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The Birds (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on May 29, 2005

Hitch’s most enigmatic film.  In every other movie (at least the other 31 I’ve seen), the enemy is human, and the mystery always has an explanation.  But there is no reason given for the bird attacks.  Are they protesting the arrival of Melanie Daniels (the kind of flighty, flirtatious, unattainable blonde that Hitchcock always obsessed over) at Bodega Bay?  Perhaps they don’t want the lovebirds there… or perhaps they wish to liberate them.  Or is it just, as Peter Bogdanovich suggests, a chaotic event symbolizing everything that is beyond our control?  It’s that sense of the unknown which makes The Birds so terrifying.  They can’t be stopped, they can’t be reasoned with, you can’t find their psychological weakness or track down the evidence to put them away.

The premise is a bit silly, I suppose, and the effects now look terribly dated, but it’s still thrilling.  Rod Taylor is stiff as a board, but Tippi Hedren is wonderful.  Rating: 9


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