The Birds is a 1963 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, loosely based on the 1952 story of the same name by Daphne du Maurier. It stars Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren, in her screen debut, supported by Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette and Veronica Cartwright.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) is a rich society girl, who meets handsome Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) at a pet store. After he leaves, she decides to follow him with two lovebirds, a present for his baby sister (Veronica Cartwright). Shortly after she arrives at Mitch's quiet hometown of Bodega Bay, strange things seem to happen to the local birds - causing them to attack without provocation.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Tippi Hedren as Melanie Daniels
- Rod Taylor as Mitch Brenner
- Jessica Tandy as Lydia Brenner
- Suzanne Pleshette as Annie Hayworth
- Veronica Cartwright as Cathy Brenner
- Ethel Griffies as Mrs. Bundy, ornithologist
- Charles McGraw as Sebastian Sholes, fisherman
- Lonny Chapman as Deke Carter, innkeeper
- Doreen Lang as Hysterical Mother
- Karl Swenson as Drunken "Prophet"
- Joe Mantell as Cynical Businessman
- Ruth McDevitt as Mrs. MacGruder, owner of bird shop
- Malcolm Atterbury as Deputy Al Malone
- John McGovern as Mail Clerk
- Richard Deacon as Mitch's neighbor in San Francisco
- Elizabeth Wilson as Helen Carter, Deke's wife
- Doodles Weaver as Fisherman helping with rental boat
- William Quinn as Sam - Man in Diner
Reception[edit | edit source]
Critical response[edit | edit source]
The Birds received critical acclaim. In recent years it has received a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 96%, with the consensus: "Proving once again that build-up is the key to suspense, Hitchcock successfully turned birds into some of the most terrifying villains in horror history." The eminent film critic David Thomson refers to it as Hitchcock's "last unflawed film".