“The Birds” (1963) was yet another film that I grew up with; it got plenty of air time in the 1980’s, and it was such a gem that my Uncle John had it in is movie library too.
As far as I am aware … this is the only time Alfred Hitchcock delved into science fiction -horror. (Somebody please correct me on that if I am wrong.) I only learned just now that it was based on a 1952 novel by Daphne du Maurier. (I thought the name sounded familiar upon reading it, and also learned that she wrote the eponymous source material for Hitchcock’s “Rebecca” in 1940.)
The trailer below is kind of interesting — it features Hitchcock himself hamming it up, with almost no footage from the film. I don’t think it would make it past a modern marketing department — it’s more than five minutes long, and it takes a bit too much time getting to its point.
Scratch one thing off the bucket list — I finally got around to watching Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca.” (A cinephilic uncle introduced me to a handful of the director’s better known classics when I was an adolescent — “Rebecca” was one that we never got around to.) Based on my own enjoyment of it, I’d rate this film an 8 out of 10.
Please bear in mind that this is one of the slower Hitchcock films. Until its plot accelerates toward its end, it spends much of its running length as a methodically paced, brooding Gothic romance and mystery. It’s also a psychological thriller, and you can tell that Hitchcock is working to translate onto the screen its character-focused source novel. (I haven’t read Daphne du Maurier’s eponymous 1938 book.)
“Rebecca’s” final act brings the viewer into familiar Hitchcock territory with some interesting surprises. What I liked best about seeing the director’s style, however, was his trademark sharp characters and dialogue — with both heroes and villains sparring in a dry-witted and rapid-fire fashion. It’s something you don’t often see today. I don’t think all old movies are like this — some of the “classics” I’ve been recommended are absolutely vapid. But Hitchcock treated his viewer as intelligent adults, and I think it’s part of the reason why people love him.