The Birds (1963, Alfred Hitchcock)

310 words.

πŸ† πŸ¦œπŸš—πŸ›₯οΈπŸ¦…πŸ©ΈπŸ πŸ₯³πŸ¦…πŸƒβ›½οΈπŸ”₯πŸ¦…πŸ πŸ¦…πŸ¦…πŸš— Now consulting the AFI 100 Thrills list to find early horror films. I have a vague memory of being scared by this movie on a weekend re-run seen on the tiny black-and-white kitchen television as a kid. My aunt was terrified of birds, and I find them slightly discomforting to this day. Anyway. Ms. Daniels is quite the obsessive stalker, you see. Why does this dude in California have a New England accent. Seriously what is this lady’s deal? A tetanus shot for bird claws? Read a book, 1960s people! OMG she’s a pathological liar, you see. Jessica Tandy. I’m finding all the verbal chess pretty unexpected and amusing. A surprising amount of the movie is a light entertainment afternoon soap opera. Little Veronica Cartwright, who later plays Lambert in Alien. Impressive composite work to overlay all the birds into these scenes (using “yellowscreen” techniques, apparently). There’s no music. The birds sound synthetic, because they were created on a synthesizer. The children’s song goes, “Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, Hey donnie-dostle-tee knickety-knackety, Rustical quality, Now, now, now.” There must have been at least 50 cigarettes lit and smoked in this movie. I noticed quite early on there’s a lot of actors stepping on each others’ lines, but I think it’s intentional to keep it snappy, so there’s never any verbal pauses. (Some mid-Atlantic accents, too.) Tipi Hedren’s face is always slightly out of focus in closeups. Impressive overhead shot of the town and the burning gas station. Yeesh these loud synthesized bird sounds are creepy and unsettling. It’s such a long movie for 1963! And these old movies just STOP when they’re done, don’t they? Anyway, it’s pretty good. Surprisingly suspenseful, without any music or jump scares, and a surprisingly engaging, if quaint, story. (Make sure to check out the trailer on the Wikipedia page, too. Funny stuff.) (Amazon Video.)

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