119 minutes, U.S.A., 1963, Colour, D-Cinema

The screening on March 24th will be introduced by Dr. Dervila Layden, UCD Film Studies.

After the triumph of Psycho, Hitchcock’s films became more widely spaced (six in 16 years), and he had more of a struggle to set them up within the rapidly changing industry. The Birds, based loosely on Daphne du Maurier’s short story, was delayed both by the complexity of the required pre-CGI technical effects and by problems of scripting – how to build a strong narrative around the selling-point of the bird attacks themselves? The solution, worked out with novelist Evan Hunter, was a screwball comedy framework with strong, and by now familiar, Oedipal dimensions, which just about holds up, despite less than stellar central performances from Rod Taylor and Hitchcock’s new discovery Tippi Hedren. The bird attacks themselves are worth waiting for, and the ending, influenced by recent trends in European cinema, is left challengingly open.

This event is part of The Genius of Alfred Hitchcock: Part Four, the final part of our complete retrospective of Hitchcock’s 52 surviving films (March 2nd – 31st).


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