The Birds

Movie poster for The Birds sowing a woman screaming with black birds circling above her head.
The Birds
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The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1963): Starring Rod Taylor (1930–2015), b. Lidcombe, NSW

In one of his most famous roles, Rod Taylor starred alongside Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock’s thriller, The Birds.

After winning an airline ticket to Los Angeles in a 1954 radio talent competition, Taylor’s career steadily progressed. His big television break came with the series Hong Kong, after which he was approached by Hitchcock to play the dashing hero Mitch Brenner. 

The Birds was revolutionary for its techniques. The film had no musical score; instead, Hitchcock adopted a new electronic sound system to unnervingly emulate the sound of flapping wings.

Additionally, much to the chagrin of ornithophobes, Hitchcock insisted on using live birds, rather than props, for close-ups.

His portrait was so identifiable and such a draw for audiences that it was added to this poster, despite undercutting the dramatic image of Tippi Hedren being menaced by birds.  

Notes by Michelle Davenport