accuses her of being cursed. Ned Beatty - Martin Dardis. 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. Meredith Baxter - Debbie Sloan. The local fire department soon arrives to fight the fire and end up fighting the birds instead. Jane Alexander - Judy Hoback. From that vantage point, she bears witness to the horrific spectacle as birds rush at her from all angles. Jason Robards - Ben Bradlee.

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. Hal Holbrook - Deep Throat/Mark Felt. A trail of gasoline makes its way down the road, to where a man is lighting a cigarette. Martin Balsam - Howard Simons. 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. Rosenfeld. 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. Jack Warden - Harry M.

After fleeing the scene in a hysteria, Lydia begs Melanie to keep watch over Cathy during school the next day. Robert Redford - Bob Woodward. Lydia drives over to the farmer who sold her the defective chicken feed and discovers a gory corpse with his eyes gouged out. Dustin Hoffman - Carl Bernstein. 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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