Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Someone at ITV must have been having a laugh when they scheduled this famous Hitchcock horror on Valentine's Day.

I mean, in some ways it's an anti love-movie. Boy and girl meet. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl get pecked to bits by crows.

Alfred Hitchcock is famously known as "The Master Of Suspense", yet to watch this 1963 film in 2011, you have to wonder why today's producers don't venture to take a few more leaves out of his book.

The Birds features strong characters, fantastic acting and beautiful photography. These ingredients should make for compelling viewing on their own, but I think the reason why they soar in this is because they are so well enhanced by two further ingredients:

1. An unusual story.

2. No incidental music, which makes the whole thing feel extremely believable.

Granted, a few of the effects haven’t aged so well, but plenty of others had me quickly giving up wondering how they were done.

The narrative does suffer from a few instances of characters heading off into danger purely so that they can then get attacked for the next couple of minutes, but the film's other strong elements easily overcome these conceits.

The whole thing also ends very abruptly without any explanation of events, which on the one hand feels lazy and dissatisfying, but on the other left me with plenty to think about.

It's easy to watch any well-liked movie and join others in gushing about how wonderful it all is. It's equally easy to knock those who do so in order to feign superiority over them.

However I've now reviewed over 250 films on this blog, and this one has gotta be in the top ten.


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