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A small town is attacked by flocks of murderous birds in Alfred Hitchcock's chilling tale of ecological apocalypse.
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"It could be the most terrifying motion picture I have ever made!" Hitchcock proclaimed on the posters for The Birds. The film is indeed nightmare-inducing, doing for seagulls what Psycho does for showers. The Birds has been endlessly analyzed and argued over because its ultimate meaning seems so enigmatic. San Francisco socialite Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) pursues a lawyer (Rod Taylor) to his home in Bodega Bay, where she encounters his clinging mother (Jessica Tandy) and previous girlfriend (Suzanne Pleshette, a dark, husky-voiced foil to Hedren’s blondeness). Melanie’s arrival in this bucolic setting coincides with an increasing series of inexplicable attacks by birds that peck people to death. Hitchcock screws up the tension as the townspeople batten down their homes against the murderous birds and wait for the next avian onslaught. (Silence and inaction are central to the film’s suspense; they have rarely seemed so fraught with menace.) What do the attacks portend: ecological apocalypse, chaos unloosed on civilization, the eruption of repressed desires? Whatever the meaning, The Birds is, as Hitchcock declared, one terrifying motion picture. "An artistic culmination and a unique triumph" (Donald Spoto).