THE BIRDS: An enigmatic short story by Daphne du Maurier has been expanded into an even more puzzling full-length movie by director Alfred Hitchcock and screenwriter Evan Hunter, with the locale changed from a Cornish farm to a California coastal resort. No explanation is ever given for the sudden ferocity of millions of birds which begin pecking humans to death. Hitchcock takes a long time to get his mood established, but the terror really chills the blood before the perplexing finale.
iSP1 DR. NO: This is the first of lan Fleming’s droll, nasty and absorbing spy thrillers to reach the screen. It augurs well for the future of the series. A rugged Scot with an Irish name, Sean Connery, plausibly portrays the indestructible James Bond, British Secret Service agent 007, a tough and amorous sophisticate who believes that every sweater-girl should have the wool pulled over her eyes. Bond’s title-role antagonist (played in the style of Fu Manchu by Joseph Wiseman, formerly of Montreal) is a part-
Chinese scientist plotting havoc from his private atomic plant in the Caribbean. Ursula Andress, Zena Marshall and Eunice Gayson are prominent among our beleaguered hero’s playmates.
£5P THE MAN FROM THE DINERS’ CLUB: A Danny Kaye comedy, more suited to Jerry Lewis than to its engaging star. He appears as a credit-card junior executive who gets involved with a jolly, homicidal racketeer (Telly Savalas) while trying to protect his job and marry Martha Hyer. A lively Keystone chase at the finish fails to atone for the witless episodes which precede it. Cara Williams, as a leggy lush, evokes a few laughs along the way.
Î5P THE RAVEN: The official ballyhoo promises an avalanche of horror, but the film itself is an intentional burlesque — and, for the most part, very funny. The climax is a farcical duel between master sorcerers Boris Karloff and Vincent Price. The raven — actually dear old Peter Lorre under a spell — is considerably more garrulous than Edgar Allan Poe’s morose blackbird, ostensibly the inspiration for the screenplay.
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