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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 following is a list of song titles used through out the film. The caged lovebirds brought along throughout the movie serve as a subtle justification to the bird attacks. Joker is ignorant he has got guts. One reason could be revenge/uprising. Joker to squad leader reasoning that although Pvt. 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 senior drill instructor although offended promotes Pvt.

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... Joker whether he believes in the Virgin Mary, and Pvt Joker replies that he does not. 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. In one of the scenes the senior drill instructor asks Pvt. 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. There are also several references to religion, the senior drill instructor is a Roman-Catholic. 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 movie is full of satires about the war providing freedom for the Vietnamese people by taking away the freedom of the American people, and the fact that the Vietnamese don't seem to want their freedom (in a satirical scene).

Unable to fight, she collapses onto the floor, nearly dying before Mitch comes and rescues her. The irony is that the product of the US marine recruit training, killers, are wiped out one by one by a small school girl who snipes from a damaged building. Birds attack her from all sides as she gazes at a gigantic hole in the ceiling. In the second half of the movie, the protagonist wants to get in "the shit" but eventually at the end of the movie, is happy just to be alive. She grabs Mitch's flashlight and carefully examines the rooms, then cautiously treads the stairs, opens a door, and goes inside. Drill instructor tells his recruits what a marine is capable of doing in his speech about famous assassins, thus giving Pyle his murderous idea. Later on, Melanie wakes up with the intuition that something is terribly wrong. Gomer Pyle murders; drills instructor's success results in his own death.

The power goes out, and Mitch gets a flashlight from the basement. The irony is the murder of the senior drill instructor whom Pvt. Finally, a clamor erupts, and Mitch quickly checks and repairs openings while the rest look on, terrified out of their wits. Gomer Pyle appeared to be an innocent character in the beginning of the movie and eventually ended up as a killer, exactly like the drill instructor wanted. In this claustrophobic environment, the four spend hours wondering when the next attack will come. Pvt. 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 the first half of the movie, the recruit training is supposed to train soldiers who protect the interests of the country and the military, but at the end the training results in the death of the senior drill instructor.

Melanie comforts Cathy and Mitch brings Annie inside, as the afternoon descends into dusk. In the next level, each dual part of the movie has its own ambiguity. Annie lies dead on her porch, while a terrified Cathy uncontrollably sobs. It is shown to be milder and even funny at times, while still showing the horrors present in war. Melanie sets out in search of Annie and Cathy. The Vietnam war, which is the second part of the movie, is gruesome in the minds of people. At last, the screeching of the birds comes to an end. The first part, the training of new US Marine Corps recruits, accepted to be a positive thing by a wide range of American population, is depicted as very disturbing.

Finally, Mitch ventures into the storm and brings her back into the pub, where a woman accuses her of being cursed. In the most basic level, the movie itself is dual in nature, in that it is divided into two distinct parts. 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 confliciting duality is irony exhibited by the characters and the conflicting nature of the war. The local fire department soon arrives to fight the fire and end up fighting the birds instead. The main theme of the movie is conflicting duality which the director has incorporated in several levels of the movie. From that vantage point, she bears witness to the horrific spectacle as birds rush at her from all angles. The movie is a satire on the Vietnam war and the soldiers involved in the war.

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. Other songs used in the film are "Hello Vietnam" and "Patriotic Full Metal Jacket Military Cadence." The film's end credits are accompanied by The Rolling Stones "Paint It Black.". A trail of gasoline makes its way down the road, to where a man is lighting a cigarette. The film concludes with the soldiers' ironic rendition of the theme song to the Mickey Mouse Club. 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. His helmet decoration – the slogan "Born to Kill" – and the Peace symbol pin on his uniform exemplify his moral ambiguity. 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 'Joker' soon becomes familiar with both the horror and the absurdity of war.

After fleeing the scene in a hysteria, Lydia begs Melanie to keep watch over Cathy during school the next day. 'Joker' Davis (Matthew Modine) now a Sergeant and a Stars and Stripes war correspondent, as he covers the Tet Offensive. Lydia drives over to the farmer who sold her the defective chicken feed and discovers a gory corpse with his eyes gouged out. The second part then takes place in Vietnam, mostly focusing on Marine recruit J.T. From then on, things go from bad to worse as bird attacks increase, both in scope and in violence. Lawrence then kills himself. Terrified guests rush into the house as birds scratch, peck, and bite at them ravenously and without motive. Lee Ermey, whose performance earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor). The drill is depicted as designed to wash away the recruits' personalities and turn them into killers, but the brutal treatment of Leonard 'Gomer Pyle' Lawrence, played by Vincent D'Onofrio results in his murder of the drill instructor.

All of a sudden, a bird swoops down and switches Cathy on the ear, and an attack on the party commences. The first part of the film follows the basic training of a group of Marine recruits during the Vietnam War era under the brutal command of drill instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (played by R. As time goes on, however, the sound of bird calls grows louder, and a shadowy cloud appears over the festivities. While this was reasonable for the urban nature of the Tet offensive, it can be attributed to Kubrick's aversion to travel, especially by plane: after receiving death threats during the filming of Barry Lyndon in Ireland, he had decided never again to leave Great Britain. A peaceful flock of birds make their way across the clear blue sky as Melanie and Mitch walk along the beach. The ravaged city scenes were shot in a disused gas works. The next day, Cathy hosts a birthday party. Palm trees were imported from Spain.

Opening the door, Melanie discovers a dead crow sprawled on the ground. The movie was shot mainly on the Isle of Dogs, a peninsula in east London. After dinner, Melanie returns to Annie's house and the two chat about their past, when a thud is heard against the front door. All references to a recruit's family are absolutely forbidden, as is striking a recruit. 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. In the aftermath of this film a series of policy changes came about in what was considered acceptable behavior by a drill instructor in the United States Armed Forces. She then returns to Annie's house, rents out a room for the weekend, and heads over to Mitch's house for dinner. The miasma of confusion and angst of the new world begins in boot camp, and spirals down into bloodshed before even landing in Vietnam.

Cleaning up her wounds, Melanie gives Mitch the alibi that Annie was an old friend of hers and she wanted to pay a visit. Recurring themes are the contradictions of war, a constant feeling of being out of one's depth, and the idea of combat in Vietnam being part of a different world, with its own rules and customs. On the way back, however, a seagull inexplicably swoops down and claws her. The film has been widely praised for accurately evoking the mood of the Vietnam War from the soldier's point of view. Then, she travels out by boat and stealthily enters Mitch's house, placing the present in the living room. The film is named after the full metal jacket ammunition used in military weapons. 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). Full Metal Jacket (1987) is a film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel The Short-Timers by Gustav Hasford.

Outside, a flock of pigeons menacingly circle the sky. Kubrick provided the voice of Murphy, the soldier on the other end of the radio communication in the latter part of the film. 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. Mickey Mouse Club Television Theme. She pretends to be the shopkeeper, showing him various species of birds, until she accidentally lets out a canary. Paint it Black - Performed by The Rolling Stones. There, she meets Mitch (Taylor), a lawyer that is looking for two lovebirds for his little sister. Chapel of Love - Performed by The Dixie Cups.

A young lady (Hedren) visits a bird shop on a Friday afternoon. The Marine's Hymn - Performed by The Goldmen.
. Surfin' Bird - Performed by The Trashmen. It may be noted that in Du Maurier's story, the birds attack Britain instead of California. Wooly Bully - Performed by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs. In the film, various kinds of birds attack Bodega Bay, California, a seaside village. These Boots Are Made for Walkin' - Performed by Nancy Sinatra.

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". Hello Vietnam - Performed by Johnny Wright. 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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