Day 8: Grateful Finally to Solve a Hitchcock Mystery

Tippi Hedren and Edith Head's Costume for The Birds

Tippi Hedren and Edith Head’s Costume for The Birds

Later today, I’ll be heading down the road about 60 miles to Charlottesville to see Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds at the historic Paramount Theater. Afterward, there will be a live Q&A session with Tippi Hedren, icy blonde star of the movie, and, oh, by the way, Melanie Griffith’s mother.

The event is a highlight of the 2013 Virginia Film Festival.

I generally love Hitchcock; The Birds not so much.

Maybe it’s because I am always distracted by the suit. The trim, slim, sickly green Edith Head suit that Hedren wore through 90 percent of the action.

That thing has driven me crazy for years.

Hedren’s character arrives in town wearing it. She suddenly decides to stay for the weekend although she is carrying nary a purse, so far as I can remember, nor a toothbrush. That suit doesn’t even have useable pockets, for Heaven’s sake.

For me, that’s it  for suspension of disbelief.

Am I really supposed to accept that this soigne dame finds everything she needs at a general store so poorly equipped they stuff her one apparent purchase–a spinsterish flannel nightgown–in a rumpled paper sack?


And what in the world is she doing for underwear?

Does she rinse it out overnight? Is she wearing a girdle? Where is she stashing the extra hairpins and can of shellac she surely needs to keep that French twist so tightly wound through the early bird attacks?

Those are the great questions of this movie to me. If I screw my courage to the sticking place, I just might stand up and ask them. I hope Security doesn’t drag me away.

Although if they do, any woman who has never learned how to pack light and has been told by a man, “If you forget anything, you can just buy it when you get there” will cheer me.

I’ll bet Alfred Hitchcock’s wife would.

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How do you feel about packing light, The Birds,  or Tippi Hedren? Just click on Leave a Comment below.

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