movie film review | chris tookey


  Birds Review
Tookey's Rating
6 /10
Average Rating
7.50 /10
Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy
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Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Written by: Evan Hunter, from Daphne du Maurierís story

Released: 1963
Origin: US
Colour: BW
Length: 119

In California, birds with a grouse go cuckoo and end up making the humans duck and quail.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Apart from Psycho, no film of Hitchcock's has generated such critical controversy. There is even a feminist analysis which argues that the birds represent masculine aggression, and that the entire film is about the male protagonist working out his Oedipal problems: a view which seems far-fetched, not least because the female protagonist is presented throughout the movie as more important.

The truth is that The Birds suffers from an abstruse and frustrating screenplay. The opening is too slow; the directorial tone shifts uncertainly between light romantic comedy and portentous allegory; the heroine is uninteresting, as is her relationship with her boy-friend; the end is inconclusive. Technically, too, the film has faults. The back-projection is poor, and the process photography is not much better. However, the editing, camera direction and Hitchcock's manipulation of the audiencesí fears combine to make The Birds a memorable thriller. It still has the power to make audiences scream, which was probably the director's primary intention. It's far from a turkey and well worth watching for a lark.

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