Monday, 14 February 2011

Review on The Birds

Review on The Birds (1963)

The Birds.

Unlike the special effects used today, This film actually uses real birds in some scenes such as the birds coming out the chimney and flying around the room. A review on Film4 mentions this. 'On paper it sounds like melodrama. On screen it's absolutely nerve-wracking, flocks of carrion gathering malevolently before swooping in to peck away at Melanie's face. Finally there's the choking moment when she's trapped in a room with thousands of the flapping things - a scene that took a week to shoot and resulted in Hedren being hospitalized.' (Film4, 1963) What makes this film scary is the use of placid birds which we see all the time and turn them into aggressive killers, as Bosley Crowther mentions this in a review on The New York Times. 'Making a terrifying menace out of what is assumed to be one of nature's most innocent creatures and one of man's most melodious friends, Mr. Hitchcock and his associates have constructed a horror film that should raise the hackles of the most courageous and put goose-pimples on the toughest hide.' (Crowther, 1963)

 The Birds Attack The School.

The film has a simple plot which is basically birds attacking humans for no reason as explained by John M. Gugie in a review on Suite 'The story is simple: birds attacking people for no evident reason. Some criticize a story for not giving the viewer a real explanation of "why" an event is occurring. This is called a MacGuffin, which Merriam-Webster defines as a term "coined by Alfred Hitchcock [as being] an object, event, or character in a film or story that serves to set and keep the plot in motion despite usually lacking intrinsic importance. Hitchcock makes it work by focusing on just a few people and their reaction to the attacks. "The Birds" is very much a character-driven story with great character development of the few main characters.' (Gugie, 2007) What Gugie is saying is that Hitchcock has focused on the reaction of the characters when facing hordes of angry killer birds instead of giving the film an in depth story. The film doesn't need to give an explanation as to why the birds are attacking and instead leaves it up to your imagination, which could be that the birds are fed up with humans abusing nature and destroying their homes and are seeking to punish man kind.

The Birds Are Watching.

List of Illustrations

Figure 1. Hitchcock, Alfred (1963) The Birds. [Film Poster] At: (Accessed on: 14.02.11)

Figure 2. Hitchcock, Alfred (1963) The Birds Attack The School. [Screen Cap] At: (Accessed on: 14.02.11)

Figure 3. Hitchcock, Alfred (1963) The Birds Are Watching. [Screen Cap] At: (Accessed on: 14.02.11)


Crowther, Bosley (1963) The Birds': Hitchcock's Feathered Fiends are Chilling. (Accessed on: 13.02.11)

Film4 (1963) The Birds. (Accessed on: 13.02.11)

Gugie, John. M. (2007) Movie Review: The Birds. (Accessed on: 14.02.11) 

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