The Birds – Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds is an unforgettable masterpiece that is considered one of the most terrifying films from the Master of Suspense. When beautiful blonde Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) travels to Bodega Bay in pursuit of eligible bachelor Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), she is inexplicably attacked by a seagull. Suddenly, thousands of birds begin to flock into town, preying on schoolchildren and residents in a terrifying series of attacks.
The Birds is generally regarded as the last great Hitchcock movie (it was shot in 1963, when the director’s reputation was at its peak). It starts out in a pet shop with birds in their cages; it ends with humans besieged in their home with windows and doors boarded up so that no birds (or light) can get in.
There are memorable minor roles played by Jessica Tandy as Brenner’s mother, Lydia, and by Suzanne Pleshette as his former girlfriend Annie. The screenplay was adapted by popular writer Evan Hunter, better known by his pseudonym Ed McBain, from a novella by Daphne du Maurier. Hitchcock used electronic sounds instead of a musical score to great effect.
Part of the lasting ability of The Birds to stay modern is that no reasonable explanation is given for the sudden change in bird behavior – the ambiguity lets an audience from any time period insert their own contemporary fear and explanation. (In the original short story by du Maurier, it is the end of the world that brought the birds to assault the trapped family in Cornwall, England).
Melanie and Lydia do have the same hairstyle