Tuesday, December 07, 2021


Amazon.com: The Birds [DVD] : Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy,  Suzanne Pleshette, Veronica Cartwright, Malcolm Atterbury, Alfred  Hitchcock, Alfred Hitchcock, Evan Hunter: Movies & TV
A small town is violently besieged by birds. 
Since this is a classic of horror by Alfred Hitchcock, I wanted to revisit this film. It's probably been decades since I had seen this movie, and I am not sure if I ever had the opportunity to see it from start to finish, in it's entirety, uninterrupted.  

This is a rather simple film, as they all were back then. Approximately the firth third of the movie is dedicated to character development. You get to know everything about your main cast. The slowly, the action begins. One bird attack here. Another one there. Then a bigger attack. Then, all out war! 
In this adaptation, the attacking birds were mostly seagulls and crows, two well documented aggressive species. But they aren't flying off with your hot dog from the stand, they have a taste for human flesh. Or do they? They seem bent on killing people, and nothing more. Then, just as suddenly as the attacks started, they stopped. No explanation for either, because Mother Nature doesn't ask humans for permission for ANYTHING. 

It doesn't hold up very well to time. The special and film effects are so-so at best and the children look more like they are having fun running from the birds instead of terrified. It might just be a product of the time. Could it be filmed better now? Maybe. Do we need a new version? No. Still a classic worth your time to view. Plus that Tippi Hedron went through quite an ordeal to star in this. She's also quite the eyeful! 

May be an image of one or more people and bird

The Birds, and Other Stories: Du Maurier, Daphne: 9780330250818:  Amazon.com: Books
by Daphne du Maurier

The entire country of England is besieged by waves of birds. 
When I found out that THE BIRDS was based on a short story, I decided to give it a shot and see how the two compare. 

Superficially, it's the same story. People are attacked by birds without any warning. However, this story is told from the perspective of a hard-working and observant farmhand who has a firm grasp of the.  land and sea. His first tip off was when a few birds invaded his home. It was scary, but not much damage. When he noticed birds massing nearby in unusual patterns, he boarded up the house and decided to wait it out. It turns out his gut instinct kept him and his family alive. He also realized the bird attacked coincided with the tides. When they checked on the neighbors, during the lulls, everyone was dead. They collected wood and supplies to prepare for future attacks and listened to the radio for news. After some time, it seemed that even the radio dropped dead. Was anyone even left alive in the UK?
While this story seemed to be written in a very plain manner, it definitely made the point that humans are no match for mother nature. Not only were aggressive birds the problem, but the charming song birds and other local birds had ALL turned against the humans. 
The writing is a little bland, but it's still provocative. Plus, it's a pretty short story. Worth your time if you felt inclined to read this.