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"The Birds" (1963) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #73 Gem Mint 10.0

“The Birds“ (1963)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Writer: Daphne Du Maurier (story), Evan Hunter (screenplay)

Starring: Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette, Veronica Cartwright, Ethel Griffies, Richard Deacon

Rated: PG-13 for some frightening images, mild violence and language

Runtime: 1h 59min

Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery

Country: USA

Language: English

A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.

You might like this if you like: Alfred Hitchock('s work), Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Horror, Thrillers, Suspense, Mysteries, Birds, Dramas, "Jaws" (1975)

The Birds” (1963)

The Birds” (1963) I saw only recently. Don’t ask me why. I know. I wasn’t a massive Alfred Hitchcock fanatic growing up but “Rear Window” (1954) always stood out to me as a favorite. Now I feel like it’s finally got some competition.

Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor stand out amongst the cast. They kept me hooked from start to finish. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting. A cheesy, unbelievable thriller that didn’t spawn much fear to me based on its log line. I was immediately taken by the Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor’s mysterious relationship and loved how the first half of the film was all character. We got to live with them a little before the hell began.

Tippi Hedren (left) & Rod Taylor (right) in “The Birds” (1963)

Alfred Hitchcock does a wonderful job at bringing this story to life. Now I’d never want to work with that many live animals but I commend him for the hard work I’m sure it must’ve been to coordinate them all. I was honestly shocked at how many real birds I saw in this. I don’t really want to know how many birds died at the cost of this film. I understand Alfred Hitchcock would’ve been very limited and that’s mostly why I’m commending him in the first place. If he did it now with the option of CGI and still killed that many birds.. Yeah, that just wouldn’t fly (no pun intended).

In a similar fashion to how I enjoy “From Dusk till Dawn” (1996), the film is a nice breed of character and horror. The two genres meet in the middle and the latter takes over. I know a lot of people disliked “From Dusk till Dawn” (1996) for that very reason but as a fan of it I felt this one could’ve been an early inspiration for Robert Rodriguez's and Quentin Tarantino's “From Dusk till Dawn” (1996).

Tippi Hedren in “The Birds” (1963)

Jaws” (1975) feels like a nice homage to “The Birds” (1963) and noticed similar qualities I loved about both. That wonderful build-up and characters that most horrors or thrillers don’t have. The directors each came up with the most creative ways to instill fear and create something phenomenal.

Rod Taylor in “The Birds” (1963)

An instant classic for me. Surprised I was so late to this. For how mainstream this film has been, I am ashamedly obsessed with it now. A near perfect thriller that somehow made me even the slightest of paranoid towards birds.

Written by Sam Gall on 10/11/20

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

"The picture pursues these false clues with excessive long-windedness and occasional fatuity. It is a tribute to Hitchcock's mastery of his craft that, even so, he makes overpoweringly real the menace of the birds." - Molra Walsh, America Magazine

"Few films depict so eerily yet so meticulously the metaphysical and historical sense of a world out of joint." - Richard Brody, New Yorker

"The true genius of the film, based on a 1952 short story by Daphne du Maurier, is the way Hitchcock makes the malevolent birds seem like manifestations of his characters' mental unease." - Alastair Sooke, Daily Telegraph (UK)

"Feels like it was made by a brilliant filmmaker who simply felt challenged by the enormity of the task. In that regard, it's close to 100 percent successful." - Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Official Trailer:

Available on various VOD platforms

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