I knew she was too good to be true. Always so eager to work overtime, never made a mistake. Always pulling her skirt down over her knees as though they were a – national treasure. She seemed so nice. So efficient.
It wouldn’t be Horrofest if we didn’t have our annual Alfred Hitchcock pick! Now as you may know from previous posts, I love Alfred Hitchcock movies. I like that he has a variety of characters from all kinds of backgrounds and motivations, but typically they are just an average person who is caught up in an abnormal circumstance.
The use of lighting and shots in every film are always amazing:
Hitchcock also always knew how to pick a story-choosing one that is well done, mysterious, suspenseful, and adding in his own special macabre tendencies.
Now I love almost every film of his, but there are two of his films that I absolutely hate: Vertigo and Marnie.
Last year I reviewed Vertigo, and thought that this year I would review the other, Marnie (1964).
Marnie (1964) stars Tippi Hedrun, someone who had an intense and complicated relationship with Alfred Hitchcock. In their previous film, The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock was obsessed with Tippi Hedren and controlled her, he wouldn’t let anyone talk to her-unless they were filming, and just was plan awful to her, abusing her. She tried to talk to the studio heads but he was such a money maker they refused to do anything.
Originally this film was supposed to be for Grace Kelly, but she turned it down as the content wasn’t seen as something that the Queen of Monaco should be involved with. Hedrun was given the part instead and her tumultuous relationship with Hitchcock continued. When she later refused Hitchcock, he blackballed her. (If you would like to know more I really recommend reading Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies by Donald Spoto) I do feel like this particular material appealed to Hitchcock as he acts similar to the main hero, Mark Rutland, especially with the lusting after a cool blonde (what Grace Kelly was often described as). Like Vertigo I really think Hitchcock was working through his own feelings of lust and loss for Grace Kelly as she left him and Hollywood for Monaco, forever being untouchable.
This was also the only Alfred Hitchcock film Sean Connery was in, although I think it was terrible decision. Apparently the story is that Connery had concerns that he would be typecasted as a spy after being in James Bond. When his company, Eon, asked what he wanted to do, Connery said that he wished to work with Alfred Hitchcock, which Eon arranged. Hitchcock and Connery got along well during filming and Connery was quoting saying that he was happy with the movie, “with certain reservations.” Uh, I have a ton of reservations. This movie is terrible.
Mark Rutland, (Sean Connery) a wealthy widower who owns a publishing company, and meets with Sidney Strutt on tax business. While there he spots a beautiful brunette, Marion Holland/Marnie Edgar (Tippi Hedrun). Marion has no references, but she was gorgeous and charming and Strutt was hoping to take her out so he hired her. Not long after this event, she flees with nearly $10,000 from Stutt’s safe.
When Mark returns he discovers Strutt furious at the theft. Meanwhile, Marnie has fled to Baltimore where she takes care of her mother and boards her horse, Forio.
Some months later a blonde applies for a job at Mark’s company; even though her name is “Mary Taylor”, she is a dead ringer for the brunette at Strutt’s company. With no references and suspecting her of theft, Mark hires her. Now why would he do that? Well, Mark never wanted to take over the family business, he wanted to be a zoologist and studied accordingly. He sees Mary/Marnie as a challenge, an animal he can study and eventually capture. The imagery is really strong and annoying. I think because it was Sean Connery people didn’t think it was problematic, like how Rod Taylor’s character in The Glass Bottom Boat is truly terrible, but it’s all brushed over because it’s Rod Taylor.
The two end up dating, and Mark, plus us the viewer, discover that Mary/Marnie is afraid of thunderstorms, has bad dreams, and the color red freaks her out and causes her to have an “episode.”
Not long after they begun dating, Marnie steals money from Mark’s company and takes off; with Mark tracking her down and blackmailing her to marry him. All pretense is gone and she now goes by her birth name Marnie. Yep, this film is going from bad to worse!
To complicate matters, Mark’s sister-in-law is in love with Mark (with Mark of course being completely oblivious) and is highly suspicious of Marnie keeping a very close eye on her.
They go on their honeymoon and Mark wants to sleep with her even though Marnie has zero interest. He rapes her, believing that he can change her from frigid to passionate. So yes, when I say this film is really awful and truly terrible I absolutely mean it. Why would anyone want to play this character? Why would the studio allow it?! I mean they don’t show the rape but you know what happened.
The next morning Marnie tries to kill herself and Mark is like “gee why you did you do that?” Hello, you raped her!
Mark ends up saving her. (But does he really save her?)
Lil spies on Mark believing that if she can discredit Marnie and then Mark will choose her, it’s like girl you are so delusional. He didn’t want you after his sister died, he will NEVER pick you.
Lil does overhear that Marnie’s mother is still alive (Marnie told Mark that she was dead) and overhears the couple talking about Strutt. Lil invites Strutt and his wife over to the house for dinner and it blows up in her face as Mark is still very much in “love” with his wife. (He calls it love, but it is definitely NOT love.)
Mark wants Marnie to love him and brings her horse to live with them. Things go okay as Mark tries to pay back all the people Marnie stole from, and doesn’t rape her again. One day they are doing a fox hunt when Marnie is first set off by a red outfit and then her horse is injured when she is making a jump. With her horse wounded she grabs a gun from a neighbor and puts the horse out of its misery.
She has an attack at seeing the blood and freaks out trying to steal from Mark but can’t. She’s in a slightly comatose state when Mark takes her to Baltimore to confront her mother and issues.
It turns out that Marnie’s mother was a prostitute and once when she was a little girl she was having a nightmare. One of Marnie’s mother’s clients tried to help and Marnie’s mother thought he was molesting Marnie. Bernice attacked him but was injured by the man. Marnie woke up and tried to help, killing the man she saw hurting her mother. The sight of his blood caused her hatred/fear of the color red, and the connection of sex and death caused her to have issues with intimacy.
The film ends “happily” with Marnie ready for help and they going off together although I don’t think this relationship will last. Mark thinks blackmail and rape is okay, he’s a truly terrible person. Like I have no words to describe how vile he is.
I wish it ended with him dying.
With the content of this film, I will end on this:
I Am a Survivor of Domestic Violence and I Know Help is Out There:
Are you being abused?
It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:
Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
I love Doris Day, I grew up watching her movies with my mom and listening to her sing.
She was amazing-sweet, kind, adorable, a fantastic singer. I can’t believe she is gone.
So I couldn’t let her death pass by and not honor her. Yes, I am going to list off ten of my favorite films.
The quote and title, you all are probably wondering about, and it took me quite some time to settle on one. I didn’t want to go the “Que sera, que sera” route and started looking through her films to try and find the perfect quote. I choose this one because whenever my friend and I watch her films, we are always like-she is so beautiful, and we love her clothes.
Seriously, Doris Day is one of the best dressed ladies in film. Gorgeous outfits.
10) Beverly Boyer from The Thrill of it All (1963)
Doris Day plays wife of famous gynecologist (James Garner) and is used to long nights by herself and missing her husband. When she calls a company to tell them how much her children enjoyed their “Happy Soap”, she ends up becoming the spokesperson and a HUGE star. Now the roles are reversed as her hubby finds himself missing his wife, nights alone, and getting to hear everyone talk about how great his spouse is.
So I have issues with this movie as I don’t like how her husband is zero supportive of her, from the getgo. Geez, you need to hangout with Jason Seaver from Growing Pains and learn how to be there for your wife. So this would be a meh except that it works because of Day and Garner. Day is fun as she starts off innocent, unsure, and blossoms into a fantastic star. She and Garner sizzle with chemistry and comedy, making this film work. An as a star and face of “Happy Soap” she gets gorgeous gowns.
9) Ruth Etting from Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
So this film is extremely different from her other films and sooo sad. The story is a fictionalized account of Ruth Etting, dance hall girl turned singer-a woman who kicked, clawed, and climbed her way to the top. And she didn’t do it herself, it all started with the gangster Martin “Moe the Gimp” Synder. He intimidates lots of people to move her ahead, although eventually she makes it on her own. Their relationship is extremely abusive…with lots of ups and downs.
Doris Day wasn’t sure about making this film as it was so different from the other films she made, and darker content. But Doris Day shines in singing, dancing, and really becomes the character-astonishing as she is nothing you’d expect. I mean I was just like-huh? Wha? Watching it as it is just beyond the realm of what I thought Doris Day would do. It was amazing, and she has gorgeous Roaring Twenties clothes, just like that dress (which incidentally I have one just like that my sister made for me.
8) Calamity Jane from Calamity Jane (1953)
Doris Day is Calamity Jane-a sharpshooter who wears men’s clothing, fights Native Americans, spends time in the saloon, gambles, saves damsels in distress, etc. In a series of comedic events she is given the task of bringing actress Adelaid Adams from Chicago to Deadwood, but accidentally mistakes Adelaid’s maid, Katie Brown, for the singer. She and Calamity room together, and Katie tries to change Calamity’s ways, attempting to feminize her. Katie has also has attracted the attentions of “Wild Bill” Hickok and Lt. Daniel Martin, the latter being the man Calamity is in love with. Uh, oh! The fight is on!
I have mixed feelings on this film as Calamity does silly things, such as being frightened by a cigar Indian and thinking wigs are scalps; but at the same time Calamity still remains an independent, strong-willed character who refrains from changing herself for anyone. She is strong, tough, and does all the cowboy heroics that men usually were given to do instead of women.
7) Josie Minick from The Ballad of Josie (1967)
So I haven’t seen this movie in a looooong time, but it stuck hard in my mind. Josie is a widow who is taking a different stand with her land. Instead of raising cattle-in the cattle run area-and is raising sheep! Cattle vs. Sheep was a huge battle in the West-blood was spilled! The cowman and the sheepherder are not friends! Josie also takes things further when she starts pushing women’s suffrage, getting the wives and daughters stirred up about their rights, and WEARS PANTS!
I loved this as I loved Western films and though Josie was awesome! My favorite scene I remember is the pants wearing scene. I couldn’t find any video clips or anything, but it cracked me up! I know this wasn’t one of Day’s favorite, but I loved it.
6) Janet Harper from Do Not Disturb (1965)
Janet and her devastatingly handsome husband, played by Rod Taylor, move to London as he takes over a fashion company. She wants to live in the country (he in the city) and works on restoring an old house and befriending woodland creatures like the Disney Princess she is. Her husband is too preoccupied with work to give her any attention, and him being surrounded by beautiful models makes Day feel queasy. She decides to get his attention by using the attentions of the interior decorator to make him jealous. Things go too far when her husband knocks the decorator out, and storms off to another country. In order to make things up to him, she sneaks into a party as a mistress and things seem to get better, only to fall apart again. Will the Harpers finally be able to get it together, or will the ensuing comedy continue to separate.
So the plot isn’t that original, in fact it is very similar to Please Don’t Eat the Daises, but this movie rocks as it is just plain hilarious. I love Day and Taylor together, they just work so well with the slapstick and the lines. Day does the outward comedy and slapstick, while Tatlor does it with his facial expressions and sarcasm-they are just fantastic. I think if it were anyone else paired up, it wouldn’t be as good. And that dance scene is hilarious! And of course with a husband in the fashion industry, her clothes are amazing.
5) Kate Robinson MacKay from Please Don’t Eat the Daises (1960)
So this film is so high up on my list because of nostalgia-I used to watch this all the time growing up and had the titular song memorized. Professor Laurence MacKay (David Niven) is leaving the academic world to become a drama critic. His wife, Kate (Doris Day), is at first thrilled for him, but as he becomes more sought after and being invited to parties nearly every night; she starts to wonder if the fame will go to his head and that he will change for the worse. When the lease comes up on their apartment, and they find themselves going to homeless, they decide to live their dream of being in the country. However, Laurence finds it hard adjusting to country life and the constant repairs of the house. Kate sends him back to New York to finish his book, while she completes the house. Throw in the mix a Broadway writer angry at his bad review plotting revenge on the MacKays and a starlet setting out to seduce Laurence; and you have one highjink-filled film.
So the Professor acts like a major jerk through most of the film, while Day is awesome as she smart, funny, independent, artistic/crafty. I love how she works on the house, cares for the children, helps out at the school, taking care of the animals-and remains energetic, warm, and a breath of sunshine. Her husband does barely anything, and is all-I’m bushed, wah. I love how they have this awful play they are trying to put it on, and even though you recognize it as bad-she still makes it look good.
4) Elizabeth Wagstaff Arden from Move Over Darling (1963)
Nick and his wife Elizabeth were on a boat that crashed in a storm. Elizabeth (or her body) wasn’t found and five years of constant searching has revealed nothing. Nick has decided to have her declared legally dead and has remarried. The very same day as his second wedding, Elizabeth has finally been discovered on her desert island she washed up on, and returned home. Now Nick finds himself in a tough predicament-married to two wives!
This movie is a remake of a favorite of mine, My Favorite Wife-starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunn. Now you all know I’m not a fan of remakes, but I love this movie. It is fun, hilarious, and once again-Garner and Day do spectacular in the physical comedy. I love when he can’t bring himself to say what happened, and pretends he injured his back. Or when he is calling for Mrs. Arden, and the clerk is all which one? Paging for Mrs. Arden-which one? Hilarious!
3) Jennifer Nelson from The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)
Jennifer Nelson is a widow who works for NASA during the week and on the weekends swims dressed up as a mermaid for her dad’s glass bottom boat business. Bruce Templeton, NASA’s genius working on top secret inventions, spots her and learns all he can to win her-lying about a few things. He tries to pursue her, but the government is leery as they fear she is a spy. When Jennifer finds out about Bruce’s duplicitous behavior, she decides to get back at him and ends up caught in a spy ring!
As stated above, Day and Taylor work amazing together. They have great energy and chemistry. I love them. And this movie is just so funny, like I can’t describe how much-you NEED to watch it. I love when she decides to get back at him, better not be playing her-she’s gonna get you back. I LOVE it!
2) Cathy Timberlake from That Touch of Mink (1962)
Cary Grant is a handsome billionaire that is trying to romance the everyday girl-Cathy (Doris Day). Grant just wants an affair, while Day’s character wants marriage. He tries to take her on a weekend away-which goes comedically awry, same when Day tries to go after him. A crazed opy machine, a scheming brother trying to marry off Grant, and a plan to reunite the lovers that is probably the worst thought one ever made.
This movie is just so funny. Day plays the comedic part so well, while Grant is the straight man. She is limbs, raised voices, stumbling around-while he is cool, collected, and sarcastic. Just so many funny scenes like her getting drunk to be with Grant and falling out the window, her making too many copies-filing the room, Grant’s brother trying to get them together, etc. I LOVE it!
1) Georgia Garrett from Romance on the High Seas (1948)
This is Day’s first film, and it is amazing! A husband and wife are extremely jealous and suspect each other of cheating. The wife plans a cruise to Rio, and hires Georgia (Day) to go in her place, while she remains in town to spy on her husband. Her husband is suspicious that she might be trying to met up with a man, so he sends a P.I. to watch her, Peter Virgil. The two fall for each other, but finds themselves in a moral quandary as Georgia is “married”, and Peter is working. Will everything work out, or get even more muddled?
OMG this film is so funny and so much fun. I LOVED it, it is probably my favorite as it has everything-romance, comedy, music, and just all around fun. FANTASTIC! And of course this was the film that got her noticed, and signed!
So there we go, 10 fabulous films starring one amazing person. And if you noticed all of her movies-amazing clothes.
No, but on a serious note-we are sorry to see you go, were amazing actress, singer, humanitarian, and person.
Mata Hari stops at nothing. Nothing comes between Mata Hari and what she wants.
This is one of my favorite Doris Day films. It is so hilarious. My mom is a huge Doris Day film so when I was growing up we watched practically every film she has been in.
Out of all of them this was her favorite.
The film starts off with widow Jennifer Nelson (Doris Day). During the week she works at NASA in the PR department and running tours. On the weekends she dresses up as a mermaid and helps her father’s tourism business of a Glass Bottom Boat in Catalina.
One day she is doing the usual performing when she is caught by super genius and millionaire, Bruce Templeton (Rod Taylor).
Bruce is smitten with Jennifer and has his people research her. She lives alone with a menagerie of animals, including her lovable dog Vladimir. She also fills her time after work taking different classes-such as baking (she learned how to make banana cream pie)-and is currently taking writing classes.
Bruce decides that he will do all he can to get her and hires her to write his biography that NASA and a few publishers have been after. He also pretends to like all the things she does to win her, such as banana cream pies even though he actually hates them.
Now this is incredibly messed up behavior and he is a total jerk to do this to her, but it is Rod Taylor. It is hard to look at such an amazing mass of gorgeousness and hunkiness and stay angry. *Sigh* I could just look at that man for days.
Anyways, Bruce is working on a super secret weapon GISMO and his security chief, Homer Cripps, is paranoid that Russian spies may have infiltrated NASA and discovered what Bruce has been working at. And who does he think is the top spy? Jennifer.
Homer Cripps has been watching her and thinks all the classes are questionable, the mermaid thing odd, and above all the calling of Vladimir everyday.
Russian name = Russian spy!
Well Bruce won’t hear it, he and Jennifer have been progressing their relationship.
Meanwhile, Jennifer’s schedule has her out early and not come home until late. In order to ensure her dog has exercise she calls the same time everyday and just talks to her answering machine-her dog going wild jumping and running at the sound of her voice.
Meanwhile, Homer and other head honcho Edgar Hill are trying to convince Bruce that Jennifer is a spy, which she happens to overhear. So not only does she find out that they believe her to be a spy, but that Bruce had her investigated and has been lying about things he likes to date her-insulting her banana cream pie.
Not the pie dude.
Oh Jennifer is angry, she furious and incredibly livid. So she decides to get even.
Bruce and NASA have a big gala at Bruce’s amazing modern “house of the future”. There Jennifer pretends to be a spy-playing with the minds of everyone.
Jennifer Nelson: The recognition signal is: “Vladimir Sent Me”. Over!
But unbeknownst to her, there is a spy infiltration at NASA. Someone is after the secret formula Bruce has been working on. The spy is dressed as a woman and hides the plans in her purse. When Jennifer goes into the bathroom, the two switch purses and Jennifer ends up with the plans.
The spies then go after Jennifer, believing she is a spy working for someone else.
What ensues is hilarious hijinks in a fantastic movie, which you must watch for yourself.
You know, I was having a hard time thinking of what movie to open with. What ’60s movie do I like?
Then I stupidly remembered The Birds. Of course!
This movie is one of the best Alfred Hitchcock movies ever. I simply adore this film so much. It has everything that makes up a good film. And I can just watch it over and over again.
So I don’t remember what exactly got me into Alfred Hitchcock, but I became obsessed with his films. I do know how I was introduced to The Birds. It was through Ann M. Martin, author of The Baby-Sitters Club.
I loved the BSC books as a kid and read them all even belonging in the reading club that sent you two books a month and a little newsletter. I don’t remember if the newsletter or a book mentioned it, but I remember reading a note by Ann M. Martin about how she loved the film The Birds and because no one she knew had a VCR they could only watch it when it was on TV. Whenever it aired they would plan a sleepover and watch it with friends.
I can’t stop watching!
I became consumed with the idea of watching it, did and loved it. It was the first Alfred Hitchcock film I ever owned, me ordering it and planning on purchasing one every year on my birthday or Christmas and having the whole collection when I was an adult (did not happen sadly).
Later, a friend of mine. knowing how much I loved it, took me to Bodega Bay so I could see it in person and all the sites used in the film. It was so cool seeing everything and I later took many more trips out there. Here I am with the house that is used as a schoolhouse in the film. I blurred myself out as there are a lot of weirdos on the internet, no offense dear readers.
They also used to have a museum full of things from the movie and marketing/promotional materials, but it always had weird hours, then they closed it, then they had an awesome shop which doubled as a mini museum-but then the person died who owned it and the collection moved. Here I am with an item when they still had it.
Back in 2011, Tippi Hedren actually came out to do a promotional thing at Bodega Bay. I lived near there when I was going to school, but unfortunately I could not go and meet her as I had scheduled a trip home to be with family. However I had truly amazing and awesome friends who went out and stood in line and got her autograph my DVD. I tried to pay them back, but they would not let me know the price if it or let me do so.
So while it was an amazing film done by an amazing director there is a sad twinge to the story as well. Alfred Hitchcock was obsessed with Tippi Hedren and controlled her, he wouldn’t let anyone talk to her-unless they were filming, and just was plan awful to her, abusing her really. She tried to talk to the studio heads but he was such a money maker they refused to do anything. And when she refused him, he blackballed her. Too bad she wasn’t able to have justice. If you would like to know more I really recommend reading Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies by Donald Spoto
So that’s enough background, let’s move on to the review!
The film is based on a book by Daphne Du Maurier, this being the third of her works being published into a film-following Jamaica Inn and Rebecca. However, this story and her story have nothing in common besides birds attacking. And before we discuss the film, let’s watch the trailer.
So the film starts off in San Francisco where we have Melanie Daniels, Tippi Hedren, going into a bird shop to pick up her myna bird.
***little side note Alfred Hitchcock strolls on by***
****Second side note, by the way there is no music track-just bird noises****
*****And can I just say she is wearing a stunning green suit. I love it and wish I owned one just like it, although I have nowhere to wear it to.*****
Melanie notices a lot of birds in the air, thinking it odd, but moving along.
Unfortunately her bird has not arrived yet. The shopkeeper goes to call and she waits along at the desk. In walks the gorgeous Rod Taylor, and Melanie decides the same thing. Pretending to be the shopkeeper so that she can talk to him and put the moves on him.
He wants lovebirds for his sister’s birthday. He can tell she is not a shopkeeper but is trying to embarrass her, asking her questions she has no clue to the answers. When he asks to see a love bird it escapes around the shop causing havoc. And the real shopkeeper comes out to try and catch it. He reveals to Melanie that he knows who she is and has been playing her the whole time. It turns out that she went to court over a broken glass window and he was there too. He’s a lawyer and believed she should have served time for what she did, not gone off scot-free because she is a wealthy woman with a famous father.
She’s offended, but not so that she takes down this handsome man’s license, has a friend of her father run the plate, buys him lovebirds,and tracks down the address of a Mr. Mitch Brenner.
She’s got it bad, and is slightly creepy-but I kind of understand as Rod Taylor is a dreamboat. Who wouldn’t want to run into him again.
She brings the birds to his house and plans to leave them outside with a cheeky note, but his neighbor informs him that Mitch is gone for the weekend to visit his family in Bodega Bay.
A little funny that neighbor knows so much, but hey this is the ’60s. People actually knew their neighbors.
So Melanie drives the curvy winding coast road to Bodega Bay, which I have done plenty of times, and I always thought it was weird that the birds never flap around but just move with the vehicle. They don’t act like normal birds. It has always been my theory that they are the demon seed that start the revolution against people. They are just too quiet and creepy.
This is the only video I could find. There was originally no music
She goes to the post office, which you can visit, so that she can find Mitch’s address. The postmaster shows her the way to go. When you go now everything is compeletly different, but you can still look across the water like she did.
The Tides restaurant still exists, although it has been redone as there was a fire. In fact they were allowed to use it for filming only if the main male character was named after the owner of the Tides, Mitch Brenner. So yes, that is how Rod Taylor’s character got his name.
Melanie asks for the name of Mitch’s sister, but the postmaster doesn’t know. He directs her to the school and the schoolteacher, Annie Hayworth (Suzanne Pleshette), to get the actual info. Turns out the name is Cathy.
Annie asks Melanie a few questions about her relationship to Mitch. Hmm, sounds like there is some history there.
Annie Hayworth: Did you drive up from San Francisco by the coast road?
Melanie Daniels: Yes.
Annie Hayworth: Nice drive.
Melanie Daniels: It’s very beautiful.
Annie Hayworth: Is that where you met Mitch?
Melanie Daniels: Yes.
Annie Hayworth: I guess that’s where everyone meets Mitch.
Melanie heads out into a rented boat with the birds. She sneaks up to their house in heels, not an easy feat, goes into the house and drops off the birds.
Now Tippi Hedren may be a beautiful woman but I would be extremely creeped out if someone did that to me. I mean she doesn’t even know him but tracked down not only Mitch’s home address, but boyhood address. A bit creepy and stalkerish.
Mitch, however, is besotted.
As Melanie heads back across the bay, Mitch takes his car to meet her.
******Can I stop and go on a slight sidebar here? Feel free to skip over if you wish. I just love Rod Taylor in that white sweater. I don’t know what it is but he is extra dreamy.
Drooling is over back to the movie*******
So Melanie gets dive-bombed by a gull, and pretty badly hurt and bleeding. Head wounds are the worst. Here is were I guess it starts, the first shot in the revolution.
******Side note: The man who asks Mitch what happened, is the real Mitch Brenner.*******
Back to the film. They go into the resturant where Mitch tends to her wounds. She questions him, wile he tries to get to why she came. Melanie tries to play off her stalkerish by saying it was on the way to visit Annie, the schoolteacher, but Mitch knows that its a lie, therefore confirming to us that there is something between Annie and him, or was.
Melanie tries to play it cool, but she can’t hide the fact she had the serious hots for him. Come on Melanie, you tracked him down-don’t try to be haughty.
Mitch’s mom Lydia comes in and is introduced to Melanie. Lydia is the original ice queen and horror future-mother-in-law. Ouch. And Jessica Tandy is a great actress, one line “Oh I see”, packed with serious weight. Let the games begin.
Melanie is trying to head home but get tricked into coming to dinner as “she was staying the weekend” and won’t give up her lie. A girl has her pride after all.
She goes to Annie’s and wheedles staying there for the night. She tells Annie that she didn’t plan on staying long, which Annie replies she knows. That’s weighty right there, she knows as she didn’t plan on staying long either.
Melanie goes to dinner and meets cute little Cathy-friendly, cheery, adorable child. They mention that there is something wring with the chickens, They don’t like the feed…maybe because they are craving something else…like human flesh!
When Lydia calls her supplier it turns out her chickens aren’t the only ones on hunger strike. She agrees to see the farmer tomorrow to see if something is wrong with the chickens. And there is!
I love how Alfred Hitchcock plays the foreground and background against each other, both parts having things happen that go with the story, important, tension building, and just plan good.
We also found out that law and order Mitch is a defense attorney for “hoodlums and criminals”, interesting. Definitely a deep character.
Wow, there is more to him than I thought.
Cathy invites Melanie to her birthday party the next day, while in the kitchen Mitch and his mom start talking. They have a slight weird relationship as in someways his mom speaks to him as a child and in others their relationship is more spousal. Not that anything incestuous is going on, but as if that is the role that his mother put him in after his dad died.
We find out that there is a lot of interesting things in Melanie’s life. She jumps into fountains naked, tours Europe, and is always in the papers. A 1960s Sabrina van der Woodsen Debutante thats always doing something.
Mitch roots out the truth from Melanie about Annie, and starts goading her about her past misadventures, but Melanie isn’t having any of it. Good looks can only carry you so far Mitch.
Mitch Brenner: What about the letter you wrote me, is that a lie, too?
Melanie Daniels: No, I wrote the letter.
Mitch Brenner: Well what did it say?
Melanie Daniels: It said ‘Dear Mister Brenner, I think you need these lovebirds after all. They may help your personality.’
Mitch Brenner: But you tore it up?
Melanie Daniels: Yes.
Mitch Brenner: Why?
Melanie Daniels: Because it seemed stupid and foolish.
Mitch Brenner: Like jumping into a fountain in Rome?
Melanie Daniels: I told you what happened!
Mitch Brenner: You don’t expect me to believe that, do you?
Melanie Daniels: Oh, I don’t give a d*** what you believe!
Mitch Brenner: I’d still like to see you.
Melanie Daniels: Why?
Mitch Brenner: I think it might be fun.
Melanie Daniels: Well it might have been good enough in Rome, but it’s not good enough now.
Mitch Brenner: It is for me.
Melanie Daniels: Well not for me!
Mitch Brenner: What do you want?
Melanie Daniels: I thought you knew! I want to go through life jumping into fountains naked, good night!
We see the creepy birds watching from phone lines, congregating at the barn-waiting for the call to strike.
Not gulls but you understand the feeling.
Back at the house Annie and Melanie have brandy and Annie tells her her story and what happened. She met Mitch in college and fell in love, followed him here but Lydia got in the way. She kept them apart. She doesn’t want a daughter-in-law, she just wants her children. Annie didn’t want to lose him and stayed out here.
Then Mitch calls his ex-girlfriend for his new one. Ouch!
Melanie is apologized to and invited to the birthday party agreeing to come.
Both Annie and Melanie are surprised when a bird crashes into their door.
At the party Mitch takes Melanie off to the side with alcohol. She wants to head home as she has work. On Mondays and Wednesdays she works at the airport, on Tuesdays she takes classes, on Thursdays she has her club and lunches supporting a child through school, etc. Normal society things. Appears there is more depth to this party girl. Hmm…I wonder if the creators of Gossip Girl have ever watched this.
Mitch makes a joke about a mother’s care ad it turns out she has serious mother issues. Her mother abandoned them at age 11. A theme of mother’s issues is nothing new to Alfred Hitchcock as he himself had a ton and used the theme in many films, the most famous being Psycho.
At the party they are playing a game when the gulls show up and start attacking all the kids. Dive bombing and scratching. They try to help shoo them away and get everyone into the house.
Mitch is worried for Melanie ands invites her to stay the night there to be safe. And seriously, I think it is the love birds. Even with the cloth over them that should put them to bed as it is “night” they still squabble like crazy stopping only, when Cathy remarks on them. And just after, tons of sparrows come down the chimney attacking them. All cower in fear while Mitch tries to fight them off. Melanie moves Lydia and Cathy out of the room, to safety. After the attack and birds are gone they call the police, but there is nothing they can do about it.
The next morning, Lydia takes Cathy to school and then heads out to question the farmer about the chickens being sick. Lydia goes in looking for him and instead sees broken teacups, just like how hers were destroyed by the bird attack. The rooms are quiet and face the same destruction as hers and then she sees it!
Him, the dead birds, his eyes!
So freaky the first time I saw it. Oh, and still remains a scene that terrifies most.
Traumatizing children for all time.
Lydia races home and leans on Mitch, telling him what happened. Mitch heads over to the police that are called when he and Melanie have some very tender intimate moments. Relationships speed up when danger mars your every moment.
Lydia is worried over Cathy, with the large windows at school and the broken ones at the dead body looming in her mind. We see another side of Lydia as well, more vulnerable, worried-maybe Mitch comes home not just to help his mom but because without his aid they would loose the land. Hmm…thats one thing I love about this film, on the surface it is one thing but there are many sides to all these characters.
Lydia asks Melanie to pick up Cathy as she is very worried about her and Melanie heads out right away. Melanie goes to the school, but decides to wait a bit until recess. The kids are singing and she stays outside when we have this amazing scene.
Melanie runs in and warns Annie about the jungle gym. Annie tells them they are conducting a fire drill as not to scare them and directs them to run to different places. Of course the birds attack. Poor kids.
Melanie ends up in the diner calling her newspaper mogul father and telling him the story of what happened, All listening to every word she is telling her father.
We are introduced to Mrs. Bundy (BUNDY AHH) who is an ornithologist and for the birds, Giving us some serious information on the birds.
Traveling Salesman: Gulls are scavengers, anyway. Most birds are. Get yourselves guns and wipe them off the face of the earth!
Mrs. Bundy: That would hardly be possible.
Deke Carter: Why not, Mrs. Bundy?
Mrs. Bundy: Because there are 8,650 species of birds in the world today, Mr. Carter. It is estimated that 5,750,000,000 birds live in the United States alone. The five continents of the world…
Traveling Salesman: Kill ’em all. Get rid of the messy animals.
Mrs. Bundy:…probably contain more than 100,000,000,000 birds!
We get a bit of debate as a Captain interjects that he also hates birds and wishes they were all gone, them having attacked one of his ship captains. Melanie states that the birds are killers after the kids. Everyone keeps talking down to Melanie as she tries to tell them that it wasn’t just a few but a ton and a series of different kinds.
Mitch shows up asking for Kathy, who is at Annies. Just as they argue the birds attack again. Mitch tells Melanie to stay behind as they take out a guy pumping gas causing it to flow over the ground. An unsuspecting smoker sets it off and boom.
This causes a big sign that the other birds can see and they all come in swarming. The pyre’s have been lit.
I’m in shock
All go out of the restaurant (Why? Don’t know) and we have the famous telephone scene.
They actually have a telephone booth and Tippi Hedren mannequin at one of the shops there and you can get a picture with it.
Mitch gets her out and they head back to the restaurant. Hiding with others. Mrs. Bundy, I notice you are quiet. Not talking down at her anymore are you?
One of them is hysterical, blaming Melanie. In a way I believe she is right. Although it isn’t Melanie, but those love birds.
Mitch and Melanie run to the schoolhouse to get Cathy finding Annie’s dead body.
Cathy is safely inside, but utterly traumatized. Mitch carries Annie inside and covers her with his coat. Then the three speed off to the Brenner house.
At the Brenner home, Mitch patches up the openings, prepping the house for an attack. He notices that there appears to be a pattern. They attack, disburse, regroup, attack again. Why?
Melanie tries to contact her father but the lines are cut. The birds isolating them and making it unable for them to reach anyone or get even local radio.
Lydia starts to freak out wanting answers, the tension exploding. All are succumbing to it.
Cathy wants the love birds with her, NOOOO nor those evil things. Even now they are probably plotting.
Now they wait, trapped. Kathy gets so anxious she makes herself sick. Then they wait again. Hearing them, being taunted by them.
We have the first attack of gulls breaking windows and trying to peck through the door. Mitch being the one to take action and stop them. Then Melanie goes up to the attic.
Poor Melanie. they tend to her, but she is banged up. This scene was horrible to film. Seven days of birds being thrown at her, again and again.
Mitch uses this time of quiet to plan an escape. Melanie needs a hospital, so he and Cathy start getting things ready, not knowing what will face in the outside world or if they will be able to ever come back.
I like how Hitchcock ends the film with us not knowing if they make it out okay. We never know if everything will go back to normal. What or who caused this? I think it makes the film stronger and gives you the opportunity to create your own theory from each of his clues. If they had given us an answer, it probably would have been lame no matter what was chosen, we would have found faults. Sometimes it is better just not knowing.
So there we go, believe my theory or create your own. Either way watch the film.
This film changed how I look at birds. I never liked them before and hated them ever since. I’ll never look at another the same way again. Especially when they get in large groups or swarm overhead.
Not gulls but you understand the feeling.
After I showed this film to some friends who had never seen it, a few days later we were shopping at a store. As we are leaving, my one friend looks behind us at the store and goes ashen. She freaks out and tells us to run. As we are I look back and see a ton lined up on the store watching, then deciding to take off. We all ran as fast as we could to the car struggling in, and speeding home. Nothing happened, but a film like this just sticks to you.
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So this kicks off the beginning of Horrorfest VII. I hope you enjoy it and the spooks. thrills, and chills that are to come.