Ten Things You Might Not Know about … The Birds!

by William Burns

10.  The climactic scene, in which Tippi Hedren’s character is attacked in the bedroom, took seven days to shoot. Hedren said, “[It was] the worst week of my life.” The                 physical and emotional tolls of filming this scene were so strong on her that production was shut down for a week afterward.

9.  A number of endings were being considered for this film. One that was considered would have showed the Golden Gate Bridge completely covered by birds.

8.  The film does not finish with the usual “THE END” title because Alfred Hitchcock wanted to give the impression of unending terror.

7.  Alfred Hitchcock’s cameo is at the start of the film, walking two dogs out of the pet shop (the dogs were actually his own).

6.  Alfred Hitchcock briefly considered Cary Grant for the role of Mitch Brenner, but decided against using the hugely expensive actor because he felt the birds and the                Hitchcock name were the big attractions.

5.  There is no musical score for the film except for the sounds created on the mixtrautonium, an early electronic musical instrument, by Oskar Sala, and the children singing      in the school.

4.  Daphne Du Maurier’s story “The Birds” was originally purchased for use on Alfred Hitchcock’s television series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

3.  Alfred Hitchcock kept a graph in his office, charting the rise and fall of the bird attacks in the film.

2.  When audiences left the film’s UK premiere at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London, they were greeted by the sound of screeching and flapping birds from loudspeakers        hidden in the trees to scare them further.

1.  Rod Taylor claims that the seagulls were fed a mixture of wheat and whiskey. It was the only way to get them to stand around so much.

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