Movie Club: The Birds

Discussion in 'Introductions & Off Topic' started by LiamABC, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    WELCOME EVERYBODY TO THE LATEST DISCUSSION THREAD OF THE NEW MOVIE CLUB. A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.

    This month we're starting another run of scary movies in the run-up to Halloween, commencing this week with Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds from 1962

    Remember any ideas for films to discuss are most welcome, and should be made on the Movie Club Introduction thread (the sticky one), and anyone is welcome to add their thoughts about movies already discussed on their respective threads.

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these movies, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full movie online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the movie in whatever manner you want.
  2. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I do really like The Birds but I do think it is one of Hitchcock's weakest movies.
    The cast is great. Likeable and interesting characters. Especially the beautiful Suzanne Pleshette.
    The location setting is great.
    One of the best things about the plot is there is no real explanation as to why the bird attacks start.
    The bird attacks are believable and something people can easily relate to.
    Also the way the bird attacks were filmed was very well done
    The first big problem with the movie though is it really isn't that scary aside from the end attack. Hence why I don't class this movie as much of a horror as such. Jaws and Arachnophobia I consider to be more horrors as those are a lot more scary. Not just because of being a giant shark or spiders, but the actual attacks were a lot more frightening.
    The end battle at the house was the most frightening/disturbing scene in the movie. I think the house attack should have lasted a lot longer and there should have been more attacks throughout the movie.
    The second problem is the ending is quite disappointing/underwhelming. There are a few different ways this movie could have ended that would have been substantially better than the way it did end. Although to be fair the ending of the novel isn't that great in some ways the movie ending is slightly better than the book.

    As much as I do really like this movie it definitely has a couple faults and could have been better. It just comes across as more of a wasted opportunity of what could have been.
    It has a good overall plot and it's being directed by one of cinemas greatest directors but just really didn't deliver the goods but the overall story was pretty slow and most importantly there really wasn't enough actual horror/frightening scenes.

    I read Daphne du Maurier, the author of the story on which the film is based, wasn't too pleased with Hitchcock's adaption of her work.
    Her story was set on a farm in England with completely different characters.
    Personally I think a new adaption more close to the original story could make a great movie.
  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I saw this film last night for only the second time in my life. My opinion is unchanged from the first time I saw it back in 2013.

    Much as I love Hitchcock's films, this is not one of his finest. It's more a sequence of events than a proper story with a beginning, middle and end. Without any explanation as to why the birds are attacking, it just feels random. Hitchcock allegedly made a deliberate decision not to explain why the birds were attacking, saying that if he did he would be straying too much into the realms of science fiction. Well he's already gone beyond the boundaries of normality with the birds' actions anyway here. You just don't get birds attacking en masse like this.

    The ending isn't really an ending. Apparently there was meant to be a proper climactic ending to it, but it was cut - for different reasons depending on which source you go to. I remember the first time I saw this film, thinking at the end, "if they let the caged birds go free, the rest of the birds will let them go". Pretty much any modern filmmaker would have done that.

    It's a pity because it starts off normally enough for one of his films, setting up the characters in what we expect to be the usual bumpy road of twists and turns and I-hate-you's until they finally come to accept each other as they walk away from the carnage. But that doesn't ultimately happen. The character arcs are incomplete, because the ending is incomplete (well, non-existent really).

    Rod Taylor looks like a cross between Cary Grant and Dick York (original male lead in Bewitched). Suzanne Pleshette looks so much like Elizabeth Taylor it's hard to believe it isn't womankind's answer to Henry VIII. The performances are solid enough, and the use of trick photography to overlay the attacking birds was very well done. They went to so much effort, they, and we, deserved something more at the end. The whole movie is ruined by the lack of a proper ending. That finale is a real turkey.
  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I wonder if the animosity between Hitchcock and Hedren was involved in the rushed ending.
  5. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I don't know about that - they made Marnie together the following year, so things can't have been too bad between them at this point.
  6. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    She made some allegations about Hitchcock that allegedly happened during the making of The Birds. If she was telling the truth it's strange she would work with him again.

    According to Wikipedia she was also in the TV sequel from the early 90's.
  7. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Yes, but playing a completely different character - and like the Psycho sequels, it was nothing to do with Hitchcock.
  8. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Even though Hitchcock had nothing to do with it, Psycho 2 is a worthy sequel to Psycho. Psycho 3 and 4 though are just horrible.
    Sadly the director of the Birds sequel really wasn't pleased with it and didn't even want his name associated wit it. It would be interesting to watch sometime to see how it compares to the first movie.
  9. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    The other thing I forgot to mention is that this film doesn't really have any proper music, just electronic sound effects to amplify the bird noises.

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