Now With More Than 3600 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 3600 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

THE BIRDS (1963)

When Alfred Hitchcock left Paramount and moved to Lew Wasserman’s thriftshop operation @ Universal, he got a great contract, but also standardized operating procedures that sacrificed quality & pride in product to a cost control management style. So paradoxically, while much of the challenging technical FX work on his initial Universal pic remains startlingly convincing (the inexplicable avian attacks are scary, funny, creepy, cringe-inducing), bread-and-butter stuff (like transitions from location work to studio mock-ups; believable set dressing; and even color processing that doesn’t turn sets into museum issue dioramas) betray a distressing decline from the recent Hitchcockian standard. When the birds aren’t around, the film often turns visually inert. And while the basic structure recalls REAR WINDOW/’54, with romantic comedy convention morphing into nail-biting suspense, Evan Hunter’s lumbering meet-cutes hardly match up with the caustic wit & playability of the earlier John Michael Hayes script. To say nothing of the touring cast replacements of ‘Tippi’ Hedren & Rod Taylor for Grace Kelly & James Stewart. (Sadly, Hedren’s tone-deaf perf, so off-putting here, is strikingly apt for Hitch’s oddly fascinating flop follow-up, MARNIE/’64.) The film is unmissable, yet also something of a miss.

No comments: