While she did more than fifty movies for the cinema and TV in the course of her life, exactly two of them made her immortal forever. In 1962 and 1963, the two legendary classics THE BIRDS and MARNIE were produced under the direction of Alfred Hitchcock, starring Tippi Hedren at the age of just about thirty.
The rest is history.
Hitchcock had discovered pictures of the blonde model in a magazine and was virtually obsessed by the young woman from the very first moment. Down to the most thorough detail, he defined the looks, appearance and performance of the inexperienced Tippi Hedren in the part of the wealthy party girl Melanie Daniels in THE BIRDS at first, followed by the role of the enigmatic Marnie in the film by the same name. “It’s a remarkable gesturalism“, wrote Camille Paglia about Hedren’s performance, “raised to the level of choreography“. While according to the semi-official version of their legendary collaboration - which eventually failed because of Hitchock’s obsession - “Hitchcock made her with THE BIRDS and maybe tried to ruin her with MARNIE”, it also marked two rather exceptional moments in the history of film.
Featuring THE BIRDS as part of this year’s great retrospective as well as a gala presentation of MARNIE in the presence of Tippi Hedren, the Viennale pays special tribute to that exceptional actress.