The Birds (1963)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Chic socialite Melanie Daniels enjoys a passing flirtation with an eligible attorney in a San Francisco pet shop and, on an impulse, follows him to his hometown bearing a gift of lovebirds. But upon her arrival, the bird population runs amok. Suddenly, the townsfolk face a massive avian onslaught, with the feathered fiends inexplicably attacking people all over Bodega Bay.

In the years to come, filmmakers would confront the possibility of nuclear war more directly, and yet The Birds’s coda gets at the uncertainties left in the wake of Kennedy’s rise and fall more poetically than most. It’s a vision of a world perched on the verge of apocalypse, with no cavalry left to come in, no savior waiting in the wings and no high hopes—just the whisper-quiet wish for survival.

Adam Nayman (The Ringer)