Hitchcock aimed to do for avians in The Birds what he did for showers in Psycho, and by and large he succeeded. The Birds is roughly hewn by comparison to Hitch's more deftly plotted films -- it's much closer to a monster movie than a psychological thriller, moreso than any of his other films. Tippi Hedren makes her screen debut here, and it's a bit of a cold and tricky one, though not a terrible performance. She flubs her lines consistently, though -- including one in her very first scene. The Birds is most notable though for turning something completely harmless into an incredible menace -- all with absolutely no explanation. That's where the terror really comes from in The Birds.
Billy Fisher isn't even an undertaker -- he's an undertaker's assistant. Against this pathetic profession he finds himself so bored silly that he daydreams constantly of a land where he's a military hero and ruler, and the two meet at random throughout the film. More and more, Billy dreams of escaping his horrible life, planning to run off to London with girlfriend Liz (Julie Christie). But can he do it? Billy Liar is on the repetitive side, but John Schlesinger's imagination in interpreting the source material makes it worthwhile. The ending remains one of cinema's great mysteries -- not in what happens on screen, but why it happens. Discuss amongst yourselves.