Wednesday, August 29, 2012

“The Birds” on the big screen September 19

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic, The Birds will hit the big screen for a one-night showing September 19, 2012, in theaters all across the country. Like the special screenings of Casablanca and Singing in the Rain, this one is sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. The screening will include an interview with star Tippi Hedren and special introduction featuring TCM host Robert Osborne. To find a screening near you, click here.

Tippi Hedren finds safety in a phone booth in one of the films
most famous scenes.
If there is a classic film that benefits from a big-screen showing, it’s The Birds. Based on a short story by Daphne Du Maurier with a screenplay by Evan Hunter, the movie is filled with iconic scenes and amazing—for the time—special effects.

The top-billed star is Rod Taylor who plays Mitch Brenner, a San Francisco lawyer who falls for socialite Melanie Daniels played by Hedren. Hedren, a model and single mother, was plucked from obscurity by Hitchcock to be his new leading lady. Groomed to be the next cool blond—Madeleine Carroll, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, and Eva Marie Saint preceded her—Hedren became an overnight sensation. She won the Golden Globe award for most promising newcomer, female, the year after the movie’s release. Also in the cast are Academy Award winner Jessica Tandy, then child star Veronica Cartwright, and Suzanne Pleshette. In smaller roles are character actor Richard Deacon (The Dick Van Dyke Show) and as one of the children at Cathy Brenner’s (Cartwright) birthday party is an unbilled Morgan Brittany who later went on to star in TV’s Dallas.


The Birds may not be one of Hitchcock’s greatest films, but it certainly is one of his most entertaining. A huge hit upon its initial release, the film offers up exquisite camera work by frequent Hitchcock cinematographer Robert Burks. The special effects were created Ub Iwerks, the genius behind the special effects at the Disney studio. One of the unusual aspects of the film is that is has no musical score. Instead, the sound of birds is heard throughout. Bernard Herrmann (Psycho), composer of many Hitchcock film scores acted as the films uncredited sound director.

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