The Birds

Question: When the birds attack the town a gas station attendant is hit by a bird and drops the gas hose he is using to fill a car. The gasoline flows down the street and under a car; a man drops a match and lights the gas causing an explosion. Why didn't the gas pump shut off when the man dropped it?

michael g

Answer: The movie takes place in the 1960s, so presumably gas pumps worked a bit differently back then. There may not have been automatic shut-offs, or if there was, it was faulty.

raywest Premium member

The automatic shut off is in the handle of the hose. When a person grips the handle they have to lift a levered switch to allow gas flow; the lever is spring loaded so that if it is released the gas will stop flowing. I have looked at older antique gas pumps and they are all the same; even the visible glass gravity flow ones. If that hose was dropped the the gas should have stopped flowing.

michael g

Question: What's making the birds go insane and attack people?

Answer: It is never explained, probably because it would ruin the mystery of the film to spell it out.

Answer: None of the characters knew why the birds attacked, or the reason it was confined to the one town of Bodega Bay. The incident was so isolated that the outside news media was barely aware it was occurring or knew its severity, so there was no investigation into it at the time. Alfred Hitchc0ck's explanation was that the birds were rising up against humans to punish them for taking nature for granted.

raywest Premium member

Question: What is said on the radio in the car at the end of the film?

Answer: "The bird attacks have subsided for the time being. Bodega Bay seems to be the centre, though there are reports of minor attacks on Sebastopol and a few on Santa Rosa. Bodega Bay has been cordoned off by roadblocks. Most of the townspeople have managed to get out, but there are still some isolated pockets of people. No decision has been arrived at yet as to what the next step will be, but there's been some discussion as to whether the military should go in. It appears that the bird attacks come in waves, with long intervals between. The reason for this does not seem clear as yet."

Hamster Premium member

Continuity mistake: A blond boy in a light brown shirt is attacked by a crow and goes from having no blood on his neck to having a lot of blood smeared on his neck between shots. (01:14:10)

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