BY CHRISTOPHER STAMM
GUEST MOVIE REVIEWER
The Birds (available on many platforms)
Rated PG-13 for some disturbing imagery and smoking on screen (nearly everyone has a smoke in their hands throughout)
I had the opportunity to see Alfred Hitchcock’s classic The Birds on the big screen this past week for the very first time, and I am here to tell you that while some may say it is dated, it is still very effective, and let’s face it, 33-year-old Tippi Hedren is a real looker.
Filmed way back in 1963, this 60-year-old classic still had me walking out of the theatre and looking up at our fair feathered friends and wondering what would really happen if they got it into their little minds that the pink apes known as humans were just no longer needed or wanted.
A little trivia for you all: Based on the short story The Birds by Daphne du Maurier, both the short story and the film are partly inspired by the true events of a mass bird attack on the seaside town of Capitola in California on August 18, 1961. Turns out those birds were poisoned by a neurotoxic microalga that made its way into the food cycle which made them psychotic.
The premise is simple really, and I am sure you all know it. Boy meets girl, girl becomes stalker (by today’s standards anyway) and follows boy up to his seaside hometown. Girl gets talked into staying, birds lose their minds and start attacking, people die, kids scream, and we (the viewers) munch our popcorn and love every minute of it because we are a seriously weird species.
Alfred Hitchcock was a genius. It really is as simple as that. While a womanizing lowlife, the guy had skills when it came to making movies, and he possessed a very odd sense of humor. For example, while our heroine is driving up to stalk our hero at his seaside hole, we get a strange camera shot of two lovebirds in a cage in her car leaning one side to another as she speeds through turns on the Pacific Coast Highway. Odd but honestly pretty funny.
As always I like to avoid spoilers for the three people over 40 and the hundreds under 30 who have not seen The Birds, but folks, some films stay good no matter how old they are and The Birds is one of them. Made when people dressed to go shopping (no pajamas at Walmart to be seen anywhere) and playful banter between sexes didn’t insult everyone within earshot, The Birds is a classic.
I am sure it’s available everywhere, but if you ever get the chance to watch it on the big screen, do so. It does not disappoint.
Five out of five possible stars for this classic.