The Birds (1963)

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Groups of birds start attacking the residents of Bodega Bay.


Genre

Horror, Animal

Characters/Groups

Mitch Brenner - Rod Taylor

Lydia Brenner - Jessica Tandy

Annie Hayworth - Suzanne Pleshette

Melanie Daniels - Tippi Hedren

Cathy Brenner - Veronica Cartwright

Mrs. Bundy - Ethel Griffies

Sebastian Sholes - Charles McGraw

Mrs. MacGrude - Ruth McDevitt

Deke Carter - Lonny Chapman

Businessman - Joe Mantell

Fisherman - Doodles Weaver

Deputy Al Malone - Malcolm Atterbury

Postal Clerk - John McGovern

Doomsayer - Karl Swenson

Mitch's Neighbor - Richard Deacon

Helen Carter - Elizabeth Wilson

George - William Quinn

Mother in Diner - Doreen Lang

Man with Dogs - Alfred Hitchcock

Sam - Dal McKennon

The Birds

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

In San Francisco, Melanie Daniels notices a large flock of birds flying overhead. She passes by a Man with Dogs and goes inside Davidson's Pet Shop and says hello to Mrs. MacGrude, and comments on the large amount of seagulls. Mrs. MacGrude tells Melanie that the myna bird she ordered hasn't been delivered yet. Mrs. MacGrude goes to the back to call the delivery service and while Melanie is waiting, Mitch Brenner asks her if she can help him. He tells her that he would like to purchase some lovebirds for his sister. He starts asking her questions about the birds and she makes up answers. She goes to pull a canary out of its cage and it flies away and starts circling the ceiling. Mitch manages to catch it and calls Melanie by her name and then tells her that they met in court. As Mitch is driving away Melanie memorizes his license plate and writes it down. Mrs. MacGrude tells her that the myna bird will arrive later and Melanie calls her father's newspaper and asks Charlie to look up who owns the car with Mitch's license plate. Melanie orders some lovebirds and the next day brings them to Mitch's apartment. As she drops the lovebirds off at Mitch's door, Mitch's Neighbor tells her that Mitch has gone to Bodega Bay and won't be back until Monday. She gets in her car and drives to Bodega Bay and stops at the U.S. Post Office and General Merchandise store. She talks with the Postal Clerk and asks him where Mitch lives. He points out the house across the bay and she tells him that she wants to surprise them and asks where she can rent a boat. She then asks him what Mitch's sister's name is. He tells her that he thinks her name is Alice and suggests she stop at Annie Hayworth's house who is the school teacher and will know for sure what Mitch's sister's name is.

She goes to Annie's house and Annie tells her that Mitch's sister's name is Cathy. She drives to the pier and goes to The Tides and rents a boat from a Fisherman. She takes the boat across the bay and sneaks onto the property and leaves the lovebirds inside the house. She goes back onto the boat and watches as Mitch goes inside the house and finds the birds. He sees her and drives his car to the other side of the bay and waits for her at the dock. As she is getting close, a seagull swoops down and pecks her head. They go to The Tides Restaurant and Deke Carter asks Mitch what happened to Melanie. Deke tells Helen Carter to get some cotton and antiseptic. As he is cleaning her wound, Mitch asks Melanie why she is in Bodega Bay and she tells him, she came to drop off the birds and see her friend Annie. Mitch doesn't believe her and accuses her of wanting to see him. Lydia Brenner walks into the restaurant and Mitch introduces her to Melanie. Lydia is aloof with Melanie and Mitch tells her that he invited Melanie for dinner for bringing Cathy the lovebirds. Melanie rents a room from Annie and in the evening goes to Mitch's house. She meets Cathy and Mitch mentions how the chickens won't eat. Lydia calls Fred Brinkmeyer and he tells her that Dan Fawcett's chickens won't eat either. After dinner, Cathy invites Melanie to her birthday party the next day. Lydia and Mitch talk about Melanie and Lydia mentions how often Melanie is mentioned in scandalous affairs in the newspapers. Melanie leaves and Mitch notices the large amount of birds clustered on the electric lines.

Melanie drives to Annie's house and Annie asks her if she met Lydia and tells her that Lydia came between her and Mitch's relationship. She then tells her that she still likes Mitch. Mitch calls and asks Melanie to stay for Cathy's party. Before Melanie and Annie go to bed, a seagull kills itself ramming into Annie's door. The next day at Cathy's party, Mitch invites Melanie to stay for dinner again. She tells him about her family history. During the party the kids are attacked by Seagulls, which then suddenly fly away. While they are about to have dinner, Lydia tries to get Melanie to leave and the house is attacked by sparrows. Afterwards, Deputy Al Malone comes to the house and thinks The Birds were just panicked. They tell him about the birthday party attack and he assumes the children disturbed The Birds. Lydia goes to drop off Cathy at school and then goes to Dan Fawcett's farm. She greets George and he tells her Dan is in the house. She goes inside and finds Dan dead with his eyes pecked out and surrounded by dead birds. She runs back to her truck and drives back home. Mitch goes to speak with Al and the Santa Rosa Police and Lydia asks Melanie if she thinks Cathy is safe at school.

Melanie drives to the school and as she waits to talk with Annie, a large flock of crows gathers outside. Melanie runs into the school and tells Annie about the large flock of birds and tells her they need to get the children to safety. Annie tells the children that live close by to go home, while the others go the nearby hotel. The kids run out of the school and The Birds start attacking them. One of Cathy's friends falls down and breaks her glasses and Cathy and Melanie help her inside a car. The Birds suddenly stop attacking and Melanie goes to The Tides Restaurant and tells her father about the attack. Mrs. Bundy overhears her conversation and tells Deke that Birds don't have the intelligence to launch a massed attack. Melanie tells her about the attack on the school children and Mrs. Bundy insists that Birds aren't aggressive. Deke tells Mrs. Bundy that Melanie witnessed the attack, but Mrs. Bundy insists it couldn't have happened. A Doomsayer starts yelling that it's the end of the world and starts quoting the Bible. Helen then counters with a scripture mentioning drunkeness. Sebastian Sholes asks Mrs. Bundy how many seagulls were counted during the last census and complains about them messing with his fishing boats. A Mother in Diner asks Helen to ask them to lower their voices as their talk is scaring her children. Mrs. Bundy tells Sebastian that the seagulls were just after his fish.

A Businessman walks in and says the seagulls should have just been shot. Mrs. Bundy tells everyone that there are 5,750,000,000 Birds in the United States alone. Melanie and Mrs. Bundy continue to argue and Mrs. Bundy tells her that if The Birds really did band together, humans wouldn't stand a chance of survival. Sam walks out from the kitchen and Mrs. Bundy jokingly tells him that they are planning a war. The Mother in Diner asks what the fastest way to San Francisco is and the Businessman tells her that she can follow him. Mitch walks in with Al and tells everyone about The Birds killing Dan. Al says that the Santa Rosa police believe that Dan was murdered by a burglar. They continue to debate about The Birds and the Businessman and Mother in Diner leave with her kids. Melanie hears a bird and calls everyone to the window where they watch as a seagull attacks a gas station attendant. The Mother in Diner runs back in with her kids while Mitch, Al and Deke go to help the attendant. Gas from the pumps pours out towards the Businessman's car and he is engulfed in flames when he lights his cigarette. A flock of seagulls start attacking the townspeople. Mitch helps Melanie back into the restaurant and they find Helen, Mother in Diner and Mrs. Bundy among others hiding in the hallway. The Mother in Diner accuses The Birds of attacking only when Melanie arrived in town and says she is the cause of it all and evil. The flock of seagulls leave and Mitch and Melanie leave to pick up Cathy at Annie's house.

When they arrive at the house they find Annie dead outside. Cathy runs from outside the house and Mitch carries Annie's body back into the house and they get into Melanie's car and drive back to Mitch's house. Mitch boards up the house windows. On the radio there is a report on the attacks at Bodega Bay. Melanie and Mitch go outside and see a flock of Birds flying inland. A large flock of seagulls and crows attack the house and some start to peck through the front door. The power goes out and suddenly The Birds leave. Later, Melanie hears the sound of Bird wings and goes upstairs. She opens a bedroom door and goes inside the room and is attacked by Birds. She collapses and Mitch manages to drag her out of the room. Lydia and Mitch bandage her up and Mitch tells Lydia that they have to get Melanie to a hospital in San Francisco. Mitch goes out to the garage and sees The Birds everywhere. He turns on the radio in Melanie's car and the radio announcer says that The Bird attacks have spread to the towns of Sebastopol and Santa Rosa. Mitch slowly drives the car to the front of the house and he and Lydia help Melanie into the car. Cathy brings her lovebirds into the car and they slowly drive to San Francisco as they are surrounded by The Birds.