The Birds (1963)
Well here we are day 3 of the 4 days of Halloween, so today we have Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 thriller "The Birds". If you do not think birds can be scary, then you will want to watch this movie. The birds terrorize and peck apart the residents of this sleepy seaside village.
The movie starts with Melanie Daniels, a wealthy socialite whose father owns a large newspaper.
After picking up a Mynah bird for her aunt at a San Francisco pet store she meets Mitch Brenner, a lawyer who is looking for a pair of lovebirds to give to his sister. Mitch sees Melanie and pretends to mistake her for a salesperson. Melanie plays along, thinking that she is fooling Mitch, until he reveals that he has known all along that she did not work in the shop.
Melanie, infuriated, inquires as to the reason for Mitch's behavior. He mentions a previous encounter that he had with her in court.
Intrigued by Mitch, Melanie buys the lovebirds and finds the address of Mitch's home in Bodega Bay, a small village up the Pacific coast, she then drives to Bodega Bay and delivers the birds by sneaking across the small harbor in a motor boat.
Melanie walks into the Brenner residence and leaves the birds on a footstool, with a note. As she is heading back across the bay, Mitch observes her through a pair of binoculars, then circles around the bay in his car to meet her - but just as she is about to pull up to the dock, a seagull swoops down and inflicts a cut on her head.
Over the next few days, the bird attacks continue, Melanie's relationship with Mitch, his clinging mother, Lydia, his 12-year-old sister, Cathy, and Cathy's teacher Annie Hayworth. The second strange bird incident occurs when Melanie stays for the night at Hayworth's house and a gull kills itself upon hitting the front door. The next attack occurs at Cathy's party. Bird violence escalates when Lydia discovers a friend dead in his bedroom.
After another attack by crows at the local school, Melanie calls her father, a newspaper publisher in San Francisco, from a bar. The conversation rivets the interest of others, who listen in. A fisherman tells her that the gulls have been following his boats. An old woman, an amateur ornithologist, insists that calling birds' behavior attacks is an exaggeration, and no bird species flocks and attacks, and birds of different avian species would never flock together and attack, as they do not possess the intelligence. Despite her words, right outside the window, a motorist is attacked while filling his automobile with gasoline; he is knocked unconscious, the hose lands on the ground, and the gasoline continues to pump out onto the street, until it meets a man lighting a cigar. An explosion and fire result. More deaths occur. Melanie is attacked and takes refuge in a telephone booth, but the attack continues as birds crash into the thick glass, and cause it to fracture. Melanie is rescued by Mitch.
After this attack subsides, Melanie and Mitch seek to collect Cathy at Annie's house. Noticing that crows are gathering at the school, they tread quietly to Annie's home. They find Annie dead on her front porch and Cathy crying at the window.
Melanie and Mitch's family ultimately take refuge in Mitch's house, boarding up the doors and windows. The house is subsequently attacked by the birds and they almost manage to break through the doors, with Mitch getting injured trying to keep them out. Eventually this attack subsides as well. In the evening, when everyone else is asleep, Melanie hears noises from the upper floor. She investigates a closed door only to find that the birds have broken through the roof. They attack her, sealing her in the room until Mitch comes to her rescue. Lydia and Mitch bandage Melanie's wounds, but determine she must get to a hospital. A sea of landed birds ripples menacingly around them as they leave the house but do not attack, aside from a few isolated pecks. The radio reports several smaller bird attacks in nearby Sebastopol and Santa Rosa. Mitch drives the car slowly towards the road before picking up speed, and the sea of birds parts. The film concludes with the car driving away, down the coast road and out of sight, as thousands of birds watch.
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