The Birds
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The story begins as an innocuous romantic triangle involving wealthy, spoiled Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), handsome Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), and schoolteacher Annie Hayworth (Suzanne Pleshette). The human story begins in a San Francisco pet shop and culminates at the home of Mitch's mother (Jessica Tandy) at Bodega Bay, where the characters' sense of security is slowly eroded by the curious behavior of the birds in the area. At first, it's no more than a sea gull swooping down and pecking at Melanie's head. Things take a truly ugly turn when hundreds of birds converge on… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Drawing from the relatively invisible literary talents of Daphne DuMaurier and Evan Hunter, Alfred Hitchcock has fashioned a major work of cinematic art, and "cinematic" is the operative term here, not "literary" or "sociological.""
‑ Andrew Sarris, Village Voice
"The movie flaps to a plotless end."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"Though it lacks the psychological depth of Hitchcock's greatest works, it's characterised by a nightmarish simplicity."
‑ Matt Glasby, Total Film
"Classic Hitchcock horror film still gives the chills."
‑ Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
"Perhaps only a director of Hitchcock's caliber can make such a fowl story fly."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Few films depict so eerily yet so meticulously the metaphysical and historical sense of a world out of joint."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"Beneath all of this elaborate feather bedlam lies a Hitch cock-and-bull story that's essentially a fowl ball."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"This Hitchcock classic somehow strayed from favour for a while, yet in the realm of popular mythology it is now rivalled only by Vertigo or Psycho."
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"The only thing dated is the special effects. The suspense holds up very well."
‑ Scott Nash, Three Movie Buffs
"Feels like it was made by a brilliant filmmaker who simply felt challenged by the enormity of the task. In that regard, it's close to 100 percent successful."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Hitch's much misappreciated follow-up to Psycho is arguably the greatest of all disaster films -- a triumph of special effects, as well as the fountainhead of what has become known as gross-out horror."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"Alfred Hitchcock's most abstract film (1963), and perhaps his subtlest, still yielding new meanings and inflections after a dozen or more viewings."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"The Birds represents better than any other Hitchcock film the extreme polarities of his universe: vicious unpredictability and moral and emotional disorder on the one hand, and rigorous stylistic control and formal organization, on the other."
‑ Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"Although not as horrifically shocking as "Psycho," "The Birds" is a more sophisticated film, and represents a high watermark in the prolific career of a true maestro of cinema."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Hailed as one of Hitchcock's masterpieces by some and despised by others, The Birds is certainly among the director's more complex and fascinating works."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for The Birds on Rotten Tomatoes

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