Trivia / The Birds

  • AFI's 100 Years… 100 Thrills: #7
  • Actor Allusion: In Melanie's first scene when she's walking down the street, a man wolf whistles at her and she gives him a smile. This is a reference to a commercial Tippi Hedren had done where the same thing happened. When Hitchcock saw her in the commercial, he put her under contract immediately.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Suzanne Pleshette suggested that Annie have a bloody ear hanging off when her body is found.
  • Creator Backlash: Tippi Hedren called the week where she had to film the bird attack in the attic "the worst week of my life". See below for the details.
  • Creator Cameo: In true Hitchcock tradition, the director can be seen walking two dogs out of the pet shop at the start of the film.
  • Dawson Casting: Veronica Cartwright was thirteen, a couple of years older than her character Cathy.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • The original ending called for Melanie and the Brenners make their escape through Bodega Bay, which has been turned into a war zone by the bird attacks. They make their way to San Francisco only to discover birds gathering on the Golden Gate Bridge.
    • An additional scene was scripted and shot, but cut from the film, featuring a talk between Melanie and Mitch just as Lydia drives off to go to the farm.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Hitchcock's efforts to induce a genuine fear reaction from Tippi Hedren by throwing live birds at her (rather than the promised mechanical ones) led to her being ordered a week's rest, as she had started getting nightmares "filled with flapping wings". As a result, when Mitch is carrying Melanie down the stairs, it's a stand-in because Hedren was still in the hospital.
  • Lying Creator: Tippi Hedren was thirty three when the film was released. As that was considered to be rather old for a Hollywood leading lady, the studio lied to say she was twenty-eight. Her birth date was listed as 1935 for years afterwards until the actress finally came out and put a stop to it.
  • Similarly Named Works: The Birds: A horror movie by Alfred Hitchcock, and a comedy by Aristophanes.
  • Throw It In:
    • Mitch Zanich, owner of the Tides Restaurant, agreed to let them film inside if the lead character was named after him. So they named Mitch Brenner. Zanich cameos as a man who asks "What happened, Mitch?" after Melanie is attacked by a seagull.
    • Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor only met when filming started, having no pre-rehearsals beforehand. So their chemistry is actually spontaneous in the film.
    • It was the suggestion of screenwriter Evan Hunter's kids to have the school children singing "Risseldy Rosselty". As the song wasn't long enough to fill the scene, Hunter wrote extra stanzas - which he got royalties for afterwards.
    • When the bird flies into the phone booth, Tippi Hedren claims that the glass was meant to be shatter proof. But the fake seagull ended up breaking the glass all over her.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The rights to Daphne Du Maurier's short story were purchased to be done as an adaptation on Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Somewhere along the line, the decision was made to expand it into a feature film.
    • Annie Hayworth was originally written as a middle-aged woman who just happened to live in the community. Suzanne Pleshette had lobbied hard for the role of Melanie, but Hitchcock decided to make Annie younger to accommodate her. The subplot of Annie being an ex-girlfriend of Mitch's was then added in.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/TheBirds