The Birds (1963) 4.14/5 (2)


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Rating: The Good – 83.6
Genre: Horror
Duration: 119 mins
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Suzanne Pleshette

Hitchcock outdoes even himself with one of the most effective and masterful of all horror films. Okay, so it’s not as scary as some of the films we would more intuitively describe as horror but that’s not the point. The point is that Hitchcock took something we have no natural fear of and with one astonishingly conceived sequence after another slowly imbued it with a sense of primordial danger. Tippi Hedren stars as a San Francisco socialite who tracks a big city lawyer to his weekend home in Bodega Bay to settle a playful score. Shortly after arriving, she is attacked by a gull, an incident which precipitates a seeming ornithological uprising. Hedren and Rod Taylor are very good in the title roles and hold the viewers attention in the earlier parts of the film. Their playful game of cat and mouse is well written and a treat to watch. Jessica Tandy as his slightly needful mother and a young Veronica Cartwright as his sister do well also during the more frightening half of the film. The Birds is replete with moments of ingenuity and downright genius on the part of Hitchcock from the monkey bar sequence to the aerial bird’s eye shot of the town right before they attack but it’s the entire package that makes it such an enjoyable watch.

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