Wednesday 3 March at 7.30pm
Alfred Hitchcock│USA│1963│119 mins│PG violence
NB: This screening will be at the Reading Cinemas, 33 The Octagon
A wealthy socialite (Tippi Hedren) pursues a potential boyfriend (Rod Taylor) to a seaside California town – a pursuit that is reversed when birds of all kinds begin to attack people.
“Based on a story by Daphne du Maurier, the Evan Hunter screenplay has for its premise an assault on the human race – or an isolated segment of it – by the birds, our feathered friends. The film starts with a sophisticated flirtation between Rod Taylor and “Tippi” Hedren in the glamor of San Francisco, then shifts to Taylor’s Northern California seaside home, a setting of quiet, pastoral beauty, for family complications.” – James Powers, The Hollywood Reporter
“The genius of Hitchcock’s greatest films is that he never rushes to eclipse the exposition of his characters; when we join them, they are all on journeys of fully realized complexity, and he observes their behaviors with such impeccable detail that it becomes almost jarring to witness them falling into the traps of nightmarish predicaments. Only when we have fully bought into their identities do the hidden horrors that surround them become realized, and it is because they feel almost out of place with the momentum that our hearts are so easily startled by the fallout. “The Birds” can be credited for having the most cornball of those sorts of ideas (is it inherently scary to watch a town be attacked by flocks of little avian rodents?), but it is a premise so flawlessly executed and modulated within that context that we are anchored in his reality with unwavering acceptance. And by the final scene, there is no question that all those who watch on feel the same sense of silent panic as Melanie does while she walks slowly through a yard full of vicious birds, hoping to reach safety before they engage her in yet another devastating attack.” – David Keyes, Cinemaphile