Saturday, April 12, 2014

Revisiting Hitchcock's Horror Classic "The Birds."

I remember sitting in the dark 
in the back row of the Acadia Theatre
with my brother Roy in late 1963 or early 1964.

Acadia Cinema's Al Whittle Theatre, 
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada
Source:  wikipedia

The last tense minutes 
of Alfred Hitchcock's horror thriller The Birds 
played out on the screen.

I was scarcely breathing as 
Melanie Daniels, Mitch Brenner, 
his mother and his daughter, 
with a pair of caged lovebirds,
slipped out of their house and eased into their car.

Then they drove, gathering speed, 
into unknown future
through tens of thousands of perching birds.

Theatrical Poster for the Film The Birds (1963)
Source:  Wikipedia

Roy and I had started off laughing hysterically
at the preposterous sight of seagulls, 
sparrows, and crows attacking people.

But then the movie became suspenseful, and scary,
as the chaos and fear spread in Bodega Bay.
Roy and I grew quiet.

Source:  trueclassics

I never forgot the spooky feeling that night 
as my brother and I left the lighted theatre lobby
and walked home through the dark streets of Wolfville.

A couple of weekends ago
Terry and I turned a corner in Honolulu,
and I was catapulted into Hitchcock's The Birds.

It was the creepiest sensation.
Suddenly I was tiptoeing past hundreds of noisy birds.

The sight of all those birds perched on and around the house
made my hands sweat and my breath stop.

It didn't phase the Ever-Patient Terry.
He simply waited across the street
while I took pictures in amazement.

When we returned to our hotel later in the evening,
I asked about the house surrounded by birds.

Nothing sinister.
Just a family that loved birds 
and fed them regularly.

For the rest of our time in Honolulu,
I felt uneasy walking past this house,
especially in the dark.

I couldn't shake my eerie movie memories.

Did you ever see The Birds?
What did you think?

Here's a clip from the ending of Hitchcock's classic The Birds.

Source:  You Tube ~  movieclips


  1. I've never seen the movie but I heard of it's legacy

    1. Hi Adam! Today the movie would seem a little tame, but when it was released it was scary and technically advanced. It definitely had an impact on me because almost fifty years later the sight of all those birds around that house creeped me out! Have a great week!

  2. haha the bird poop would be all that would scare me away. i seen it as a child, vaguely recall it. Never really bothered me.

    1. There was a lot of bird poop for sure! LOL! My brother and I found it really funny, at first, to the disapproval of a lot of the viewers, but it got to me in the end! Have a great week, Pat!

  3. I have seen that movie several times, and absolutely love this post! That first, I would SO enjoy a walk around there!

    1. Thank you, Linda! That first photo is Main Street, Wolfville, the small town where I was born ~ offspring of a university romance! I lived there as a baby, in grade 8, and for the five years I attended Acadia. It's an awesome place, and it is very close to the spot that the Acadians were expelled from. Have a lovely week, Linda.

  4. Oh yeah, that would creep me right out too! I saw "The Birds" on TV when I was a kid and it scared the living bejesus out of me!

    1. LOL! Hitchcock was a master. I remember "The Birds" and "Psycho" best. I still have trouble taking showers in old-fashioned hotels. And when lots of birds congregate! Have a great week, Debra!

  5. The Birds was actually a short story by Daphne DuMaurier (the famous English author) and the story was in England. Hitchcock did the movie and based in California. I have spent a good bit of my life telling people that as good as that movie is, it is a work of FICTION and that you should not have a fear of birds! Honestly, it affected a great many people in that way.
    There is a wonderful blogger by the name of Kay who blogs from Hawaii (Musings) and she says that there are some people who feed birds and that it has created huge problems in her neighborhood. If it is anything like this, I can see why...this just can't be good for the birds either.

    1. Hi Kay! Thank you for your informative comment. I read a lot of DD's writing when I was growing up. And, yes, the movie is fiction, but it shook up a lot of people who saw it when it was first released! People should not feed wildlife, but then a lot of us put out bird feeders ~ maybe not on a scale like this! The Honolulu birds have figured out that where people gather to eat can be a source of tidbits for them. So they come hopping. Well, birds have figured that out in a lot of places. Happy Week to you, Kay!

    2. Oh yes, I saw that movie by Hitchcock as a kid and even thought it scared me, I knew that it was a very well made movie!
      And of course, I love birds! And we have our bird feeders as well and have fed birds for years! But if I lived in Hawaii, I don't think that I would, it looks as if it upsets the balance of nature there!
      I just CANNOT tell you how many people have told me that they have a fear of birds because of the movie by Hitchcock! Happy Easter to you!

    3. Happy Easter, Kay! At first my brother and I thought it was so funny to see birds acting like that in the movie. We were laughing so hard we had tears running down our eyes ~ but then it got scary. Birds haven't bothered me since, until I saw all of them clumped together ~ hundreds by that house in Honolulu. Then I felt a little spooked. I certainly wouldn't feed them like that! I saw my first flowers today, finally. daffodils, and were they gorgeous! I hope that you, Richard, and Chris have a lovely, lovely weekend!

  6. Wow, that's a lot of birds! I didn't watch the birds until later in my life, and I guess because of that, I found it kind of silly. Still, the idea of it is quite freaky. Regardless of how they creeped you out, you still took the time to photograph Leave it to people who love photography to do that!

    1. The movie does seem a little silly viewed fifty years later, but it was state of the art at the time and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Special Effects. We photographers ~ what can I say! LOL! Sometimes Terry pretends he doesn't know me! Have a great rest of the week, Martha!

  7. I haven't seen movie but found clip intriguing. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Paul! It's great to see you! Hope all is well in your corner of the world! I'll be over to catch up on your recent posts! Take care!

  8. I do believe I was sitting in that theater a few rows ahead of you Louise! I was the one SCREAMING at every sound and nuance of HORROR! Still loved the movie so much. Apparently a lot of the birds weren't real. Nothing like reality rearing it's ugly head to spoil it for us, eh!!! Hitchcock has always been my favourite. I could watch Rear Window anytime someone would want to.
    Those birds in Hawaii sure would make me think twice about slipping by ~ so many of them with so many coos and mumbles I bet. At least they were all pristine white and not macabre black!! Oh the horrors!! It's so cool to visit a place and happen upon this kind of thing because it just adds that flavour and there's no chance you are going to forget this house. There used to be a house on Robie St in Halifax called the 'pigeon house' just literally covered in birds....all gone now. I always remember driving by it and seeing the sea of feathers. Do you remember the "rat house" on Acadia St? It was located on the site of the Vaughan Mem. Library at Acadia. Another house that gave me the creeps, not to mention a particular fragrance due to the vegetation I think. I'll never forget that house at the foot of Horton Ave because in my garden is/was growing a plant that triggered that memory of the 'rat house', so weird. I pulled the plant out and it kept growing that Hitchcockian or what?!
    Listen I sure hope you don't have any fear of birds! I know of someone who is so fearful and I never understood it. Such is life eh!

    1. You're cracking me up Ron!
      Thanks for sharing all your memories! Hitchcock is the best!
      You're right about the sounds of the birds. It was quite a racket! Quite eerie and definitely reminiscent of the birds at the end of the movie.
      When I go back next March, I'm sure I'll be checking out that house just to get a thrill.
      Rats! I don't remember the Rat House! I must have walked past it many times at night because I attended a lot of plays and performances at U-Hall when I was in grade 8. Ooohhhh! Creepy!
      I love birds, and they don't scare me. But the sight of all those birds massed around the house put me right back in Al Whittle's theatre.
      I'm so glad that the theatre has been saved and that Al's name lives on. He was quite a character and I have many happy memories of him and the theatre!
      Have a good one, Ron!

  9. Hitchcock is the BEST! I liked this movie but it wasn't my favourite of his......found it too over the top. That's just me!
    Oh the Acadia Theatre! Many good memories there.

    1. Psycho was over the top!!!!! I still get freaked out in hotel showers when I'm by myself! When I was sitting wells in the Kansas Oil Patch, I'd get really spooked in some of those isolated, very small town hotels! LOL!
      The Acadia Theatre was the best. When I was in grade 8 with Ron, we all went to movies in this giant herd and would take up a row or three in the theatre. I thinking in particular of the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night." That might have been the exact day I got that photo of Ron up a telephone pole! LOL!
      Lots of fun!
      Take care, Jim!

  10. Oh wow I can see why you would be thrown back to 'The Birds' Yes I loved that movie.

  11. Hi Sharon! The movie was fun wasn't it! Hope all is well with you!

  12. Love the opening scene when Melanie and Mitch meet.

    1. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, ATL! I'm sorry I just replied now ~ left my computer behind in a restaurant in the mountains, and it and I have just been reunited! I hope that you are enjoying a lovely weekend!


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