A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people there in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness.
Bruno Anthony thinks he has the perfect plot to rid himself of his hated father and when he meets tennis player Guy Haines on a train, he thinks he's found the partner he needs to pull it off. His plan is relatively simple. Two strangers each agree to kill someone the other person wants disposed of. For example, Guy could kill his father and he could get rid of Guy's wife Miriam, freeing him to marry Anne Morton, the beautiful daughter of a U.S. Senator. Guy dismisses it all out of hand but but Bruno goes ahead with his half of the 'bargain' and disposes of Miriam. When Guy balks, Bruno makes it quite clear that he will plant evidence to implicate Guy in her murder if he doesn't get rid of his father. Guy had also made some unfortunate statements about Miriam after she had refused him a divorce. It all leads the police to believe Guy is responsible for the murder, forcing him to deal with Bruno's mad ravings. Written by
This is a little known Hitchcock movie but I think it is one of his best. I like how he inserts humor into this crime drama. For example the small boy pointing a gun at the Bruno character at the carnival and the Bruno character popping his balloon with a lit cigarette. And there is the comic scene at the tennis courts where the audience in unison moves there heads back and forth following the ball except for Bruno who glances straight away at the tennis player.
Hitchcock plays suspense masterfully as in the tunnel of love sequence early in the film. We know that Bruno plans to murder the woman and we 'see' that is why he is following her into the tunnel. We hear a scream and think the deed is done when voila! the girl comes sailing out with her two admirers. Then there is one of the finest scenes in all movie history: the final scene on the carousel. Hitchcock manages suspense on many non-stop levels: the two protagonists fighting each other, a small boy who nearly falls from the ride as it whirls at tremendous speed, and the elderly man who crawls beneath the carousel to try and get at the brakes. Although I think the end of the scene was a bit over the top it was masterful to that point and I will never forget it.
I was surprised to see Ruth Roman in the lead. Usually Hitchcock has blondes for his leads, but the commentator on the TMC channel told us Hitch had to use her because she was under contract to the studio where he filmed it.
I highly recommend this obscure Hitchcock masterpiece and give 9.99 out of 10.
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