Run for cover! The Birds descends on the Cinéma de la Plage and Hitchcock sends shivers through Cannes once again, as he did fifty years ago when the film opened the Festival de Cannes, leaving audiences horror stricken.
It was 1963, and everyone was anticipating Alfred Hitchcock's new film, three years after Psycho. The master of suspense promised a spine-chilling opening film for the Festival, but he surprised everyone by delivering a film that is even more horrifying than his earlier works. Audiences had mixed reactions.
The international press was unanimous that The Birds is Hitchcock's most terrifying film. In France, journalists were struck by the transformation of a habitually docile creature that becomes so threatening, but they lamented the absence of music. The Americans did not approve of the depiction of birds as a danger to man and they were uncomfortable with the ending of the film.
The response to Tippi Hedren's performance, however, was unconditional. The model, who was discovered in this film, carried off the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer - Female and she joined the ranks of Hitchcock's iconic leading ladies, Ingrid Bergman and Grace Kelly. The film was a box-office hit: with worldwide ticket sales of 11,403,559 dollars, the film ranked in 16th place as one of the most-viewed films in 1963.
Saturday 25 May / Salle du Soixantième / 7 pm.
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