The Birds (1963) Script












Hello, Mrs. MacGruder.

Oh, hello, Miss Daniels.

Have you ever seen so many gulls? What do you suppose it is?

There must be a storm at sea. That can drive them inland, you know.

I was hoping you'd be a little late. You see, he hasn't arrived yet.

Oh, but you said 3:00. Oh, I know.

I know. I've been calling all morning.

Oh, Miss Daniels, you have no idea.

They are so difficult to get. Really, they are.

We have to get them from India, when they're just baby chicks, and then...

This one won't be a chick, will he?

Certainly not. Oh, no, certainly not.

This will be a full-grown mynah bird. Full-grown.

And he'll talk?

Well, yes, of course he'll...

Well, no, you'll have to teach him to talk.

I guess maybe I'd better phone. They said 3:00.

Maybe it's the traffic. I'll call.

Would you mind waiting?

Well, maybe you'd better deliver him.

Let me give you my address.

Oh, well, all right, but I'm sure they're on the way.

Would you mind if I called?

No. All right.

MITCH: I wonder if you could help me.


I said, I wonder if you could help me.

Yes. What is it you're looking for, sir?


Lovebirds, sir?

Yes. I understand there are different varieties.

Is that true?

Well, yes, there are.

Well, these are for my sister for her birthday, you see, and as she's only gonna be 11, I wouldn't want a pair of birds that were too demonstrative.

I understand completely.

At the same time, I wouldn't want them to be too aloof, either.

No, of course not.

Do you happen to have a pair of birds that are just friendly?

Oh, I think so. Now, then, let me see.

Aren't those lovebirds?

No. Those are red birds.

I thought they were strawberry finches.

Yes. We call them that, too.

Here we are. Lovebirds.

Those are canaries.

Doesn't this make you feel awful?

Doesn't what make me feel...

Having all these poor, little innocent creatures caged up like this?

Well, we can't just let them fly around the shop, you know.

(CHUCKLING) No, I suppose not.

Is there an ornithological reason for keeping them in separate cages?

Well, certainly. It's to protect the species.

Yes, that's important, especially during the molting season.

That's a particularly dangerous time.

Are they molting now?

Oh, some of them are.

How can you tell?

Well, they get a sort of hangdog expression.

Yes, I see. Well, what about the lovebirds?

Are you sure you wouldn't like to see a canary instead?

We have some very nice canaries this week.

All right.

All right. May I see it, please?

Oh! Oh!

Oh, what is it? Oh!

MITCH: There we are.

Oh, there. Wonderful.

Back in your gilded cage, Melanie Daniels.

What did you say?

I was merely drawing a parallel, Miss Daniels.

How did you know my name?

A little birdie told me.

Good day, Miss Daniels. Madam.

Hey, wait a minute.

I don't know you.

Ah, but I know you.


We met in court.

We never met in court or anyplace else.

That's true. I'll rephrase it. I saw you in court.


Don't you remember one of your practical jokes that resulted in the smashing of a plate-glass window?

I didn't break that window.

Yes, but your little prank did.

The judge should've put you behind bars.

What are you, a policeman?

I merely believe in the law, Miss Daniels.

And I'm not too keen on practical jokers.

What do you call your lovebird story if not...

Oh, I really wanted the lovebirds.

Well, you knew I didn't work here. You deliberately...

Right. I recognized you when I came in.

I just thought you might like to know what it's like to be on the other end of a gag.

What do you think of that?

I think you're a louse.

I am. Good day, Miss Daniels. Madam.

And I'm glad you didn't get your lovebirds.

Oh, I'll find something else. See you in court.

Who was that man?

I have no idea.


They said the mynah bird would be here later this afternoon, if you care to come back.

No, you'd better send him.

May I use this phone?

Why, certainly.

Daily News? It's Melanie Daniels.

Could you get me the City Desk, please?

Just a minute, Mrs. MacGruder.

Hello, Charlie. Melanie.

I want you to do a favor for me.

No, this is a small one.

Pressure you? Why, Charlie, darling, would I try to pressure you?

Would you call the Department of Motor Vehicles for me?

Find out who owns this license plate, W-J-H-0-0-3.

Yes, a California plate.

No. I'll stop off in a little while. Is Daddy in his office?

No, I don't want to break in on a meeting. Tell him I'll see him later.

Thank you, Charlie.

Do you have any lovebirds?

Well, no, not in the shop, but I can order them for you.

How soon?

Well, when would you want them?


Well, I could probably have them here by tomorrow morning.

Would that be all right?

That would be just fine.


Miss, is that for Mitch Brenner?


He's not home.

That's all right.

He won't be back until Monday, I mean, if those birds are for him.

Monday? Yes.

I don't think you should leave them in the hall, do you?

Well... Where did he go?

Bodega Bay. He goes there every weekend.

Bodega Bay. Where's that?

Up the coast, about 60 miles north of here.


It's an hour and a half by freeway, or two hours if you take the Coast Highway.


I'd look after them myself, but I'm going away, too.

I'm awfully sorry.



Good morning. Good morning.

I wonder if you could help me.

I'll try my best.

I'm looking for a man named Mitchell Brenner.

Do you know him? Yeah.

Where does he live? Right here, Bodega Bay.

Yes, I know, but where?

Right across the bay there.


Now, see where I'm pointing?


See them two big trees across there?

On the other side of the bay? Yes.

And the white house? Yes.

That's where the Brenners live.

The Brenners? Mr. And Mrs. Brenner?

No. Just Lydia and the two kids.

The two kids?

Yeah, Mitch and the little girl.

Oh, I see. How do I get down there?

You follow the road around the bay, and that'll take you right to their front door.

The front door. Is there a back road I can take?

No. That's the only road.

You see, I want to surprise them.


I don't want them to see me arrive.


It's a surprise, you see.

Well, you could get yourself a boat and cut right across the bay to their dock.

Where would I get a boat?

Down by the Tides Restaurant.

Did you ever handle an outboard boat?

Of course.

Want me to order one for you?

Well, thank you.

What name? Daniels.




I wonder if you could tell me...

Yeah. Just hold it a minute, please.

The little girl's name?

The little Brenner girl?


Alice, I think.

Harry, what's the little Brenner girl's name?

HARRY: Lois. SHOPKEEPER: Alice, isn't it?

No, it's Lois.

It's Alice.

Are you sure?

Well, I'm not positive, if that's what you mean.

I need her exact name, you see.

Oh, just hold on one more minute, please.

In that case, I'll tell you what you do.

You go straight through town till you see a little hotel on your left.

Then you turn right there.

Now, you got that? Yes.

Near the top of the hill, you'll see the school, and just beyond, a little house with a red mailbox.

That's where Annie Hayworth, the schoolteacher, lives.

You ask her about the little Brenner girl.

Well, thank you.

Save yourself a lot of trouble. Name's Alice for sure.

Can I have the boat in about 20 minutes?

How much for the phone calls?

Oh, it's nothing.

Thank you.



WOMAN: Who is it?


Who's "me"?

Miss Hayworth? Yes.

I'm Melanie Daniels. I'm sorry to bother you, but...


The man at the post office sent me.

He said you could tell me the name of the little Brenner girl.


The one who lives in the white house across the bay?

That's the one. Cathy Brenner.

He seemed sure it was either Alice or Lois.

Which is why the mail never gets delivered to the right place in this town.

I'm sorry. Smoke?

Thank you.

Did you want to see Cathy about something?

Well, not exactly.


Are you a friend of Mitch's?

No, not really.

You know, I've been wanting a cigarette for the last 20 minutes.

I just couldn't convince myself to stop.

This tilling of the soil can become compulsive, you know.

It's a very pretty garden.

Oh, thank you. Well, it's something to do in your spare time.

There's a lot of spare time in Bodega Bay.

Are you planning on staying long?

No, just a few hours.

Then you're leaving after you see Cathy?

Well, something like that.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to sound so mysterious.

Actually, it's none of my business.

Well, I better be on my way.

Thank you very much. Not at all.

Did you drive up from San Francisco by the coast road?


Nice drive.

It's very beautiful.

Is that where you met Mitch?


I guess that's where everyone meets Mitch.

Now you sound a bit mysterious, Miss Hayworth.


Do I?

I don't mean to. Actually, I'm an open book, I'm afraid.


Or, rather, a closed one.

Oh, pretty. What are they?


I see. Good luck, Miss Daniels.

Thank you. Can I get out this way?

Go right around. It'll take you back to the main road.

Thank you.



Do you have a boat for Miss Daniels?

Yes, ma'am.

It's the one right below.






Are you all right? Yes, I think so.

What do you suppose made it do that?

That's the damnedest thing I ever saw.

I don't know. It seemed to swoop down at you deliberately.

Oh, you're bleeding, too.

Let's take care of that. Okay?

That's a girl.

Come on.

What happened, Mitch?

Gull hit her. A gull?

Let's try up at the restaurant, all right?

Might need a tetanus shot.

I had a booster before I went abroad last May.


What happened?

Hello, Deke. Young lady cut herself.

Shall I call a doctor?

No, I don't think it's that serious. Let's see.

Helen, get some cotton and antiseptic.

You cut yourself outside, miss?

Don't worry, Deke. She did it in a boat.

Well, I had a man trip and fall in the parking lot once.

Sued me before I could bat an eyelash.

I don't think Miss Daniels is gonna sue anybody.


Well, you're the lawyer.

Thank you.

What's that?

Just some peroxide.

I'll clean out the cut.

So you're a lawyer.

That's right.

Of course, I usually defend people, Miss Daniels, but if I were prosecuting...

Do you practice here?

Uh-uh. San Francisco. What are you doing up here?

What kind of law?


Is that why you want to see everyone behind bars?

Oh, not everyone, Miss Daniels.

Only violators and practical jokers.

That's right.

Ow! Oh, sorry.

What are you doing up here?

Didn't you see the lovebirds?

Oh, you mean, you came all this way to bring me those birds?

To bring your sister those birds.

You said it was her birthday.

Besides, I was coming up anyway.

What for?

To see a friend of mine. Careful.

Oh, sorry. Who's your friend?

Annie Hayworth, the schoolteacher.

Annie Hayworth.

Well, small world.


How do you know Annie?

We went to school together, college.

Did you? Lmagine that. How long are you staying up here?

The weekend.

Well, I think the bleeding's almost stopped. Why don't you hold that on?

So you came up to see Annie, huh?


I think you came up to see me.

Now, why would I want to see you of all people?

I don't know, but you must've gone to a lot of trouble to find out who I was and where I lived.

It was no trouble at all. I simply called my father's newspaper.

Besides, I was coming up anyway. I've already told you that.

You really like me, huh?

I loathe you.

You have no manners. You're arrogant, and conceited, and...

I wrote you a letter about it, in fact, but I tore it up.

What did it say?

None of your business.

I can't say I like your seagulls much, either.

I come all the way up here to...

But you were coming up anyway, remember?


I thought I saw your car. What are you doing in town?

I had to acknowledge a delivery.

Of what?

Mother, I'd like you to meet Melanie Daniels. Miss Daniels, my mother.

How do you do?

How do you do, Miss Daniels? Acknowledge a what?

A delivery. Miss Daniels brought us some birds from San Francisco.

For Cathy for her birthday. Where is she?

Across at Brinkmeyer's.

As a matter of fact, Miss Daniels is staying up here for the weekend, so I've already invited her for dinner tonight.

Well, you did go to the trouble of bringing those birds.

MELANIE: Oh, I couldn't possibly.

You did say birds?

Yes, lovebirds.

Oh, I see.

MITCH: So we couldn't let you get away without thanking you in some small way.

And you haven't met Cathy, and you are staying the weekend.

Well, yes, but...

Well, you are, aren't you?

Certainly, but...

MITCH: Then it's all settled.

What time is dinner, Mother?

7:00, the same as usual.

I'll pick you up. Where are you staying?

With Annie, of course.

Oh, of course. How stupid of me. 6:45?

Annie may have made other plans. I'll have to see.

Besides, I can find my own way.

You're sure now? You won't hire a boat or anything?

I'm sure.

MITCH: 7:00, then.


We'll be waiting for you. How's your head?

Much better, thank you.

A gull hit me, Mrs. Brenner, that's all.


Oh, hi. Did you find her all right?

Yes, I did.

I was wondering...

That sign there.

Do you suppose I could have the room for just a single night?

I was planning on renting it for a longer time...

I would appreciate it.

I've tried everywhere in town. They're all full.

Well, all right. Got your bags in the car?

(CHUCKLES) Well, it's utilitarian, I'll say that.

I just picked up some things for the night at the general store.

You see, I hadn't planned on staying very long.

Yes, I know. Did something unexpected come up?

Yes. May I use your phone? I'd like to call home.

I just put some coffee on the stove.


Don't they ever stop migrating?




Miss Daniels?


Oh, they're beautiful!

They're just what I wanted. Is there a man and a woman?

I can't tell which is which.

MELANIE: Well, I suppose so.

MITCH: Hello there. Annie had no plans, huh?


Fine. We're very glad you could come. You hungry?

Reasonably. Dinner's just about ready.

We've been out back looking at the chickens.

Something seems to be wrong with them.

There's nothing wrong with those chickens, Mitch.

I'm going to call Fred Brinkmeyer right now.

What good's that gonna do?

The chickens won't eat.

He sold the feed to me, didn't he?

Caveat emptor, Mother. "Let the buyer beware."

Whose side are you on?

Merely quoting the law, dear.

Never mind the law.

This won't take long, Miss... Hello, Fred? Lydia Brenner.

I didn't interrupt your dinner, did I? How about a drink?

Thank you, I'd love one.

Fred, that feed you sold me is no good.

The chicken feed.

Well, it's just no good. The chickens won't eat it.

They're always hungry.

I opened a sack for them when I got home, and they just wouldn't touch it.

You know chickens as well as I do, and when they won't eat, there's something wrong with what they're being fed. That's all.

No, they're not fussy chickens.

Who? What's he got to do with it?

Is that your father?

Mmm-hmm. Please sit down.

Fred, I don't care how many sacks of feed you sold him.

My chicken...

Oh, I see.

Dan Fawcett.

This afternoon?

Well, that just proves what I'm saying! The feed you sold us...


Well, maybe I'd better go over and see him.

You don't think there's something going around, do you?

No, never!

No, Fred, they don't seem sick at all. They just won't eat.


Well, I'll try to go over and see him. Maybe he...


All right. Thanks.

He had a call from Dan Fawcett a while ago.

His chickens won't eat either.

It's what you said, Mom. Mr. Brinkmeyer's feed is no good.

No, Cathy. He sold Mr. Fawcett a different brand.

You don't think they're getting sick, do you, Mitch?

I still don't understand how you knew I wanted lovebirds.

Your brother told me.

Then you knew Mitch in San Francisco? Is that right?

No, not exactly.

Mitch knows a lot of people in San Francisco.

Of course, they're mostly hoods.


Well, Mom, he's the first to admit it.

He spends half his day in the detention cells at the Hall of Justice.

In a democracy, Cathy, everyone is entitled to a fair trial.

Your brother's practice...

Oh, Mom, please!

I know all that democracy jazz. They're still hoods.

He has a client now who shot his wife in the head six times.

Six times! Can you imagine it?

I mean, even twice would be overdoing it, don't you think?

Why did he shoot her?

He was watching a ball game on television.


His wife changed the channel.

Are you coming to my party tomorrow?

I don't think so.

I have to get back to San Francisco.

Don't you like us?

Oh, darling, of course I do.

Don't you like Bodega Bay?

I don't know yet.

Mitch likes it very much. He comes up every weekend, you know, even though he has his own apartment in the city.

He says San Francisco's like an anthill at the foot of a bridge.

I suppose it does get a little hectic at times.

Well, if you do decide to come, don't say I told you about it.

It's supposed to be a surprise party.

You see, they've got this whole complicated thing figured out, where I'm going over to Michele's for the afternoon, and Michele's mother will say that she has a headache.

Would I mind very much if she took me home?

Then when I get home here, all the kids will jump out!

Oh, won't you come? Won't you please come?

I don't think so.

She's a charming girl, isn't she, Mitch?

MITCH: Hmm? Yes.

Certainly pretty.


How long have you known her?

Now, I told you, dear, we met yesterday.

In a bird shop.

She was selling birds?

No, no. I just led her into believing that I believed she was, and then...

Well, it's all very complicated.

But she did buy the lovebirds, and then drove all the way out here.

Mother. Yes?

Where did you go to law school?

Forgive me.

I suppose I'm just naturally curious about a girl like that.

She's very rich, isn't she?

Yeah, I suppose so.

Her father's part owner of one of the big newspapers in San Francisco.

You'd think he could manage to keep her name out of print.

She's always mentioned in the columns, Mitch.

Yes, I know.

She is the one who jumped into a fountain in Rome last summer, isn't she?


I supposed I'm old-fashioned.

I know it was supposed to be very warm there, but...

Well, actually, the newspapers said she was naked.

Yes, I know, dear.

Of course, it's none of my business, but when you bring a girl like that...



I think I can handle Melanie Daniels by myself.

Well, as long as you know what you want, Mitch.

I know exactly what I want.

Be able to find your way back all right?

Oh, yes.

Will I be seeing you again?

San Francisco's a long way from here.

I'm in San Francisco five days a week with a lot of time on my hands.

I'd like to see you.

Maybe we could go swimming or something.

Mother tells me you like to swim.

How does Mother know what I like to do?

I guess we read the same gossip column.

Oh, that. Rome.

Yeah, I really like to swim. I think we might get along very well.

In case you're interested, I was pushed into that fountain.

Without any clothes on?

With all my clothes on. The newspaper that ran that story happens to be a rival of my father's paper.

You were just a poor, innocent victim of circumstances?

I'm neither poor nor innocent, but the truth of that particular...

The truth is, you're running around with a pretty wild crowd, isn't it?

Yes, that's the truth, but I was pushed into that fountain, and that's the truth, too.


Do you really know Annie Hayworth?

No. At least I didn't until I came up here.

So you didn't go to school together? No.

And you didn't come up here to see her? No!

You were lying! Yes, I was lying.

What about the letter you wrote me? Is that a lie, too?

No, I wrote the letter.

Well, what did it say?

It said, "Dear Mr. Brenner.

"I think you need these lovebirds after all.

"They may help your personality."

That's what it said. But you tore it up?

Yes. Why?

Because it seemed stupid and foolish.

Like jumping into a fountain in Rome.

I told you what happened!

You don't expect me to believe that, do you?

Oh, I don't give a damn what you believe!

I'd still like to see you. Why?

I think it might be fun.

That might've been good enough in Rome, but it's not good enough now.

It is for me. Well, not for me.

What do you want?

I thought you knew.

I want to go through life jumping into fountains naked. Good night.



Miss Daniels, is that you?



Is something wrong? Is that cut beginning to bother you?

No, it's not the cut that's bothering me.

Would you like some brandy?

If you have some, I'd love it.

I'll get it. Why don't you sit down, Miss Daniels?

Oh, would you like a sweater or something, a quilt?

No. No, thank you.

Won't you call me Melanie?

All right.

Thank you.

Gets a bit chilly here at night sometimes, especially if you're over near the bay.

Well, how did your evening go?

Did you meet Lydia?

Or would you rather I changed the subject?

I think so.

Well, how do you like our little hamlet?

I despise it.


Well, I suppose it doesn't offer much to the casual visitor, unless you're thrilled by a collection of shacks on a hillside.

It takes a bit of getting used to.

Where are you from originally, Annie?

San Francisco.

How did you happen to come up here?

A friend invited me up for a weekend a long time ago.

Look, I see no reason for being coy about this.

It was Mitch Brenner. I guess you knew that anyway.

I suspected as much.

Well, you needn't worry.

It's been over and done with a long time ago.

Annie, there's nothing between Mr. Brenner and me.

Isn't there?

Well, maybe there isn't.

Maybe there's never been anything between Mitch and any girl.

What do you mean?

I think I'll have some of that.

I was seeing a lot of him in San Francisco.

Then one weekend, he invited me up to meet Lydia.

When was this?

Oh, four years ago, shortly after his father died.

Of course, things may be different now.


With Lydia.

Did she seem a trifle distant?

A trifle.

Well, then perhaps things aren't quite so different.

You know, her attitude nearly drove me crazy.

When I got back to San Francisco, I spent days trying to figure out exactly what I'd done to displease her.

Well, what had you done?


I simply existed. So what's the answer? A jealous woman, right?

A clinging, possessive mother?


With all due respect to Oedipus, I don't think that was the case.

Then what was it?

Lydia liked me. That's the strange part.

Now that I'm no longer a threat, we're very good friends.

Then why did she object to you?

Because she was afraid.

Afraid you'd take Mitch?

Afraid I'd give Mitch.

I don't understand.

Afraid of any woman who would give Mitch the one thing Lydia can give him, love.

That adds up to a jealous, possessive woman.

No, I don't think so.

You see, she's not afraid of losing Mitch.

She's only afraid of being abandoned.

Someone ought to tell her she'd be gaining a daughter.


No. She already has a daughter.

Well, what about Mitch? Didn't he have anything to say about this?

Well, I can understand his position.

He'd just been through a lot with Lydia after his father died.

He didn't want to risk going through it all again.

Oh, I see.

So it ended. Not right then, of course.

We went back to San Francisco, saw each other now and then, but we both knew it was over.

Then what are you doing here in Bodega Bay?

I wanted to be near Mitch.

Oh, it was over and done with, and I knew it, but...

I still wanted to be near him.

You see, I still like him a hell of a lot, and I don't want to lose that friendship, ever.



No, no, no, I wasn't asleep.

Yes, just a little while ago.

Sure. Hold on.

It's Mitch.

For you.

Hello? Oh, yes, this is Melanie.

Fine, thank you.

No, no trouble at all. I simply followed the road.

Well... there's no need to apologize.

I can understand.

That's very kind of you. No, I'm not angry.

Well, I couldn't. I have to get back to San Francisco.

No, I wouldn't want to disappoint Cathy, but...

I see.

All right. Yes, I'll be there.

Good night, Mitch.

He wants me to go to Cathy's party tomorrow afternoon.

I said I would.

It should be fun.

I'll be there, too, to help.

Oh, it seems so pointless.

Well, I think I'll go to sleep. It's been a busy day.

My luggage.

That's pretty. Where'd you get that? Brinkmeyer's?


Do you think I should go?

Well, that's up to you.

No, it's really up to Lydia, isn't it?

Never mind Lydia. Do you want to go?


Then go.

Thank you, Annie.


Wonder who that can be.

Is someone there?

Who is it?


Poor thing. Probably lost his way in the dark.

But it isn't dark, Annie.

There's a full moon.


ANNIE: Cathy, that's very good. Very good.

Okay. Here we go.

Attagirl. Come on. Don't let him get you.


No, I really shouldn't have any more. I'm driving.

Well, actually, I'm trying to get you to stay for dinner.

A lot of roast beef left over.

No, I couldn't possibly. I have to get back.

All right.

Cheers. Cheers.

Seriously, why do you have to rush off?

What's so important in San Francisco?

Well, I have to get to work tomorrow morning, for one thing.

You have a job?

I have several jobs.

What do you do?

I do different things on different days.

Like what?

Well, on Mondays and Wednesdays, I work for the Travelers' Aid at the airport.

Helping travelers?

No, misdirecting them. I thought you could read my character.

On Tuesdays, I take a course in General Semantics at Berkeley, finding new four-letter words.

That's not a job, of course... You mean, you don't have to...

And on Thursdays, I have my meeting and lunch.

In the underworld, I suppose.

I shall disappoint you.

We're sending a little Korean boy through school.

We actually raise money for it.

You see, Rome...

That entire summer, I did nothing but...

Well, it was very easy to get lost there.

So when I came back, I thought it was time I began...

Oh, I don't know, finding something again.

So, on Mondays and Thursdays, I keep myself busy.

What about Fridays?

Fridays? They're free.

I sometimes go to bird shops on Fridays.

I'm very glad you do.

A nice, innocent, little day.

Oh, yes.

I have an Aunt Tessa. Have you got an Aunt Tessa?

Mine is very prim and straight-laced.

I'm giving her a mynah bird when she comes back from Europe.

Mynah birds talk, you know.

Can you see my Aunt Tessa's face, when this one tells us one or two of the words I've picked up at Berkeley?

You need a mother's care, my child.

Not my mother's.

Oh, I'm sorry.

What have you got to be sorry about?

My mother? Don't waste your time.

She ditched us when I was 11 and ran off with some hotel man in the east.

You know what a mother's love is?

Yes, I do.

You mean it's better to be ditched?

No. I think it's better to be loved. Don't you ever see her?

(VOICE BREAKING) I don't know where she is.

Well, maybe I ought to go join the other children.

ANNIE: All right. Here we go. One...



There you go.



BOY: Look! Look!

Hey! No touching allowed!






Help me get the children into the house.

There you go.


Have they gone, Mitch?

I think so.

LYDIA: Is anyone hurt?

WOMAN: Jenny got a scratch down her cheek, but it's nothing.

That makes three times.

Mitch, this isn't usual, is it?

The gull when I was in the boat yesterday, the one at Annie's last night, and now...

Last night? What do you mean?

A gull smashed into Annie's front door. Mitch, what's happening?

I don't know. Do you have to go back to Annie's?

No. I have my things in the car.

Stay and have something to eat before you start back. I'd feel a lot better.

Would you like some mustard with that?

MELANIE: No, thank you.

Why didn't Annie stay for dinner?

Said something about going home to take a call from her sister in the east.

(CHIRPING) What's the matter with them?

What's the matter with all the birds?

Where did you want this coffee?

Here on the table, honey.

Hurry up with yours, Mitch.

I'm sure Miss Daniels wants to be on her way.

I think you ought to stay the night, Melanie.

We have an extra room upstairs and everything.

That road can be a pretty bad one at night, too.

If I go across to Santa Rosa, I'll come out on the freeway much earlier, won't I?

Yes, and the freeway is much quicker.

But she'll be hitting all the heavy traffic going back to San Francisco.


CATHY: Just listen to those lovebirds.




Cover your faces! Cover your eyes!

That's a sparrow, all right.

We know what it is, Al.

Did you have a light burning or something?

Yes, but there wouldn't have been that much light going up the chimney.

'Cause sometimes birds are attracted by light, you know.

Sure is a peculiar thing.

Well, all right, but we've got to do something about it!

I don't think I get you, Mitch. Do about what?

MITCH: Well, the birds invaded the house.

AL: What's more likely, they got in the room and was just panicked. That's all.

MITCH: All right, I'll admit a bird will panic in an enclosed room, but they didn't just get in. They came in, right down the chimney.

AL: My wife found a bird in the back seat of her car once.

Tell him about the party.

That's right. We had a party here this afternoon for Cathy, for her birthday.

AL: How old is she?

MITCH: Eleven! In the middle of the party, some seagulls came down at the children!

Miss Daniels was attacked by a gull only yesterday.

AL: Yeah. Were the kids bothering the birds or something?

'Cause if you make any kind of a disturbance near them, they'll just come after you.

Al, the children were playing a game. Those gulls attacked.

AL: Now, Lydia, "attack" is a pretty strong word, don't you think?

I mean, birds just don't go around attacking people without no reason. You know what I mean?

The kids probably scared them, that's all.

These birds attacked.

You got quite a mess here, I'll admit that.

Maybe you ought to put some screen on top of your chimney.

You want some help cleaning up?

MITCH: No. I can handle it. (GASPS)

It shouldn't be too much of a job.

I'll take Cathy up to bed.

I think I should stay, don't you?

MITCH: It would be nice if you could.

My things are in the car.

Do you want to go with me? All right.

AL: Well, anything else I can do, Mitch?

MITCH: No, thanks, Al.

We'll be all right.

Good night, Lydia.

Sure is peculiar.


LYDIA: Mitch. Mitch. Mitch!

MITCH: Yes, Mother?

LYDIA: I'm going to drop Cathy off now.

I'll probably drive over to the Fawcett farm.


MAN: Morning.

Good morning, George. Is Mr. Fawcett around?

I think so, ma'am.

Ain't seen him this morning, but he ought to be in there.


Dan, are you home?






What is it, dear? What's the matter?

Al Malone, the deputy, just called.

He wants me over at the Fawcett place.

Some detectives from Santa Rosa will be there.

Will it be all right? Yes.

I was just taking your mother in some tea.

Oh, be careful, please.

And you be careful.



LYDIA: Mitch?

No, it's me, Mrs. Brenner.

I thought you might like some tea.

Oh. Thank you.

Where's Mitch?

Al Malone wanted him out at the Fawcett farm.

Why? Didn't Al believe my story?

He was calling from the farm.

Then he saw.

Oh, he must have.

They sent for the Santa Rosa police.

What good will they do?

Do you think Cathy's all right at the school?

Yes, I'm sure she's fine.

Do I sound very foolish to you?

Oh, no.

I keep seeing Dan's face.

And they have such big windows at the school.

All the windows are broken in Dan's bedroom.

All the windows!

Try not to think about that.

I wish I were a stronger person.

I lost my husband four years ago, you know.

It's terrible how you depend on someone else for strength, and then suddenly all the strength is gone, and you're alone.

I'd love to be able to relax sometime.

I'd love to be able to sleep.

Do you think Cathy's all right?

Annie's there.

She'll be all right.

I'm not like this, you know? Not usually.

I don't fuss and fret about my children.

When Frank died...

You see, he understood the children. He really understood them.

He had the knack of entering into their world and becoming part of them.

That's a very rare talent.


Oh, I wish, I wish, I wish I could be like that.

I miss him.

Sometimes, even now, I wake up in the morning and I think, "I must get Frank's breakfast."

And I get up, and there's a very good reason for getting out of bed, until, of course, I remember.

I miss talking to him.

Cathy's a child, of course, and Mitch...

Well, Mitch has his own life.

I'm glad he stayed here today.

I feel safer with him here.

Would you like to rest now?


No, don't go.

I feel as if I don't understand you at all, and I want so much to understand.

Why, Mrs. Brenner?

Because my son seems to be very fond of you, and I don't quite know how I feel about it.

I don't even know if I like you or not.

Is that so important, your liking me?

Well, yes. I think so.

Mitch is important to me.

I want to like whatever girl he chooses.

And perhaps if you don't?

Well, then I don't think it'll matter very much to anyone but me.

Oh, I think it would also matter to Mitch.

Mitch has always done exactly what he wanted to do.

But, you see, I don't want to be left alone.

I don't think I could bear to be left alone!

Oh, forgive me.

This business with the birds has upset me.

I don't know what I'd do if Mitch weren't here.

Why don't you try to sleep now, Mrs. Brenner?

I wish I was stronger.

Do you think she's all right?

Do you think she's all right at the school?

Would you like me to go for her?

Oh, I couldn't ask it.

Oh, I don't mind, really.

Would you?

I'd feel so much better.

I'll go right now.


Thanks for the tea.


I married my wife in the month of June Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Now, now, now I brought her home by the light of the moon Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Hey, donnie-dostle-tee Knickety-knackety Rustical quality Willow-tee, wallow-tee Now, now, now She combs her hair but once a year Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Now, now, now With every stroke She shed a tear Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Hey, donnie-dostle-tee Rustical quality Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Now, now, now I brought her home by the light of the moon Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Hey, donnie-dostle-tee Knickety-knackety Rustical quality Willow-tee, wallow-tee Now, now, now She combed her hair but once a year Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Now, now, now With every stroke She shed a tear Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Hey, donnie-dostle-tee Knickety-knackety Rustical quality Willow-tee, wallow-tee Now, now, now She swept up her floor but once a year Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Now, now, now She said that brooms were much too dear Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Hey, donnie-dostle-tee Knickety-knackety Rustical quality Willow-tee, wallow-tee Now, now, now She churns the butter in her dad's old boot Ristle-tee, Rostle-tee Now, now, now And for a dash She'd use her foot Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Hey, donnie-dostle-tee Knickety-knackety Rustical quality Willow-tee, wallow-tee Now, now, now The butter it came out all grizzle-y gray Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Now, now, now The cheese it took legs and ran away Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Hey, donnie-dostle-tee Knickety-knackety Rustical quality Willow-tee, wallow-tee Now, now, now She let the critter get away Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Hey, donnie-dostle-tee Knickety-knackety Rustical quality Willow-tee, wallow-tee Now, now, now I asked my wife to wash the floor Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Now, now, now She gave me my hat and she showed me the door Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Hey, donnie-dostle-tee Knickety-knackety Rustical quality Now, now, now I married my wife in the month of June Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Now, now, now I brought her home by the light of the moon Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Hey, donnie-dostle-tee Knickety-knackety Rustical quality Willow-tee, wallow-tee Now, now, now She combed her hair but once a year Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Hey, donnie-dostle-tee Knickety-knackety Rustical quality Willow-tee, wallow-tee Now, now, now Ristle-tee, rostle-tee Now, now, now ANNIE: All right, children. Now, please put your song books away, then stand up alongside your desks.

We'll go out for recess as soon as everybody gets ready.

We are not going into the playground until everybody has quieted down.

Close that door. Quickly. Please. What?

What is it? Look.

We've got to get the children out of here.


(SHUSHING) All right, children. Now, quiet.

Quiet. Miss Daniels would like to see how we conduct ourselves during a fire drill.


I would like you to show her how quiet and obedient you can be.

Oh, we're going out of school now.

CHILDREN: Leave school?

We want those of you who live nearby to go directly home.


I want the rest of you to go down the hill all the way to the hotel.

Now, is that clear?

CHILDREN: Yes, Miss Hayworth.


I want you to go as quietly as possible.

Do not make a sound until I tell you to run.

Then run as quickly as you can.

Now, does everybody understand?

CHILDREN: Yes, Miss Hayworth.

All right, John, you lead the way.







Cathy! Cathy!



Well, Daddy, there were hundreds of them.

No, I'm not hysterical.

I'm trying to tell you this as calmly as I know how.

All right, Daddy. Yes, Daddy.

Well, just now. Not 15 minutes ago.

At the school.

No, I don't. Just a minute. What's the name of the school?

Just the Bodega Bay School.

The Bodega Bay School.

Well, I don't know how many children, 30 or 40.

No, the birds didn't attack until the children were outside the school.

Help you, Mrs. Bundy?

I need some change, Mr. Carter.

Crows, I think.

Well, I don't know, Daddy.

Is there a difference between crows and blackbirds?

There is very definitely a difference, miss.

Thank you.

They're different, Daddy.

Well, I think these were crows.

Well, yes. Hundreds of them.

Yes, they attacked the children. Attacked them!

Well, I don't know when, but I simply can't leave now, Daddy.

All right. Yes. Good-bye.

They're both perching birds, of course, but quite different species.

The crow is Corvus brachyrhynchos, and the blackbird is Euphagus cyanocephalus.

Thank you.

You have the number at the Fawcett farm?

Right here in this book, miss.

I can't see that it makes any difference, Mrs. Bundy.

Crows or blackbirds, if the school was attacked, that's pretty serious.

I hardly think that either species would have sufficient intelligence to launch a massed attack.

Their brainpans are not big enough to...

I just came from the school, madam.

I don't know anything about their brainpans, but...

Well, I do. I do know.

Ornithology happens to be my avocation.

Birds are not aggressive creatures, miss.

They bring beauty into the world.

It is mankind, rather, who...

WAITRESS: Sam! Three southern fried chicken.

Baked potato on all of them.

Yes, may I speak to Mitch Brenner, please?

Yes, I'll wait.

It is mankind, rather, who insists upon making it difficult for life to exist upon this planet.

Now, if it were not for the birds...

Mrs. Bundy, you don't seem to understand.

This young lady said there was an attack on the school.

Impossible! Oh, Mitch?

Oh, I'm glad I caught you.

Something terrible has...

It's the end of the world!

Two Bloody Marys, Deke.

What actually happened at the school?

Bunch of crows attacked the school kids.

It's the end of the world. "Thus saith the Lord God

"unto the mountains and the hills, "and the rivers and the valleys.

"Behold I, even I, "shall bring a sword upon you, "and I will devastate your high places."

Ezekiel, chapter six.

WAITRESS: "Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, "that they may follow strong drink."

Isaiah, chapter five. It's the end of the world.

I hardly think a few birds are going to bring about the end of the world.

These weren't a few birds.

I didn't know there were many crows in Bodega Bay this time of year.

The crow is a permanent resident throughout its range.

In fact, during our Christmas count, we recorded...

How many gulls did you count, Mrs. Bundy?

MRS. BUNDY: Which gulls, Mr. Sholes? There are several varieties.

The ones who've been playing devil with my fishing boats.

Have you had trouble with gulls?

One of my boats did, last week.

This young lady was hit by a gull only Saturday.

Deke, I'm still waiting for those Bloody Marys.

DEKE: Coming right up.

Could you ask them to lower their voices, please?

They're frightening the children.

A whole flock of gulls nearly capsized one of my boats.

Practically tore the skipper's arm off.

You're scaring the kids. Keep it low.

All right.

Yeah, well, he's scaring me, too.

Are you trying to say that all these...

Nah, that sounds impossible, Sebastian.

Deke, look, I'm just telling you what happened to one of my boats.

The gulls were after your fish, Mr. Sholes.

Really, let's be logical about this.

What were the crows after at the school?

What do you think they were after? Miss...

Daniels. I think they were after the children.

For what purpose?

To kill them.


I don't know why.

I thought not.

Birds have been on this planet, Miss Daniels, since Archaeopteryx, 140 million years ago.

Doesn't it seem odd that they'd wait all that time to start a war against humanity?

No one called it a war.

Scotch, light on the water.

You and Mr. Sholes seem to be implying as much.

Who said anything about a war? All I said, some gulls...

WAITRESS: Want some more coffee? No.

...came down on one of my boats.

They could have been after the fish, just like you said.

The Captain should have shot at them. Huh?

Gulls are scavengers, anyway. Most birds are.

Get yourselves guns and wipe them off the face of the Earth!

(CHUCKLES) That would hardly be possible.

Why not, Mrs. Bundy?

Because there are 8,650 species of birds in the world today, Mr. Carter.

It is estimated that 5,750,000,000 birds live in the United States alone.

The five continents of the world...

Kill them all. Get rid of the messy animals.

...probably contain more than 100 billion birds.

It's the end of the world.

Those gulls must have been after the fish.

MRS. BUNDY: Of course!

Hurry up, children. Finish your lunch.

Are the birds gonna eat us, Mommy?

Hell, maybe we're all getting a little carried away by this.

Admittedly, a few birds did act strange, but that's no reason to believe that...

I keep telling you, this isn't a few birds.

These are gulls, crows, swifts...

I have never known birds of different species to flock together.

The very concept is unimaginable.

Why, if that happened, we wouldn't have a chance!

How could we possibly hope to fight them?

We couldn't, you're right.

You're right, Mrs. Bundy.

What's the matter? Something wrong out here?

We're fighting a war, Sam.

A war? Against who?

Against birds!

I'm glad you all think this is so amusing.

You've frightened the children half out of their wits.

If the young lady said she saw the attack at a school, why don't you believe her?

What attack? Who attacked the school?

WOMAN: Birds did. Crows.

You're all sitting around here debating!

What do you want them to do next? Crash through that window?

GIRL: Mommy!

Shh. Put on your coat.

Why don't you all go home, lock your doors and windows?

What's the fastest way to San Francisco?

The freeway, ma'am.

How do I find it?

I'm going out that way, lady. You can follow me.

WOMAN: Well, then let's leave now.

Haven't finished my drink yet.

I got here as fast as I could. Where's Cathy?

She's with Annie. She's all right.

Al, why aren't you over at the school, where the attack was?

'Cause I just got back from Dan Fawcett's place, that's why.

He was killed last night by birds.


Now, hold it, Mitch. You don't know that for a fact.

What are the facts, Mr. Malone?

The Santa Rosa Police think it's a felony murder.

They think a burglar broke in, killed him.

How do you explain the dead birds all over the floor?

Santa Rosa Police figure they got in after the old man was killed.

Were the Santa Rosa Police at your school today?

Are you coming?

Now take it easy, lady.

There isn't a bird anywhere in sight!

"Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap.

"Yet your heavenly Father feeds them."

Say, something like this happened in Santa Cruz last year.

The town was just covered with seagulls.

Will you please finish your drink?

That's right, sir. I recall it.

A large flock of seagulls got lost in a fog, and headed into the town where all the lights were.

They made some mess, too, smashing into buildings and everything.

They always make a mess.

The point is that no one seemed to be upset about it.

They were all gone next morning, just as though nothing at all had happened.

Poor things.

I'm leaving! Are you coming?

All right, all right!

Well, hope you folks figure this thing out!

It's the end of the world!

I better get back to the cannery. What do I owe you, Deke?

Sebastian, hold it a minute.

I don't want to be an alarmist about this...

No one ever said you were, Mitch.

I think we're in real trouble.

I don't know how this started, or why, but I know it's here and we'd be crazy to ignore it.

To ignore what? The "bird war"?

Yes, the "bird war."

The bird attack, plague... Call it what you like, they're massing out there someplace, and they'll be back. You can count on it.


Come here.

Unless we do something right now, unless we get Bodega Bay on the move, they...

Look, Mitch.

Even if this is true, even if all the birds...

Don't you believe it's true?

No, Mitch, frankly I don't.

There's no reason. I...

Well, it's happening. Isn't that a reason?

I like Bodega Bay as well as the next man...

Fine, then help me.

You're an important man in this town. If you help, they all will.

SEBASTIAN: Help how? What do you want to do?

MITCH: Mrs. Bundy said something about Santa Cruz.


About seagulls getting lost in a fog and flying in towards the lights.

SEBASTIAN: We don't have fog this time of year!

MITCH: Make our own fog!

SEBASTIAN: How do you figure to do that?

MITCH: We can use smoke pots, the way the Army uses them.



They're attacking again. Melanie, you stay in here. Come on, Al!


Look out!

Look at the gas. That man's lighting a cigar!

Hey, you! Watch out! Don't drop that match!

Get out of there!

Mister, run! Watch out!

Look out! Look out! Watch out!






MAN: Hey!



Why are they doing this?

They said when you got here, the whole thing started!

Who are you? What are you?

Where did you come from?

I think you're the cause of all this.

I think you're evil! Evil!


Oh, God!

I think they're going!

We can get Cathy at Annie's now.

The crows again. Shh!


Come on.



Oh, no. Stay here. Stay here.



Cathy! Where's Cathy?


Mitch, don't!

Oh, don't leave her there, Mitch.



(WHISPERS) Come on.





When we got back from taking Michele home,

we heard the explosion and we went outside to see what it was.

All at once the birds were everywhere!

All at once she pushed me inside, and they covered her!

Annie... She pushed me inside!


Give me another one, darling.

How long have they been gathering there?

Oh, about 15 minutes.

Seems like a pattern, doesn't it?

They strike, then disappear, and then start massing again.

Doesn't look so very different, does it?

A little smoke hanging over the town, otherwise...

You want to try your father again?

No, I tried a little while ago. The phone's dead.

Still got power, haven't we? Yes.

LYDIA: Mitch, I'm getting something on the radio.

Come on.

I can't get any of the local stations.

I think this is San Francisco.

MAN ON RADIO: "...and the work of a team of professionals." End quote.

In Bodega Bay early this morning, a large flock of crows attacked a group of children who were leaving the school during a fire drill.

One little girl was seriously injured and taken to the hospital in Santa Rosa, but the majority of children reached safety.

We understand there was another attack on the town, but this information is rather sketchy.

So far, no word has come through to show if there have been further attacks.

On the national scene today, in Washington...

Well, is that all?

I'll have to get some more wood in. Mustn't let this fire go out.

Did you get the windows in the attic, Mitch?

Yes, I got them all, dear.

When do you think they'll come?

I don't know.

If there are bigger birds, Mitch, they'll get into the house.

Well, it's just a chance we'll have to take.

Maybe we ought to leave.

No, not now! Not while they're massing out there.


We'll just see what happens.

Where will we go? I don't know.

I think we're safe here for the time being.

Let's get the wood in now.

What happens when you run out of wood?

I don't know! We'll break up the furniture.

You don't know!

You don't know! When will you know? When we're all dead!

If only your father were here...


I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Mitch.

Make yourself some coffee, won't you?

"In assuming the tasks of the presidency, "I said that few generations..."

Where are they heading?

Somewhere inland.

Santa Rosa?


Come on. Let's get the wood.

Mitch? Can I bring the lovebirds in here?


CATHY: But, Mom, they're in a cage.

They're birds, aren't they?

Let's leave them in the kitchen, huh, honey?

Mitch, why are they doing this, the birds?

We don't know, honey.

Why are they trying to kill people?

I wish I could say.


I'm sick, Melanie.

I want to...

I'll go with you.


















They're going.











Oh, Mitch!

Get Cathy and Lydia out of here.

MITCH: Melanie! Melanie!



Oh, poor thing! Poor thing!

Listen, get some water, bandages, and antiseptic. Quickly!

Bandages. It's terrible.

Cathy, get some brandy.

No, no, no! No, no, it's all right.

No, it's all right, it's all right, it's all right.

It's all right. It's all right. No.


Cathy, get the lamp.

(SIGHS) We've got to get her to a hospital.

We can't, Mitch. There's no place we can go.

There's San Francisco.

We'd never make it.

We have to try.

We'll go by way of Bay Hill Road.

Then we don't have to go through town.

We can't stay here. She needs help!

I'm frightened. Terribly frightened.

I don't know what's outside there.

We better get started before another attack comes.

We'll take Melanie's car. That'll be faster than the truck.

Can you finish the bandaging?

I'll try.

All right.

LYDIA: Mitch? See if you can get anything on the car radio.






ANNOUNCER: The bird attacks have subsided for the time being.

Bodega Bay seems to be the center, though there are reports of minor attacks on Sebastopol and a few on Santa Rosa.

Bodega Bay has been cordoned off by roadblocks.

Most of the townspeople have managed to get out, but there are still some isolated pockets of people.

No decision has been arrived at yet as to what the next step will be, but there's been some discussion as to whether the military should go in.

It appears that the bird attacks come in waves, with long intervals between.

The reason for this does not seem clear as yet.





Did you hear anything on the radio?

It's all right. Come on.



No. No!




Stay there.

Can I bring the lovebirds, Mitch?

They haven't harmed anyone.

All right. Bring them.