Alfred Hitchcock

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        The Birds (1963)
        D V D

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        • Dvd Release Date: 1 Jan 2008
        • Region: 2 (UK & Europe)
        • Number of Discs: 1

        • Screen: Fullscreen 1.33:1
        • Studio: Uca

        A black comedy moonlighting as a genuinely unsettling, horrific allegory, this Alfred Hitchcock classic somehow strayed from favour for awhile. At the time of its release, Variety described it as thus:

          "Beneath all of this elaborate feather bedlam lies a hitch cock-and-bull story that's essentially a fowl ball."

        Yet in the realm of popular mythology, it is now rivalled only by Psycho.

        Set in the remote California coastal town of Bodega Bay, the story concerns a small group of unsatisfied creatures. Two women and a young girl are all fixed on one man (Rod Taylor), and when a fourth arrives from San Francisco with a certain determination in her heart, a menacing populace of birds descends on the town, wreaking terror and havoc, right up until the film's inscrutable ending.

        But as ever, Hitchcock is also having a laugh. The cast has Jessica Tandy and Suzanne Pleshette going for it, and, in an exceptional use of an otherwise unusable actress, Tippi Hedren. This was by far her greatest role for Grace Kelly she wasn't and is now remembered chiefly for being the mother of Melanie Griffiths, making nasty and unsubstantiated attacks on Hitch wrecking her career (her lack of talent did that) and selling her autographs at high prices to help fund her animal charity.

        Wealthy reformed party girl Melanie Daniels enjoys a brief flirtation with lawyer Mitch Brenner in a San Francisco pet shop and decides to follow him to his Bodega Bay home. Bearing a gift of two lovebirds, Melanie quickly strikes up a romance with Mitch while contending with his possessive mother and boarding at his ex-girlfriend's house.One day, during a birthday party for Mitch's younger sister, a flock of birds attacks the children in what seems to be a random incident. In fact, it signals the beginning of a massive and organized avian assault on the residents of the town--a mysterious assault that no one can explain... and from which no one might come out alive.

        Found on this DVD is the original ending where the characters that survived make it to San Francisco, to find the Golden Gate Bridge covered with birds, implying that even cities had succumbed to nature.

        On this DVD are a very decent set of extras (including a thoroughly comprehensive making of documentary that's absorbing) Hitchcock's version of the Daphne du Maurier tale keeps it's power because it never explains why the birds turn on man - we only know that they do, and are vicious in their attacks.

      • Actors:
          Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette, Veronica Cartwright, Charles McGraw, Ethel Griffies, Ruth McDevitt, Lonny Chapman, Joe Mantell, Doodles Weaver, Malcolm Atterbury, John McGovern, Karl Swenson & Alfred Hitchcock

      • Dir/Prod:
      • Scr:
      • Ph:
          Robert Burks
      • Ed:
          George Tomasini
      • Art Dir:
          Robert Boyle


        Dvd Features

          'All About The Birds' featurette
          The film's original ending
          Storyboard sequence
          Tippi Hedren screentest
          'The Birds Is Coming' and 'National Press Club Hears Hitchcock': Universal International newsreel footage
          Production photographs
          Production notes
          Theatrical trailer
          Universal web links
          Interactive menu
          Scene access

        Technical Details

          Languages: English - Dolby Digital (1.0) Mono
          Additional Languages: German
          Subtitles: English for the hearing impaired ; Danish ; Dutch ; Finnish ; German ; Norwegian ; Swedish
          Closed Captions: Yes
          Duration: 1 hour and 54 minutes (approx) Region: 2 (UK & Europe)

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      • Price: 6.99 (UK Sterling)
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