Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds
Alfred Hitchcock to me, is the most famous director of the 20th. Century. He has made a tremendous impression on me for my entire life. His movies inspire me as well as entertain me. So for this Halloween, I wanted to recreate my version of the movie, The Birds. Here I have selected some stills from the movie and you will see my attempt at bringing this old vintage movie to life in my home.
The Birds Movie Hitchcock Cameo
I love that in most of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies that he does insert himself into the movie in some cameo role. Here he is exiting the Davidson’s Pet Shop as Melanie Daniels, Tippi Hedren’s character, is entering the front door.
Hitch The Birds
“The Birds could be the most terrifying motion picture I have ever made.”
I want to dedicate this page to Rod Taylor
January 11, 1930 – January 7, 2015
Rod Taylor with Tippi Hedren in The Birds
You will always be handsome, chivalrous Mitchell Brenner to me.
I Miss you,
My favorite time of year. Halloween. There is no better time to honor Alfred Hitchcock than now. So I present to you my version of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.
I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I enjoyed doing it.
Whoever thought that I would fall for a short, fat, bald man?
This is my interpretation of the scene in the movie where Melanie Daniels, Tippi Hedren’s character, is sitting on a bench at the school playground waiting to pick up Cathy from school and take her home.
This is our backyard set.
Tippi Hedren killing time while waiting.
The green suit plays such an important roll in this movie to me.
Below right, the love birds. A gift to Cathy but yet they represent Melanie Daniels and Mitchell Breener. Notice the birds are green and Melanie wears the green suit throughout the movie? That’s what I noticed anyway.
It’s funny but I found myself modeling once I put on the green dress for my Melanie Daniels photo shoot. I have a modeling background from way back in my youth. Tippi Hedren also has a modeling background from before she started acting.
If you notice she does do a lot of modeling throughout the movie. You can see it in the way she moves.
The pumpkin of Hitch my husband Gordon carved. The birds in the tree were added by my husband Gordon also. Very eerie and perfect!
Cue The Fog!
Me, having fun on the set in our backyard.
To me this is the scariest scene in the movie. Most people prefer the phone booth scene, not me, I love the danger and suspense of having the birds position themselves directly behind her without her knowledge. Literally getting into position for their attack.
Then and Now
Still a BABE!!
What Tippi will always be known for.
The greatest director of the 20th.century, Alfred Hitchcock. In my opinion anyway.
Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren on the set of The Birds, 1963. He had a very unhealthy obsession with her that caused her lots of grief making her life miserable for many years.
Australian actor and dreamboat, Rod Taylor, as Mitchell Brenner.
Let’s also not forget smokin’ hot Suzanne Pleshette. Wasn’t she gorgeous?
Also starring in The Birds is Jessica Tandy and Veronica Cartwright.
Mitch and Melanie Meet in a Bird Shop
In San Francisco
Mitchell Brenner comes into the shop to buy some love birds for his sister Cathy’s 11th. birthday and ends up meeting Melanie the practical joker, who decided to impersonate a sales clerk.
He is onto the act immediately but plays along because he likes her. The shop is all out of love birds so Mitch leaves the store. Melanie then finds out where he lives and decides to deliver the love birds herself to his apartment. Finding out that Mitchell is away in Bodega Bay for the weekend, Melanie makes the drive to deliver the love birds and surprise Mitch.
Melanie is quite resourceful and asks at the local post office the address of where the Brenner’s live.
Melanie wants to surprise Mitch with the love birds but she does not want him to see her coming down the road in her car so she hires a boat and drives directly across the bay toward his house. Once she places the love birds inside the house she gets back into the boat and waits to see Mitchell Brenner’s expression when he goes inside the house and finds them.
Melanie Leaving the Love Birds for Cathy at the Brenner Home
On her way back across the bay Melanie is attacked by a seagul.
The love birds Mitch and Melanie falling in love.
I love the symbolism here. The love birds are green and Melanie wears a green suit in the movie.
The Phone Booth
Probably one of the most famous cinema scenes of all time.
Tippi Hedren being attacked in the phone booth by The Birds.
The Pumpkins, The Fog
How I Set My Table
I printed out many of the movie stills onto photo paper from my printer. Some of the stills I found online, the others I photographed myself with my camera by freezing the movie on our t.v. screen.
I then placed them all around my dining room table in a scattered pattern. Then I placed a large piece of glass over them, as best I could. The glass didn’t cover my table as much as I would have liked. Then I just added the plates, napkins, food platters, silverware, candles, drinks and ‘The Birds’ all around the table.
Bird seed in the wine glass.
The Place Setting
I love the added touch of a black feather to the napkin against the white and black dinner plates and milk glass bowl.
I Love The Table
The food was delicious. The atmosphere was wonderful. Almost as if I were in an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
My Table Collage
Our “The Birds” Dinner
Cornish Game Hens
Wild Grain Rice
Pumpkin and Squash Pureed Soup
The Dinner Plate
A martini with a little something extra for “The Birds”. A worm, of course.
The Recipes For Our Dinner Above:
Pumpkin and Squash Pureed Soup
8 Cups Shredded Pumpkin
1 Large Squash cubed
3-4 Cups Vegetable Stock
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
10-12 Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Cup Creme Fresh
Roast the shredded pumpkin and cubed squash on baking sheets in the oven at 350’F for approximately 45 min.
Place the roasted pumpkin, squash, and vegetable stock in a blender and puree until smooth, and is at the consistency or thickness you desire. Place the soup in a pot on the stove to keep warm.
To make the garnish, simply blend together the basil and extra virgin olive oil until smooth and is at a consistency which can be poured.
Now, place your soup in a bowl, drop a dollop of creme fresh in the middle and pour or spoon of some of the Basil Olive Oil mixture over the top of the soup.
Cornish Game Hens
4 Cornish Game Hens
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Paprika
2 Tbsp Ground Thyme
1 tsp Ground Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
Water for the roasting pan
With a brush or you hands, coat the hens with the extra virgin olive oil. Mix all the above seasonings together and liberally season the hens. With the leftover seasoning, dust the inside of the hens with the mixture.
Place the hens on a roasting rack ensuing even spacing, so the heat can evenly surround the hens. Pour enough water in the roasting pan until it reaches 1/2 an inch in depth. Set the rack on the roasting pan and place it in a 350’F oven for 1 hour. The water in the pan will help to capture the fat drippings, keeping the smoke down as well as helping the hens to stay moist. After an hour, use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of the hens which should read at least 160’F. Take the reading from the thickest part of the thigh. If needed, cook the hens a little more until the thermometer reads 160’F. As the hens rest, the hot juices from the outer edges of the meat will find their way into the center of the meat and finish cooking the hens to the proper temperature of 165’F. Doing this will ensure your hens stay moist after you let them rest for about 10 min. If you don’t let the hens rest before cutting into them, those hot juices on the outer edges will simply run out of the hens and you will end up with dry meat.
1 1/2 Cups sliced carrots in 2 inch by 1/4 inch slices
4 Tbsp Water
2 Tbsp Butter
2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp(s) Brown Sugar or Honey
Place all the above ingredients into a saute pan and turn to medium high heat. The carrots will cook as the water heats and the steam rises. As the water dissipates, the sugar and butter will begin to make your sauce for the carrots. Turn you carrots often to evenly cook and coat your carrots. Once the carrots start to have a thick glaze on them, they should be done cooking.
How We Did The Birds Backdrop
First, Gordon built the bench for me to sit on, see photo above. Then he built the fence.
Next, we just added the crows in an old dead orange tree in our backyard. We kept it in our backyard for the past year knowing we would do something spooky with it. But now I guess we can dig it up and get rid of it. The tree, of course.
Thank you Gordon!
Alfred Hitchcock on the set in the last scene of The Birds.
Mitch getting the car out of the garage without disturbing the birds.
The last scene of the movie The Birds. I do love the symbolism here. No one is driving off into the sunset. They are driving off into the night with danger still all around them.