"The Birds" Is Released

The Birds (1963) is a suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock It depicts a small town in the San Francisco Bay area which is, suddenly and for unexplained reasons, the subject of a series of massive bird attacks over the course of a few days.

The screenplay was written by Evan Hunter, who also wrote novels under that name and penned the 87th Precinct novels using the pseudonym Ed McBain.

The story begins as an innocuous romantic triangle involving wealthy, spoiled Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), handsome Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), and schoolteacher Annie Hayworth (Suzanne Pleshette). The human story begins in a San Francisco pet shop and culminates at the home of Mitch's mother (Jessica Tandy) at Bodega Bay, where the characters' sense of security is slowly eroded by the curious behavior of the birds in the area. At first, it's no more than a sea gull swooping down and pecking at Melanie's head. Things take a truly ugly turn when hundreds of birds converge on a children's party. There is never an explanation as to why the birds have run amok, but once the onslaught begins, there's virtually no letup. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide