Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Birds (1963)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Starring: Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Veronica Cartwright, Ethel Griffies, Charles McGraw, Doreen Lang, Rugh McDevitt, Joe Mantell

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Suspense and shock beyond anything you have seen or imagined!

Plot: 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 there in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

Man, oh, man does watching a movie in a theater make all the difference sometimes.  I watched this twenty years ago thinking it was just OK.  I recently got to see it at the local cineplex and it was FUCKING AWESOME!!!  It's clear Tippi Hedren didn't have much, if any, acting experience.  She does OK but stack her up next to everybody else, especially the super cool mo-fo Rod Taylor and it's clear who went to school and who did not.  Now that that's out of the way, the movie is pretty damn chilling.  There's no music. Bernard Herrmann is my favorite film composer and I hate that he didn't score it but it works really well without music.  The big stars of the show, of course, are the birds.  WOW!  No CGI here.  Sometimes the effects are a bit dodgy by today's standards but, shit!  This is 1963.  This would have definitely given me the creeps if I saw it fifty years ago.  I was most impressed by how much the actors (specifically Hedren) had to work with live birds.  Some of the scenes were crazy messed up at how brutal they looked.  I'm not surprised that there were injuries on the set.  Jeez.  I thought the high-pitched shrills of the birds was too much but that could have been the speakers at the theater.  I'm so glad I got to see this on the big screen because I would have probably overlooked it the next time I'm on a Hitchcock kick.  I'm overdue for one, too.  I've been wanting to watch all of his flicks in chronological order for too many years now.  I need to get that started soon.

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