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Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"

Just watched this the other night, and found it to be quite good. Tippi Hedren is perfectly bland and beautiful in the lead role, and Rod Taylor is hunky as all get-out. Suzanne Pleshette is good as Rod's slightly envious ex, and Jessica Tandy is great as his clingy mother. A young Veronica Cartwright is good in this, too. The scene that freaked me out the most was when the birds converged on the house towards the end.

by Anonymousreply 15102/16/2013

To this day, anytime I see a flock of birds sitting on power lines or swoopiong and carrying on at high pitch, I think of this movie. Between this film and "Psycho", Mr. Hitchcock had me scared senseless when I was a kid. Nice job Hitch!!

by Anonymousreply 105/29/2012

One of my favorite movies ever OP. I'll watch it if it comes on no matter what - I have probably seen it 30 times over the years.

"Can I bring the love birds Mitch?"

I'd have put those damn birds in the Vita-Mix.

by Anonymousreply 205/29/2012

I read the short-story it's based on prior to seeing the movie... and they're not even remotely similar except in a couple of scenes, and the basic idea.

The short-story was MUCH better.

by Anonymousreply 305/29/2012

When Ronnie said at the end, "Can I bring the love birds, Mitch?", I would have given her a firm "Hell no!" I kind of assumed they were the cause of all the drama. It's never explained why the birds suddenly go koo-koo.

by Anonymousreply 405/29/2012

Loved the lesbian subtext between Melanie and the teacher.

by Anonymousreply 505/29/2012

Like the scene in the cafe when the birds have attacked. And the scene in the phone booth.

by Anonymousreply 605/29/2012

I loved Melanie's 1954 Aston Martin convertible! I've been up there to Bodega Bay. The schoolhouse is there. But it's inland from the coast. Northern California is one of the most beautiful areas in the country. 'Cept for all those damned birds!

by Anonymousreply 805/30/2012

Calimme Paglia, whom I usually despise, wrote a very good BFI Classic book on the film. She says one of the film's only real blunders is the New England accent on the general store merchant.

by Anonymousreply 905/30/2012

But what about the grim lesbian naturalist who warned about the impending doom?

My family would drive through the town of Bodega Bay many times a year en route to a cabin on the Sonoma Coast in the 60's. I'd freak out whenever we passed that schoolhouse, thanks to my sadistic older brothers.

by Anonymousreply 1005/30/2012

Mario Cantone answers "why did Hitchcock do that to the children?"

by Anonymousreply 1105/30/2012

[quote]I'd freak out whenever we passed that schoolhouse, thanks to my sadistic older brothers.

When I was four or five years old my parents went out for the night and my 13 year old sister and her friend babysat my little brother and me. The Birds happened to be on that night and they forced us to watch it even though it scared us and then made us go straight to bed and not even have a light on. I got so scared I started puking and hyperventilating and my sister and her friend got scared and got my friend's mom to come over and take care of me.

They got in so much trouble.

by Anonymousreply 1205/30/2012

The original story took place in Cornwall and was totally scary when I read it as a teen.It was much more isolated than Bodega Bay. This is one of my favorite Hitch movies and it sort of has become a comfort food film for me. Completely well made and satisfying. One odd thing happened when I first saw the film when I was about ten and it was on TV. The next morning there was a dead bird in our fireplace. My sister freaked the fuck out and it scarred me for life.

by Anonymousreply 1305/30/2012

No explanation for why the birds went nuts, it just happened. That's one of my favorite aspects of this movie.

by Anonymousreply 1405/30/2012

[quote]She says one of the film's only real blunders is the New England accent on the general store merchant.

California is full of transplants from elsewhere. If Annie Sullivan could move to Bodega Bay on a whim, why couldn't a Yankee shopkeeper?

by Anonymousreply 1505/30/2012

Paglia is such a cunt's cunt it never occurred to her that people move around in America.

One wonders why she never saved that prodigious critical flair of hers to complain about how Percy Kilbride sounded as Pa Kettle, and that there was no way he could have groweded up around Ma Kettle with her dialect the way it was.

by Anonymousreply 1605/30/2012

I love the creepy "non-ending".

And Tippi's bird green suit.

by Anonymousreply 1705/30/2012

Cornwall, England, r13?

Doc Martin is set there, and I'm loving he show and the scenery. And it does seem pretty isolated.

by Anonymousreply 1805/30/2012

I like the gradual build up of tension and that early banter between playgirl Melanie and Mitch - Rod Taylor at his most amiable, and of course Jessica Tandy as the clinging Lydia and Suzanne Pleshette who won't let go either ...

It seems silly though for them to run down the hill from the school with all the birds outside.

I love Tippi's green outfit and the hair and the accessories - there is a scene too in the dvd extras of her in her nightdress and her hair down talking to Mitch that morning Lydia visits the neighbour, but Hitch felt it added nothing to the story and deleted it. The dvd also has Tippi's screen tests (with Martin Balsam) and her early tv commercials which attracted Hitch initially.

It just gets better with the years, any proposed remake (Clooney ? Naomi Watts?) could never be as good, as its so perfectly of its period.

I love that first scene with Tippi on the real street and then as she passes the news kiosk it cuts to the pet store ... where she has her pencil ready to dial the telephone!

by Anonymousreply 1905/30/2012

And to think . . . Tippi is now an animal rights activist!

by Anonymousreply 2005/30/2012

Dont forget the Tippi Mattel doll wearing the green suit with 3 birds pecking her.

by Anonymousreply 2105/30/2012

R19, and she passes Hitchcock on her way into the pet shop. (He's leaving with a couple of leashed poodles.)

by Anonymousreply 2205/30/2012

Not the annual THE BIRDS thread already ...

I must think of something fresh to contribute.

by Anonymousreply 2305/30/2012

Hitchcock took his idea from the Du Maurier story and also a real life incident in 1961 in the Monterey Bay area where disoriented birds were slamming into homes and flying straight towards people.

by Anonymousreply 2405/30/2012

Creepy scene when Melanie and Annie hear something hit the door only to open and see the dead gull. And that scene when Lydia goes to the farmhouse and finds the man with his eyes pecked out, that really scared me when I was a kid. But it sort of makes me laugh how Lydia burns up the road in the truck after she sees him.

by Anonymousreply 2605/30/2012

I like portions of the film, but whenever Hedren tries to act, it's awful. If Pleshette - even as a brunette - had played Melanie, it would have been a far more interesting film dramatically.

I think a remake based in the original Cornwall setting could work.

by Anonymousreply 2705/30/2012

Was that a real pet shop or a studio one ?, as there seems to be a cut between her walking on the San Francisco street and entering the shop as Hitch comes out ...

by Anonymousreply 2805/30/2012

Jessica Tandy's performance always gets panned.


by Anonymousreply 2905/30/2012

Thanks, r13. I never knew about the novel. At the link, scroll down to "Birds" to see the incident that happened here in California.

by Anonymousreply 3005/30/2012

One interesting thing about the movie: it has no musical score.

by Anonymousreply 3105/30/2012

[quote]I love that first scene with Tippi on the real street and then as she passes the news kiosk it cuts to the pet store ... where she has her pencil ready to dial the telephone!

And in dialing the phone with the pencil, didn't she look SO glamorous!

by Anonymousreply 3205/30/2012

Tippi had STAR quality.

by Anonymousreply 3305/30/2012

[quote]Jessica Tandy's performance always gets panned. Why?

Oh, forgive me... This business with the buhds has upset me...

by Anonymousreply 3405/30/2012

We went to go see The Birds at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery with a few thousand other people. My friend took these clips...

It was pretty funny...

by Anonymousreply 3505/30/2012

Thanks, R35.

I agree, that looks like fun!

by Anonymousreply 3605/30/2012

I love this Schiller photo of Tippi and Alfred Hitchcock.

So much that it's on my wall...

by Anonymousreply 3705/30/2012

Melanie Griffith looks and even walks so much like her mom in this film that it's uncanny. The only difference is the voices--Tippi's was smokier, while Melanie has perpetual babyvoice. Didn't Hitchcock play a cruel joke on Melanie during the making of this by telling her that her mom had died or something?

There was an inferior TV movie sequel that came out in 1994 called "Birds II: Land's End". It was panned beyond belief, and starred HOTTIE Brad Johnson and Chelsea Field, while Tippi Hedren made a cameo appearance (not as her character "Melanie", but as a different person).

by Anonymousreply 3805/30/2012

Tippi is marvellously well-preserved, she was over here in the UK recently and I caught her on some early morning chat show on the sofa with some dumb interviewer (the awful Kate Garraway who doesn't know anything and is a major pain in the ass), Tippi was grace personfied as she led Kate through the finer points of the film and Hitchcock - you just knew Kate had never seen it.

Donald Spoto's book 'Spellbound by Beauty' is great too on the whole Hitch and Tippi thing - think thats the one they are filming with Sienna Miller of all people as Tippi - and then there is Scarlett as Janet Leigh in the other film on Hitch making 'Psycho' which has the major plus of Anthony Hopkins as Alfred and he is made up to look uncannily like him. and what the the BFI (British Film Institute) doing all of Hitch's output including the early ones, we will be all Hitch-ed out this summer. Camille Paglia's booklet is quite readable and informative too as one can read so many things into the undercurrents in The Birds.

by Anonymousreply 3905/30/2012

Here is the school kids' song as the birds gather, for those of you still haunted by it.

by Anonymousreply 4005/30/2012

Back in your gilded cage Melanie Daniels.

Hey - maybe thats why her daughter is also called Melanie.

by Anonymousreply 4105/30/2012

I always figured Tippi Hedren named her daughter after her most famous film character.

by Anonymousreply 4305/30/2012

It's one of his best films because it is so understated... The pace and the build up of tension and that tensions increased terror is one of films finest.

And there is no explanation.

ps are you the OP who said "2001" is boring?

by Anonymousreply 4405/30/2012

[quote]It's one of his worst films. There's no substance to it but retards like it because it's so simple.

No surprise it goes over well here

Eww, you're just all full of venom, aren't you?

[quote]I always figured Tippi Hedren named her daughter after her most famous film character.

Melanie was actually already born when "The Birds" came out. She was about 5 or 6.

by Anonymousreply 4505/30/2012

I mentioned this in another thread...the pet store really was there in the Wright building on Maiden Lane in downtown SF. It's where we got our Persian cat Chauncey...

it was fabulous.

I was a budding Queenette

by Anonymousreply 4605/30/2012

[quote]Dont forget the Tippi Mattel doll wearing the green suit with 3 birds pecking her.

I have one signed by Tippi and she drew birds all over it too.

[quote]One interesting thing about the movie: it has no musical score.

That's why it's an amazing movie. There are no false music scares. In the neighbor scene, another film maker would cut closer and closer and have screeching violins. Even the kids singing are a capella.

by Anonymousreply 4705/30/2012

"It's the end of the world" of my all time favs

by Anonymousreply 4805/30/2012

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She let the critter get away. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey donny dostle-tee, knickety-knackety, retro-quo-quality, willoby-wallaby, Now, now, now!

I asked my wife to wash the floor. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, Now, now, now! She gave me my hat and she showed me the door! Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey donny dostle-tee, knickety-knackety, retro-quo-quality, Now, now, now!

I married my wife in the month of June. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, Now, now, now! I brought her off by the light of the moon. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey donny dostle-tee, knickety-knackety, retro-quo-quality, willoby-wallaby, Now, now, now!

She combed her hair but once a year. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey donny dostle-tee, knickety-knackety, retro-quo-quality, willoby-wallaby, Now, now, now!

by Anonymousreply 4905/30/2012

I always hated Jessica Tandy in this film. Her performance was off the mark and she seemed adrift. Did Hitch not pay any directorial attention to her because of his fascination with Tippi?

by Anonymousreply 5005/30/2012

The scene where Melanie gets attacked in the attic was brilliant. The editing, the sound, the close-up scenes of Melanie blinking her eyes really fast.

by Anonymousreply 5105/31/2012

Last night I watched "Down And Out In Beverly Hills" after many years...what a funny movie..Bette was fab and Nick's blues eyes were to die for...such a funny movie that still holds up.

by Anonymousreply 5205/31/2012

OMG, thank you, r49! You actually made me cry!

by Anonymousreply 5305/31/2012

I gotta say - it's certainly not his best film. Flawed in a lot of ways, sure. But it has so many memorable scenes and haunting moments - and overall it really is compelling.

And not only is Hedren gorgeous - what about Rod Taylor? Woof!

Was without net access at home a couple of years ago while renovating the house - and remember the night it was all restored after we moved back in, I spent hours surfing the web - going to news sites and looking stuff up. Got into an obsessive Birds binge on YouTube - there's a whole thing about the original ending that was planned - and also Tippi is interviewed at some French film festival or other - where in passing, they present her with a just-released Birds Barbie doll!

I knew then that I had to have one.

Googled a bit more - and within a quarter of an hour I'd secured one.

Was sooooo excited when it arrived. Really well done - wearing that gorgeous green suit (tho the green on the doll's outfit appears to be a very different shade to the film version!) - that bag, that hairstyle...


What can I say: MARY.

Can't help it.

by Anonymousreply 5405/31/2012

All those bird attacks and no pigeons? And the birds didn't shit on anyone?

by Anonymousreply 5505/31/2012

Ah, the sterile, early 60's glamour of Tippi in this---she is delicious! The movie is also kind of a comfort food movie for me. Even though Suzanne getting the bird was traumatic when I first saw it. It's a classic and a shared point of reference for many of my generation. But those damn kids deserved to die for singing that god-awful, endless song.

by Anonymousreply 5605/31/2012

Can you post a photo of that doll, r54?

by Anonymousreply 5705/31/2012

The sound of the birds was electronically created. It is not natural avian noise. Hitch was way cool and early adopted synthesizer music. Rod Taylor was at his hottest.

by Anonymousreply 5805/31/2012

"Who are you?"

"WHAT are you?"


"I think you're the cause of all this..,"

"I think you're evil!"

"E VIL!!!!"


by Anonymousreply 5905/31/2012

When you look at recent photos, Tippi Hedron looks younger and healthier than her daughter Melanie Griffith, even though there is a 28 year difference and Tippi is now over 80 years old.

Healthy living? Exercise? Strategic plastic surgery? What's Tippi's secret?

Or maybe it's just that Melanie looks like crap for her age...

by Anonymousreply 6005/31/2012

Read an interesting critique of the film (maybe by Spoto) who points out all the bird imagery in "Psycho" and how it seems to anticipate "The Birds." Norman's stuffed birds, Marion's last name (Crane), she eats like a bird, Norman talks about how we claw at the air but there's nothing there... much how Melanie is reacting after the attic attack.

by Anonymousreply 6105/31/2012

I heard the same thing in a film class in the 70's, R61

by Anonymousreply 6205/31/2012

I never read it or heard it in film class, but I always thought the same thing that R61 mentions whenever I watched Psycho.

by Anonymousreply 6305/31/2012

I read once years ago that Hitchcock wanted the movie to end with the two leads driving down through Marin County towards SF. As they approached the Golden Gate Bridge, they saw the bridge...covered with birds.

The studio wouldn't go for such a depressing ending, though.

Hitch's original ending would have made the movie so much better. What an unforgettable ending that would have been.

As it is now, it's kinda meh.

by Anonymousreply 6405/31/2012

Please stop talking about the birds. You're scaring the children!

by Anonymousreply 6505/31/2012

[quote]Can you post a photo of that doll, [R54]?

Here it is, it's hilarious and cool at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 6605/31/2012

Hitchcock didn't tell Griffth that her mother died, he gave her a doll with the green dress that looked just like her mom in a little coffin.

Hitch also deliberately stranded his daughter Pat on a Ferris Wheel during one of the films she did for him until she was hysterical.

by Anonymousreply 6705/31/2012

Sounds like he was a sociopath.

by Anonymousreply 6805/31/2012

"Hitchcock was famed for his wry, very British sense of humor which often expressed itself in practical jokes: pretending to lose the key to the handcuffs that bound together for an entire day his The 39 Steps stars Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll; giving an elegant dinner party at which every course, from soup to dessert, was bright blue; and switching off the lights on the set of Strangers On a Train and stranding his daughter Patricia for three hours at the top of a Ferris wheel."

by Anonymousreply 6905/31/2012

From a site about Melanie Griffith:

Her mother, Tippi Hedren, recently stated that the minature doll of Hedren given to her by Alfred Hitchcock was not intended to be a prank by the director. He merely wanted to give Melanie a beautiful doll with her mother's image, but it happened that the doll was in a wooden box. When Melanie received the gift, she freaked out and became upset thinking that it was indeed meant to be her mother in a coffin.

by Anonymousreply 7005/31/2012

We watched another Hitchcock movie last night, TORN CURTAIN with Paul Newman and Julie Andrews playing his fiancée. I've never seen so little chemistry between two stars. Newman was so beautiful and sexy. Now THAT was a hunk. He had more chemistry with Liv Ullman playing a peasant woman than with Andrews playing a British physicist. Another example of Hitchcock weakness when choosing his cast. By the way, except for the scene when Liv and Paul murder the German agent the film was a big yawn...

by Anonymousreply 7105/31/2012

R71, But ... Newman had great chemistry with Blake Edwards and Julie had great chemistry with Joanne Woodward.

by Anonymousreply 7205/31/2012

"He had more chemistry with Liv Ullman playing a peasant woman than with Andrews playing a British physicist."

Liv Ullmann is not in TORN CURTAIN. Don't know who that actress was, but it wasn't Ullmann.

by Anonymousreply 7305/31/2012

Was it the farmer's wife? If so the actress was Carolyn Conwell

by Anonymousreply 7405/31/2012

How was Marnie? I heard it wasn't very good...

Maybe The Birds really was his last great film...

by Anonymousreply 7505/31/2012

My favorite Hitchcock film is Shadow of a Doubt. I love the scenes of old Santa Rosa before the quakes in the 1960s.

BTW, the schoolhouse is in BODEGA, not BODEGA BAY. Two different towns.

by Anonymousreply 7605/31/2012

I'm sorry I was so sure it was Ullmann. Conwell looked a lot like her so I just assumed. The point is Newman had zero chemistry with Andrews...

by Anonymousreply 7705/31/2012

Every year at Mardi Gras, some New Orleans queen puts on a green suit with blood splotches, encircles it with stuffed birds on wires, and staggers down the street as Tippi Hedren. Some of the Tippis have been quite good.

by Anonymousreply 7805/31/2012

I know that Melanie's character only wore that one green suit to Bodega Bay. And bitch stayed for days. I bet she was ripe by the time they left in that car! I wonder if she bought FDS iand carried it in that little brown bag she brought into lezbo teacher Suzanne Pleshette's house when she stayed the night?

by Anonymousreply 7905/31/2012

I didn't realize how clever Hitchcock was in making Melanie Daniels look like a lovebird, with the green dress and swept updo blonde hair. I didn't notice that until I saw the DVD documentary.

by Anonymousreply 8005/31/2012

[quote]When you look at recent photos, Tippi Hedron looks younger and healthier than her daughter Melanie Griffith, even though there is a 28 year difference and Tippi is now over 80 years old.

Healthy living? Exercise? Strategic plastic surgery? What's Tippi's secret?

Or maybe it's just that Melanie looks like crap for her age...

Well, as we all know, Melanie Griffith was a PARTIER, so...

Interesting tidbit about the film: Hitchock originally wanted Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in the leads.

by Anonymousreply 8105/31/2012

I watched Melanie in Pacific Heights this morning, she was kind of cute back in the 1990's and I used to think she was just plain and nowhere near as glamorous as her mother.

by Anonymousreply 8205/31/2012

Birds are not aggressive creatures, Miss. They bring beauty into the world!

by Anonymousreply 8305/31/2012

[quote] Another example of Hitchcock weakness when choosing his cast.

Andrews was forced on Hitchcock by the studio. He retaliated by casting non-names in his next few films, until Family Plot with Karen Black.

by Anonymousreply 8405/31/2012

I'm glad he didn't cast Grant - whom I adore - and Kelly, whom I don't.

The relative unknowns made it seem more real.

And Kelly would probably never had agreed to only ONE dress for the whole 3 days.

by Anonymousreply 8505/31/2012

I love this movie. The scene when Tippi is in the phone booth and sees the birds and then the camera does this jumping thing....that was very effective.

by Anonymousreply 8605/31/2012

Loved this film since i was a kid. Always found it funny how tippi and suzanne think it wouldve been safer for the kids running outside to get away from them vs. the shelter of the school!

by Anonymousreply 8705/31/2012

Good eye and/or Wiki-ing, Charlie!

Most of us on the North Coast don't really distinguish between the two. Bodega is so tiny that if you blink, you'll miss it. But no one does -- thanks to the movie and the schoolhouse.

Then a few seconds later, you're in Bodega Bay, which is more of a real town. It is at the crossroads where a winding highway through the Russian River area meets the even more terrifying and winding Hwy 1 along the coast.

by Anonymousreply 8805/31/2012

Once at a party, a mother bird swooped down and bit my head. I started to scream and run away, but the billowy top I was wearing got caught on a tree limb and I couldn't get away. I was trapped as the bird kept diving at my head. It was the scariest moment of my life.

by Anonymousreply 8905/31/2012

Remember Fabio's run-in on a roller coaster with a bird? Things that make you go hmmm....

by Anonymousreply 9005/31/2012


by Anonymousreply 9105/31/2012

The Birds is Hitch's last great film, others claim Marnie, which didnt impress me much at the time, I may like it a lot more now. I just never wanted to see Torn Curtain even though it has that great murder sequence - Hitch certainly got the big names: Doris Day in the mid 50s, Julie Andrews in the mid 60s but indeed she and Newman have zilch chemistry. Topaz is generally considered weak (apart from the scene where Karin Dor gets shot) with dull characters, and Frenzy is vile in parts as Hitch lovingly depicts the murders and his take on London in the early 70s is all wrong - I liked Family Plot a lot though but maybe that was because we liked Barbara Harris and Bruce Dern a lot in it, not to mention crazy Karen Black.

by Anonymousreply 9206/01/2012

Hee, The Birds is coming on Encore in about a half-hour. I was hoping to see it again. after reading this thread. BTW, I love Frenzy, it is pretty sleazy, but it has its moments and the acting is good.

by Anonymousreply 9306/01/2012

I was impressed with Tippi's ability to get to a dock and climb in and out of a boat with such style and grace. Especially while wearing a semi-tight dress and heels.

by Anonymousreply 9406/01/2012

Another vote for 'Frenzy' here.

by Anonymousreply 9506/01/2012

Why do I feel like R89 is male, even with the "billowy blouse!?"

by Anonymousreply 9606/01/2012

Lost on most US audiences is the fact that in England, a bird is a nickname for a female (sort of like a chick.) The birds are pecking the hell out of people, but Rod Taylor, as practically the only man around, is also constantly pecked on my the birds in his life (Tippi, Mama, Suzanne, Pukey, etc...)

by Anonymousreply 9706/01/2012

Good point R97.

Tippi really was very graceful getting into the boat and onto the dock with a fur coat, purse, heels and a birdcage.

by Anonymousreply 9806/01/2012

[quote]Tippi really was very graceful getting into the boat and onto the dock with a fur coat, purse, heels and a birdcage.

LOL. Every time I watch this, I think exactly the same thing.

by Anonymousreply 9906/01/2012

Never got attacked by a bird, except for a rather large goose who guarded a bridge I had to cross every day. He'd run at me and peck at my legs. One day, I picked him up as he was approaching, swung him over my head by his neck, and threw him into the water. He lived. And never bothered me again.

by Anonymousreply 10106/01/2012

LOL, that was mean.

by Anonymousreply 10206/01/2012

I always found it odd that Mitch, who looked about 35 had an 11 yr old sister. How old was his mother supposed to be?

Just saw it this evening and I swear during the fire scene when the birds first start to swoop down on the town I heard one of them squawk "Lets Go!

by Anonymousreply 10306/01/2012

Or was it Let's roll!

by Anonymousreply 10406/01/2012

LOL R103. I always thought that was confusing too. The ages of the brother and sister seem too far apart, almost like she was his daughter. Of course, mathematically it is possible, but just unusual.

On another note, I think it was Pauline Kael who said something along the lines of that it hard to know how to take the characters. Many of them do behave oddly, and it is hard to tell if it was intentional or just muddled filmmaking...if Suzanne and Tippi both pine for Mitch, why does it seem to some like there is flirting going on between them...and why does the mother behave so oddly to Tippi?

by Anonymousreply 10506/01/2012

There are millions of Menopause Babies. Woman think they are done, don't use contraception and Hello.

by Anonymousreply 10606/01/2012

The idea of "The Birds" is very sensational, but the majority of the movie is duller than old dishwater. It's not even close to the kind of witty, creative work Hitchcock had done a few years before on movies like "North By Northwest."

by Anonymousreply 10706/01/2012

The scene when the gas station blows up is made unintentionally funny by the edited in shots of Tippi Hedron looking out the window with her mouth hanging open. Horrible!

by Anonymousreply 10806/02/2012

Thanks to a suggestion upthread I just borrowed Spoto's Spellbound by Beauty from my local library, and it's a fascinating, easy, read. I'm up to 1935 and it is indeed spellbinding.

by Anonymousreply 10906/02/2012

I agree R108. Those shots are the worst thing about the film. Maybe if they had been microsecond shots, almost subliminal, it could've worked and been effective. As it stands, they are just cringe worthy.

by Anonymousreply 11006/02/2012

Before its release, did the ads say "'The Birds' are Coming" or "'The Birds' is Coming?"

by Anonymousreply 11106/02/2012

Oh, I think they're fun!

by Anonymousreply 11206/02/2012

It was just more of Hitchcock's attempts at innovation, whether it worked or not. You muct remember that 1963 audiences were not nearly as used to quick cuts as we are now. If the shots were more brief, the scene would probably still work today, but it was believed back then that you needed to give the viewer time to absorb what was in front of him (and maybe you did!)

by Anonymousreply 11306/06/2012

I just got the Paglia book from the library, anthing I should look for?

by Anonymousreply 11406/06/2012

R111 -- The Birds IS coming!

and featuring new screen sensation 'Tippi' Hedren

by Anonymousreply 11506/06/2012


by Anonymousreply 11606/09/2012

Just bought it on DVD yesterday!

by Anonymousreply 11706/09/2012

It is on again tonight on Comcast Retro. I giggle when the birds attack the kids and fraus at the birthday party. Tippi is a tad stiff at times, but believable. Rod Taylor was cute - what'd he look like shirtless??

by Anonymousreply 11802/07/2013

Like this, r118.

by Anonymousreply 11902/07/2013

It's always a bit off-putting when one of the female stars has a deeper voice than the male lead.

by Anonymousreply 12002/07/2013

Oh my, R119.

Sexy! He really is "ROD" Taylor in that photo!

*snicker* :)

by Anonymousreply 12102/07/2013

Not bad at all R118.

I read that he porked Merle Oberon.

by Anonymousreply 12202/07/2013

The Annie Heyworth character is puzzling - why would she stay on alone in that small town pining for Mitch for years when its over between them - then she sees the attraction between Melanie and Mitch, and then she gets pecked to death.

Sadistic or what ....

by Anonymousreply 12302/11/2013


by Anonymousreply 12402/12/2013

Bumping this thread was helpful to remind us all what kind of cretins post here.

The OP found THE BIRDS to be "quite good." Well, how condescendingly trite. And then she notes that Tippi Hedren was bland. Oh, yes, Tippi - flirting and behaving like a lunatic in San Francisco and then wildly chasing the man to Bodega Bay in a shameless, prideful pursuit, a crazy and dishonest grin on her face as her crazy eyes go left and right and up and down - Tippi is so bland.

We suppose the OP also found HAMLET to be "interesting," except Ophelia was so down-to-earth and reminded her of Esther Williams.

by Anonymousreply 12502/12/2013

Tippi Hedren's screen test for "The Birds".

In the HBO film "The Girl" Sienna Miller was absolutely ludicrous in her attempt to emulate Tippi's effortlessly glamorous walk...she looked like a prancing 5yo playing dress up in mommy's high heels.

Also interesting to note Hitchcock's command to her that she lower her voice to sound "gawky".

I've read many comments that criticize the tone of her voice and it seems Hitchcock is to blame.

I think Tippi's normal speaking voice is quite attractive.

by Anonymousreply 12602/12/2013

I'm going to Bodega Bay this weekend, to birdwatch. It's a big birding destination, ironically.

The bay is what it always was, but the town doesn't look anything like the town in the movie. Tourist-oriented stuff on the waterfront aside, the actual town is crammed into a few little streets, while the movie makes it look spacious. Has the town changed, or did Hitchcock just want the houses to look more isolated?

by Anonymousreply 12702/13/2013

Edith Head designed the clothes for THE BIRDS. She did most of the clothes for Hitchcock's American films.

by Anonymousreply 12802/13/2013

R103: I thought the mother looked like she was in her 70's I agree, an 11 year old sister was odd.

by Anonymousreply 12902/13/2013

Tippi is sexy. I like her voice.

by Anonymousreply 13002/13/2013

I find Tippi marvellous and fascinating and glamorous in THE BIRDS, but she is none of these things in MARNIE.

by Anonymousreply 13102/13/2013

The Birds is full of little bits of humor. I love the way the birds gradually increase in number behind Tippi Hedrin as she smokes in front of the jungle gym.

And when she drives the love birds in her car, they lean left, then right, then left, etc. So funny!

by Anonymousreply 13202/13/2013

Rod Taylor was hilarious in "Welcome to Woop Woop." I didn't hear a trace of Aussie accent out of him in "The Birds."

by Anonymousreply 13302/13/2013

[quote]The Birds is full of little bits of humor.

Like the crusty old mailman who insists he knows the name of Mitch's little sister when he doesn't and the waitress in the background at the diner who interrupts Mrs. Bundy's speech in praise of birds with a hollered order for fried chicken.

by Anonymousreply 13402/13/2013

Tippi looked so frail, I wonder if she could have handled Mitch's beercan cockthrusts?

I bet he would've married Melanie and cheated with Annie.

by Anonymousreply 13502/13/2013

And "Tippi" Headrinse as the birdbath.

by Anonymousreply 13602/13/2013

Meanwhile, Melanie is left home alone, smoking dope and screwing the milk man.

by Anonymousreply 13702/15/2013

[quote]I love the way the birds gradually increase in number behind Tippi Hedrin as she smokes in front of the jungle gym.

And it's probably unintentional, but I love how Tippi looks progressively annoyed listening to that awful song the children are singing while she's smoking on the bench. The looks start around the 1:00 mark.

by Anonymousreply 13802/15/2013

Now you TOO can look like Tippi Hedren in "The Birds"!

by Anonymousreply 13902/15/2013

[quote]the waitress in the background at the diner who interrupts Mrs. Bundy's speech in praise of birds with a hollered order for fried chicken.

This makes me laugh whenever I watch the movie.

by Anonymousreply 14002/15/2013

And when she drives the love birds in her car, they lean left, then right, then left, etc. So funny!

That was cute!

by Anonymousreply 14102/15/2013

Hitchcock had Grace Kelly driving like a maniac in To Catch A Thief, just like Tippi. I guess he had a thing for ice cold blondes driving fast cars.

by Anonymousreply 14202/15/2013

I love watching makeup being applied. So many steps! Thanks R139.

by Anonymousreply 14302/15/2013

Melanie starts out so brisk and assured and in control and ends up catatonic from the birds attack - its almost she is being stabbed in the shower like Marion Crane - but at least she is still alive. Was Hitch getting quite nasty towards women then - they were being attacked, abused and sometimes killed rather nastily, as in Frenzy, Even the glacially cool Eve Kendall in North by Northwest is dangling from Mount Rushmore in her white gloves .... Marnie gets raped and is downright frigid until the end.

by Anonymousreply 14402/15/2013

Melanie's mother abandoned her family by running off with "a hotel man from the east."

Norman Bares tells Marion Crane that his mother remarried " a hotel man from the east."

by Anonymousreply 14502/15/2013

In Psycho, the creepy Texan gives Marion Crane's boss $40,000 which Marion steals.

In Shadow of a Doubt, Uncle Charley deposits the huge sum of $40,000 in a bank account. It is implied that he stole the $40,000 from his widowed murder victims.

by Anonymousreply 14602/15/2013

Yes r144 and Kim Novak gets killed twice in Vertigo !

That murder in Frenzy is sadistically unpleasant to watch.

by Anonymousreply 14702/15/2013

It was the new permissiveness. Filmmakers were testing the waters. Notice how he went back to something lighter for his next (and final) picture Family Plot.

by Anonymousreply 14802/15/2013

The fire engine being drawn by horses in The Birds is one of filmdoms most startlingly anachronistic scenes.

by Anonymousreply 14902/15/2013

The fire engine is modern circa 1962, R149, the horses are drawing a wagon carrying what appears to be crates of lettuce.

by Anonymousreply 15002/15/2013

The old bird lady in the diner was clearly a lesbian. Do you think she was in town to call on Suzanne Pleshette's character?

by Anonymousreply 15102/16/2013
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