Horror Film Wiki
This page is not finished yet, but is better looking already
This page needs improvement. It can be improved by: pictures, list of deaths, information, quote, video

The Birds is a 1963 American horror thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock based on the 1952 novella The Birds by Daphne du Maurier. It depicts Bodega Bay, California which is, suddenly and for unexplained reasons, the subject of a series of widespread and violent bird attacks over the course of a few days.

The screenplay was written by Evan Hunter. Though Hunter read Du Maurier's original novel, Hitchcock told him to disregard it as all he wished to use was the title and the idea of birds attacking people. The movie success brought on a sequel, namedly The Birds: Land Ends


Melanie Daniels is a young wealthy socialite who meets a lawyer, Mitch Brenner, in a San Francisco pet shop. He, looking to purchase a pair of lovebirds for his sister's eleventh birthday, pretends to mistake her for a salesperson, which infuriates her and leads her to inquire as to the reason for his behavior. He mentions a previous encounter that he had with her. Intrigued by him, she finds the address of his home in Bodega Bay, California. She purchases a pair of lovebirds and drives to his house by sneaking across the small harbor in a motor boat, leaving the birds and a note. As she is heading back across the bay, a seagull swoops down and inflicts a minor cut on her head.

Over the next few days, the avian attacks continue, as Melanie's relationship with Mitch, his clinging mother, Lydia, his younger sister, Cathy, and Cathy's teacher (who is also Mitch's ex-lover) Annie Hayworth develops. The second strange bird incident occurs when Melanie stays for the night at the Hayworths' house and a gull kills itself upon hitting the front door. The next attack occurs at Cathy's birthday party. Avian violence escalates when Lydia discovers a friend dead in his bedroom.

After another attack by crows at the school, an argument erupts at the local bar. One resident believes the attacks are a sign of the apocalypse, but an out-of-towner yells at them for scaring her children. An old woman (Ethel Griffie) who is an amateur ornithologist insists that calling birds' behavior attacks is an exaggeration, and no bird species flocks and attacks. Despite her words, a motorist is attacked while filling his car with gasoline; he is knocked unconscious, and the gasoline continues to pump out onto the street. A man, unaware he is standing in the puddle, lights a cigar and drops the match on the ground. An explosion and fire result, and more deaths occur when there is another attack. While hiding inside the bar, the hysterical, out-of-towner mother believes Melanie is the cause of these attacks. After this attack subsides, Melanie and Mitch find Annie dead on her front porch and Cathy crying at the window.

Melanie and Mitch's family take refuge in the Brenners' house, boarding up the windows. The house is attacked by the birds and they almost manage to break through the doors. In the evening, when everyone else is asleep, Melanie hears noises from the upper floor and finds that the birds have broken through the roof. They attack her, sealing her in the room until Mitch comes to her rescue. He and Lydia tend to her, but determine she must get to the hospital. A sea of landed birds ripples menacingly around them as they leave the house but do not attack, aside from a few pecks. The radio reports several smaller bird attacks in nearby communities. Mitch drives the car slowly towards the road before picking up speed. The film concludes with it driving down the coast road and out of sight, as thousands of birds watch.


  • Tippi Hedren - Melanie Daniels
  • Rod Taylor - Mitch Brenner
  • Jessica Tandy - Lydia Brenner
  • Veronica Cartwright - Cathy Brenner
  • Suzanne Pleshette - Annie Hayworth
  • Ethel Griffies - Mrs. Bundy


After Grace Kelly retired from acting Hitchcock searched for another actress who would be able take her place as the female protagonist in this movie. He selected Tippi Hedren for that who made her screen debut with this movie. For the male protagonist Cary Grant and Farley Granger were candidates before Rob Taylor received that part.

The filming took place between 5 March 1962 and 10 July 1962. It was mostly filmed in California, mostly in Bodega Bay. It was also filmed in San Francisco.


In 2016, the United States Library of Congress deemed The Birds as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" , and selected for preservation in its National Film Registry.


External links[]

Wikipedia logo silver This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at The Birds (film). The list of authors can be seen in the page history.
As with Horror Film Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.