Friday, May 26, 2006

For the Birds


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Alfred Hitchcock's classic horror film, The Birds, screened in 1963, was based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier.

The Birds and other Stories
by Daphne du Maurier was published by Penguin Books in 1963; this collection of short stories enabled her devoted readership to see her, for the first time, in a very different guise as an exponent of the sinister and macabre.

The idea for this famous story came to her one day when she was walking across to Menabilly Barton farm from the house. She saw a farmer busily ploughing a field whilst above him the seagull s were diving and wheeling. She developed the idea about the birds becoming hostile and attacking him.

In her story, the birds become hostile after a harsh winter with little food, first the seagulls, then birds of prey and finally even small birds, all turn against mankind.

The nightmarish idea appealed to Hitchcock who turned it into the celebrated film. Daphne disliked the film and particularly disliked the translation of the setting from Cornwall, with its small fields and stone hedges, to small-town America.

Peck at those seeds of information for a while, and I'll get back to my story soon enough.

Shabbat Shalom.

5 comments:

Teena said...

The one and only time I saw "The Birds" was down at Harbourfront a couple years ago ... you know where they show movies outside for free at the grandstand?

I wasn't crazy about the movie but it was fun seeing it outside.

AH Films said...

Hey torontopearl,

You've posted some interesting tidbits about The Birds here. I'm a huge Hitchcock fan and didn't know all this. I'm curious though, how did you actually feel about the movie? Is it your favourite Hitchcock film? You should post a comment about it on Alfred Hitchcock Films.

By the way, I know the grandstand at Harbourfront...but I didn't realize they showed movies there. Sounds pretty cool. Do they still do it?

cruisin-mom said...

Pearl, I love the Birds...it still scares the sh*t out of me to this day.
Now we can play 6 degrees of separation. The star of the movie, Tippy Hedren, is the mother of Melanie Griffith, who has of course, been in two of Robert's films. See, we're practically related to Tippy and Alfred Hitchcock!

Jeremayakvoka said...

Fortunately, the times I've gone to Bodega Bay there are few if any black crows around.

torontopearl said...

Teena,
I can imagine seeing the movie in an open-air setting, on a large screen, at night, would make for a bit of an eerie setting with the night sounds all around.
(For those who aren't familiar with Toronto, Harbourfront is a pavilion/gallery/dockside at the foot of the city and head of Lake Ontario...sort of similar to NYC's Piers or Baltimore's Inner Harbor)

AH Films: I haven't watched the film in its entirety since I was a kid; I'd gotten pretty freaked out then about the film. What I wrote on the post was new to me, and I learned it when "researching" the film for my post topic.

Randi: Interesting detective work you came up with, but I'm not sure I want to be related to those two.

Jeremiah: Guess those black crows were used up for the making of the film ;)