Sunday, January 11, 2015

1963 - THE BIRDS, probably the last good Hitchcock film.

With the death of Rod Taylor it was a good opportunity to look at one of Taylor's better films, The Birds.  The Birds is the beginning of Alfred Hitchcock's association with Universal Studios.  It also stands out as the last good Hitchcock picture.  Everything starts to go downhill for Hitchcock after this film. 

Hitchcock directs The Birds.

The Birds is also the first appearance of Hitchock's ingenue Tippi Hedren, who it appears Hitchcock developed a supposedly unhealthy obsession with. Hedren was a model who Hitchcock personally groomed for stardom.  Her lack of acting experience really hurt Marnie and her career never really recovered. 

However, The Birds is a very good film, extremely well directed by Hitchcock.  The special effects are now routinely criticized but considering the number of challenges just getting live birds to do anything I would say they are a significant achievement. 

Hitchcock very deliberately kept the motivations and actions of the birds a mystery and the film has been frequently described as Hitchcock's end of the world film.  There is certainly an apocalyptic subtext that runs throughout the film.  In any case, this is a film made by a master film maker.

119 minutes.

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