Trick & Treat for October 16th:
THE BIRDS (1963; with Tippi Hedrin, Rod Taylor, Suzanne Pleshette, Jessica Tandy; directed by Alfred Hitchcock)
Our movie takes flight when a young, pretty blonde woman steps into San Francisco’s Davidson Pet Shop. “The girl” (as Hitchcock referred to Tippi Hedrin) is Melanie Daniels. Melanie causes trouble immediately, when she poses as a sales clerk and then allows a bird to escape from its cage. The errant avian is caught by another pet shop shopper, the debonair and eligible Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor). Intrigued and inspired, the conniving Melanie decides that birds–love birds, to be precise–are the way to Mr. Brenner’s heart. Soon thereafter, Melanie swoops down into the small, California coastal burg of Bodega Bay with her two, winged cupids. Daniels’ eyes are like those of a hawk as she closes in on the Brenner residence. She’s delivering the love birds ostensibly as a birthday present for Mitch’s young daughter, Cathy. However, Mitch’s mom (Jessica Tandy) is like a mother hen to her son, and views Melanie suspiciously. As does the local schooteacher, and former love interest of Mitch’s, Annie (Suzanne Pleshette).
Soon, there’s chaos, and this time it’s not just one bird out of control. It’s many birds. Flocks of birds. Dozens, hundreds of them. No doves here, only menacing gulls and crows, darkening the skies and darkening the lives of Bodega Bay’s bewildered and terrified residents. Heads are pecked, eyes too. The reasons behind the rampage are unknown. Perhaps they’re really just another one of Hitch’s infamous MacGuffins. What’s significant in this story is the change the birds inflict upon the Brenner family and its relationship with the intruding Melanie and the two, cuddly caged companions she brings. Is the love between Mitch and Melanie meant to be? Or is love only for the birds?
Who wants to wait until the 31st to wallow in Halloween indulgences and scary movies?! Home Projectionist doesn’t! And so we’ll have pairings of 31 Frights and 31 Bites every one of October’s 31 nights: a scary, snack size movie “trick”, and a delicious “treat” to go along with it.