©1963 Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.
The video transfer of The Birds is like nothing I've ever seen before. Most of the special effects are obvious
rear projections, which gives the entire film a "fake" feeling. That aside, the transfer is very sharp and clear. It
has terrific color, most of the time. There are periods of over-saturation on all colors which destroys the image.
scenes which fade together often take on a whole new color tone during the fades. Not having seen any other
presentation of this film, I can only speculate this is not how Hitchcock intended it to look.
On the audio front, there are obvious volume shifts within scenes and between sides. When listening to the film through
a Dolby Pro-Logic Surround processor, the audio should stay clearly centered, as all properly mastered mono films should.
I found it odd that during the bird attack sequences the surround channels came alive. Normally with DiscoVision
pressings, this can be attributed to carrier shift and high-frequency bleed, but the surround channels remained quiet
for all parts of the film, except the attacks. I don't believe it to be intentional, and since it covers many sides,
I don't believe it to be defective discs. It is interesting - and spooky.
DiscoVision technicians saw fit to use the red bumpers when mastering The Birds. The last appearance of this
odd Hitchcock thriller was in the October 1980 update.
MCA Home Video released a new version of The Birds as a 2 sided CLV disc in July 1986 (Catalog #: 11007).
Universal Studios Home Video issued a deluxe edition of the film on DVD in March
2000. This new edition is presented in the films original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.
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Updated: August 1, 2009
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