I gave this movie a casual second look and noticed something tremendous. I’m not claiming this was 100% Hitchcock’s intention, but “The Birds” (1963) can be seen this way:
SPOILER ALERT: mayor SPOILERS ahead. Mind the gap.
The mother’s (Jessica Tandy) biggest fear is to be left alone. The immense flock of birds is a poltergeist-like material phenomenon manifested psychicly by said fear. Even before meeting her, she senses that the woman (Tippi Hedren) is the one for her son (Rod Taylor) and she conjures the birds as an extreme way to stop them from having sex, to prevent them from even being alone together. Maybe unbeknownst to her, she doesn’t seem to know what’s happening and she doesn’t seem to be a witch, but the theme of her fear of abandonment is a prevalent force in the script and in her life.
I’m not sure if this was on Hitchcock’s mind during the filming, but it may be the key to the case of the missing/ altered ending explained in this video by a perplexed Evan Hunter, the screenwriter:
Maybe they didn’t produce the described ending due to budget restrictions, it certainly sounds like an ambitious scene even now, but maybe Hitchcock wanted to keep this double meaning and realized that a worldwide-birds-takeover would have killed that second layer. Or it may just have been random chance, the blind luck great artists possess.
I’m sure I’m not the first person to sense this, it’s a very obvious theme, I can’t believe I didn’t catch it the first time I saw it. I was young and naive, I guess, but the message is there. Boom!