There are more spectacular scenes in The Birds — the seagull’s-eye view of a town aflame and in chaos, for example — but for sheer Hitchcockian perversion, nothing can top the long, long minute when Tippi Hedren sits outside a schoolhouse, smoking a cigarette, unaware of the dozens, the scores of crows massing on a jungle gym behind her. The film’s special effects are a bit rough around the edges, and the love affair between the characters played by Hedren and Rod Taylor feels incredibly stilted. But The Birds remains one of Hitchcock’s most impressive, and one of his very scariest, movies. The film, after all, takes the ridiculous notion of innumerable, previously harmless creatures suddenly growing murderously aggressive toward humans and, for two hours, makes it plausible. So plausible that, to this day, some of us — I’m not naming any names — prefer not to visit playgrounds if it means we have to sit with a jungle gym behind us.