It’s an old story: as the source of a success the writer is often the first forgotten and the last remembered. I always hate it when that happens â€” and especially when the scrub is perpetuated by another writer! Well, it happened today in an LA Times story looking at the implications and causes of the recent mass bird die-offs. In aÂ sidebar to the feature, staffwriter Amina Kahn makes a case that a 1961 incident around Monterey Bay was director Alfred Hitchcock’s inspiration for his 1963 film “The Birds.”
As a footsoldier in the Army of St. Jude fighting the never-ending battle for lost causes, I was compelled to point out such a regrettable oversight to Khan:
You connect Hitchcock’s “The Birds” to an alleged mass bird anomaly he heard about while vacationing in the area, but the true source for the movie wasn’t any acid-induced incident near Monterey Bay. Rather it was the imagination of writer Daphne Du Maurier, whose 1952 novella of the same name was Hitchcock’s true inspiration. Whether you or your editors were unaware of that or just elected to exclude it, either way It’s disappointing that fact wasn’t mentioned.