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)
Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton
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
Sheriff Heck Tate
Collin Wilcox Paxton
Mayella Violet Ewell
(as Collin Wilcox)
Aunt Stephanie Crawford
Mr. Gilmer – Prosecutor
Walter Cunningham Sr.
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
Did You Know?
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.
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.
Do you know what a compromise is?
Bendin' the law?
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?
One of the most important films of all time
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.