One of the most memorable titles in Alfred Hitchcock’s extensive filmography corresponds to The Birds starring Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor back in 1963. Although the feature film is based on the homonymous horror story written by Daphne du maurierAs it turns out, the event, which served as the basis for the film, took place in the real world. Find out the true story behind this famous film below:
YouTube channel Popular Science made an interesting audiovisual entitled The TRUE STORY of Hitchcock’s The Birds which takes us to August 18, 1961, when the local newspaper Santa Cruz Sentinel published a front-page story warning that a flock fell precipitously, around 3 a.m., on the rooftops of the inhabitants of Monterey Bay and surroundings like Pleasure Point and Capitola in California. The birds crashed for no apparent reason, vomiting the remains of anchovies, half digested and with a horrible smell, that they had eaten in the sea.
“A massive flight of sooty shearwaters collided with coastal structures from Pleasure Point to Rio del Mar during the night. Residents, especially in the Pleasure Point and Capitola area, woke up around 3 a.m. today by the rain of birds that collided with their homes. Dead and stunned seabirds littered the streets and highways in the misty dawn. Surprised by the invasion, residents rushed out into their gardens with lanterns and then rushed inside, as the birds flew towards their light. The television antenna mounts were cut off and a power line shorted out around 4 a.m. on Merrill Avenue when they were slapped by the birds hitting the lines, ”the note read (via).
The news « spread like wildfire » and then reached the eyes and ears of Alfred Hitchcock, who requested by telephone several copies of the newspaper that had covered the catastrophic events. From there, the idea to conceive The Birds did not leave his mind and he even fed on several theories such as the one that said that the birds were disoriented by the fog in one of their long migrations. The Birds, of course, was characterized by an intoxicated narrative of suspense and terror where a group of seagulls mercilessly attacked the inhabitants of Bodega Bay.
It took 30 years for the enigma about that strange event to be cleared up. Thus, on September 15, 1991, the Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper gave a space to report that hundreds of cormorants and pelicans had appeared dead / dying on the beaches of Santa Cruz, California. The event, of course, was very similar to the one that occurred in 1961 and then a group of scientists got involved to determine, by analyzing the carcasses, that the birds had died due to poisoning by domoic acid, which corresponds to a toxic compound synthesized by unicellular algae that grow in the marine environment and that affect the nervous system causing confusion, disorientation, seizures, coma and death.
In this way we conclude that the birds were not disoriented by the fog, but rather were poisoned.
The Birds received an Oscar nomination in the category of Best Visual Effects. In addition, actress Tippi Hedren won the Golden Globe in the category of Best Promising Actress.
Alfred Hitchcock The Birds
Brenda Medel I enjoy cinema, Laura Pausini’s fan, I always think about food and I don’t take off my sunglasses even when I sleep.