Hitchcock's shocker about an avian air attack on the citizenry of Bodega Bay is constructed along the lines of a sci-fi invasion film. Divested of all logic, this assault on middle-class complacency exposes Hitchcock's sadistic tendencies as nakedly as they have ever been. There is a lightening of load thanks to the absence of human villainy and all the creaky contrivance normally found in Hitchcock's depiction of it. At the same time, the director's stylistic devices — the intricate scene construction, the brilliant Pop Art color, the throwaway drolleries, the mugger's or molester's skill at leading easy victims into entrapment — have never been seen in better working condition. With Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy. 1963.

5.0 stars

— Duncan Shepherd

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