To Kill a Mockingbird

March 16th, 1963







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Still of Gregory Peck in To Kill a MockingbirdStill of Gregory Peck and Harper Lee in To Kill a MockingbirdStill of Gregory Peck and Mary Badham in To Kill a MockingbirdStill of Gregory Peck and Mary Badham in To Kill a MockingbirdStill of Gregory Peck in To Kill a MockingbirdStill of Mary Badham and Phillip Alford in To Kill a Mockingbird

Plot
Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.

Release Year: 1962

Rating: 8.5/10 (106,705 voted)

Director: Robert Mulligan

Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton

Storyline
Based on Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning book of 1960. Atticus Finch is a lawyer in a racially divided Alabama town in the 1930s. He agrees to defend a young black man who is accused of raping a white woman. Many of the townspeople try to get Atticus to pull out of the trial, but he decides to go ahead. How will the trial turn out - and will it change any of the racial tension in the town ?

Writers: Harper Lee, Horton Foote

Cast:
Gregory Peck - Atticus Finch
John Megna - Dill Harris
Frank Overton - Sheriff Heck Tate
Rosemary Murphy - Maudie Atkinson
Ruth White - Mrs. Dubose
Brock Peters - Tom Robinson
Estelle Evans - Calpurnia
Paul Fix - Judge Taylor
Collin Wilcox Paxton - Mayella Violet Ewell (as Collin Wilcox)
James Anderson - Bob Ewell
Alice Ghostley - Aunt Stephanie Crawford
Robert Duvall - Boo Radley
William Windom - Mr. Gilmer - Prosecutor
Crahan Denton - Walter Cunningham Sr.
Richard Hale - Nathan Radley

Taglines: If you have read the novel, you will relive every treasured moment. . .If not, a deeply moving experience awaits you!

Release Date: 16 March 1963

Filming Locations: Courthouse Square, Backlot, Universal Studios - 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross: $13,129,846 (USA) (1963)



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:
Ruth White would spend 4 hours getting into old age make-up, only for most of her scenes to end up cut from the film as they tended to slow it up.

Goofs:
Continuity: When Mr. Gilmer gets up to cross examine Tom Robinson, he walks past the seated Atticus at the defense table. You can only see the arm of the person as he walks by the table. The person who walks by is wearing a short-sleeved black t-shirt (he is probably a production stand in). When Mr. Gilmer reaches the witness, he is wearing the same light colored suit he has worn throughout the entire trial, which covers his entire arm.

Quotes:
Atticus Finch: Do you know what a compromise is?
Scout: Bendin' the law?
Atticus Finch: [slightly bemused] Uh, no. It's an agreement reached by mutual consent. Now, here's the way it works. You concede the necessity of goin' to school, we'll keep right on readin' the same every night, just as we always have. Is that a bargain?



User Review

One of the most important films of all time

Rating: 10/10

To Kill a Mockingbird is the movie based on the Harper Lee novel of the same name about Scout, Jem and their father, Atticus Finch who is an attorney in a small southern town. It is both a coming of age story about the children as well as a hard-hitting drama, as Atticus defends a black man who is on trial for the rape of a white woman.

This review is not an easy one to write, despite the fact that I have seen this film at least 10 times. The reason it does not come easily is that this is one of the most personally important films I have ever seen and is in my personal `Top Five of All Time'. I'm certain there is nothing that can be said about the film that has not already been repeated a multitude of times, so I guess the best thing to do is explain why the film is so important to me.

I first saw this film several years ago and was so profoundly affected by it that I immediately watched it again. Of course, the defense of a man wrongly accused of a crime is a common story line, but To Kill a Mockingbird stands out as an exceptional example for several reasons. Among them, the date that the film was released: 1962, on the cusp of the civil rights movement in America, and the fact that it takes place in the south in the 1930's. It is also far from the first film to explore the experiences of children and their own personal growth, but To Kill a Mockingbird stands out because of its sheer honesty and natural performances by the child actors portraying these rich characters.

But most of all, this film is special because of Gregory Peck's portrayal of Atticus Finch, a true hero. At the risk of sounding histrionic, my heart aches when I watch him on screen because he is such an incredible man, and is so inherently good. No matter how many times I have seen this film, I smile when I see his interaction with his children, and I well with tears when I see his incredible strength of character. (No easy feat to break through the armor of this cynical film geek who, if given the chance would remake at least a few dozen films with tragic endings.) I was sitting in my car listening to National Public Radio recently the day Gregory Peck died, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I sat and cried hearing the retrospective they offered – mainly because the man who portrayed my own personal cinematic hero was gone, but also because Peck lived his life with the same conviction as his best known role; a fact that makes Atticus Finch all the more tangible. The American Film Institute recently named Atticus Finch the number one hero of all time, a choice I consider both brave and insightful in an age where our heroes generally either wield weapons or have super human physical strength. Atticus Finch fights evil as well, but with his strong moral fiber and his mind.

To Kill a Mockingbird is generally required reading during the course of one's education. If you have not read it, do so. If you have not seen the film, do so; and share it with others. It is an exceptional film that stands the test of time and will remain an important addition to film history for as long as the genre exists.

--Shelly









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