San Francisco Poster in The Birds (film still from The Birds)

The Birds (1963)

After a couple of establishing shots showing Tippi Hedren walking through San Francisco’s Union Square in The Birds, the actress walks behind a large poster advertising the city (and clueing in anybody who still doesn’t know where the scene is set). The poster serves another purpose, however: it hides a cut.

Before Tippi Hedren walks behind the poster (above), we’re there in San Francisco. By the time she emerges (below), we’ve moved to a studio set, including the exterior of the pet shop.

It’s nicely done, but the lighting is a dead giveaway. You can’t really see it in these stills, but when you watch the scene, look at the shadows on the ground: they’re hardly visible in the location shooting in natural light, but on set, the actors cast multiple, well defined shadows.

3 Responses to “San Francisco Poster in The Birds”

  1. The Wolf Whistle in The Birds

    […] the beginning of The Birds, when Tippi Hedren is walking down the street (having just passed the San Francisco poster), she turns to acknowledge a wolf-whistle from a passing boy. This is an […]

  2. William Z

    What building in San Francisco was used for the exterior shot? Is it still there?

  3. Douglas Henrique

    it was probably shooted here:

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