The Birds (2012) Cert. 15 Picture house at FACT

  • Released1963
  • Running time119 minutes
  • DirectorAlfred Hitchcock
  • CastTippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Rod Taylor, Suzanne Pleshette

Having shown the rationality of an individual utterly overthrown in PSYCHO (by the monstrous, all-consuming mother figure), Hitchcock – always vying to outdo himself – took things to their ultimate conclusion in his next feature by having the whole world go mad.

Ostensibly a creature feature in 1950s mould, this film also approaches its subject from entirely unexpected angles, setting out like a romantic comedy in which flighty (pun intended) socialite Melanie Daniels (Hedren) pursues suave lawyer Mitch Brenner (Taylor) to his home on the idyllic California coast.

While Mitch's mother (Tandy) seems none too happy to see this other woman, her arrival seems to bring something far worse upon the town. Birds randomly turn on humans – and romance turns jarringly to horror. As attacks increase in ferocity, the group must fight to survive – the threat made all the more disturbing by the fact that it has no explanation.

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