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Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds ... On Location


My husband and I took a spur of the moment road trip up the 1 and the 101 this week. We stopped at Bodega Bay where the tourist information center has a print out listing both the location of the church and the school, back in Bodega. The church is still in use by the locals today.

The Porter School is used as a family home and there are signs requesting that you don't disturb them. While my husband and I were there, four other couples drove up to take pictures too. Yes, it's summer but it's midweek. We all agreed this must be a non-stop, year-round activity. Oh the poor people who live there!

A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.
Despite the fact that nobody asked for it, and nobody wants it, there has been a rumored remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds percolating for the past couple of years. The general attitude about the idea of remaking Hitchcock is pretty much ‘have you seen the cojones on these guys?’ What’s worse is that Michael Bay—4 Transformers movies plus one in the oven—has his big thumbs on it but mercifully his involvement is as producer, rather than director. A Dutch director, Diederik Van Rooijen, is supposedly signed up to direct, but no worries. I checked his imdb and his next announced project is Bankier van het Verzet which does not translate as The Birds. Unless your Dutch is better than mine. Plus he’s busy shooting commercials for VW, Heinekin, McDonalds etc.

So, fingers crossed, we can all breathe easily, sit back and relax with today’s #SaturdayMatinee, the one, the only The Birds directed by Alfred Hitchcock. While the legendary director was nominated 4 times, he never won and as far as The Birds goes, the only nomination it got was for Special Effects which, despite the terror it struck, contributing to lifelong panic attacks at the very sight of large black birds, didn’t win either. Cleopatra did.  Okay, maybe relax is not the best choice of words. 

You can stream today’s Saturday Matinee but first do not miss this vintage 5 minute ‘teaser’ trailer. Hitchcock wasn’t just the master of suspense, he knew how to promote a movie. Charming, kitschy, and unlike today’s trailers, it doesn’t spoil the film one little bit. And notice how he subtly introduces animal rights and reasons why ‘the birds’ may not always be our fine-feathered friends.

Based on a short story by Daphne DuMaurier which appeared in Good Housekeeping. Remember when magazines printed short stories? I grew up dreaming of getting a story published in the pages of Mademoiselle. Remember Mademoiselle? Those were the days. People still thought smoking made them look sophisticated.

Hard to remember, over 50 years later, that Tippi Hedrin wasn’t a household name in 1963. A model—just look at how she wears those clothes—The Birds was her first film, which accounts for promo sheet like this one.

The Birds, starring Tippi Hedrin, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy and Suzanne Pleshette, is available to stream right now on Amazon, GooglePlay, iTunes, YouTube and Vudu. What are you watching?