Anyone who has ever had a duff interview will feel for James Kennaway, the screenwriter who met with Hitchcock in 1962 to discuss the possibility of his scripting the director's next venture about a flock of birds attacking a Bodega Bay community. 'I see this film done only one way,' declared the cocksure scribe: 'You should never see a bird'.
Poor Kennaway, with his subtle Greek notions of drama in absentia. He should have realised that Hitchcock held affinities with the science fiction directors of the late Fifties, who made films with titles like The Blob, which, lo and behold, featured a giant jelly on the rampage. The Birds would do exactly what it said on the tin: whether stuck to climbing frames or Tippi Hedren's face, our winged cousins are the ubiquitous subject, serving as vehicles for the apocalyptic theme of nature's rebellion against mankind.