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To Kill a Mockingbird
Year:
1962
Country:
USA
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Mystery
IMDB rating:
8.4
Director:
Robert Mulligan
Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch
John Megna as Charles Baker 'Dill' Harris
Frank Overton as Sheriff Heck Tate
Rosemary Murphy as Maudie Atkinson
Ruth White as Mrs. Dubose
Brock Peters as Tom Robinson
Estelle Evans as Calpurnia
Paul Fix as Judge Taylor
Collin Wilcox Paxton as Mayella Violet Ewell
James Anderson as Robert E. Lee 'Bob' Ewell
Alice Ghostley as Aunt Stephanie Crawford
Robert Duvall as Arthur 'Boo' Radley
William Windom as Mr. Gilmer, Prosecutor
Crahan Denton as Walter Cunningham Sr.
Storyline: Based on Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning book of 1961. 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 ?
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Reviews
Any man could become a great father, but few could become a Daddy
Anyone who has had an awesome childhood will find "To kill a mocking bird" a fascinating movie. Moreover, anyone who has had a complicated interrelationship with their father will also be totally absorbed by the film. The movie starts with a delightful chronicle spoken by middle age Scout( Jean louise) .The narrative was both warm and somehow Intellectually nourishing:"(you have) nothing to fear but fear itself."

The young six year-old Scout (girl) is curious joyful and really active, able to read before school, asking all the questions that jump into her head and readily greets with neighbors and almost everyone and radically honest and frank in her conversations with people. From the beginning Atticus(father) seems to be a prestigious, self- controlled man and smartness drips drop drop drop from his words from the very commencement:" (I would like to thank Mr Cunningham) but I think it embarrasses him to be thanked." He is a prominent lawyer and is respected by citizens.

Jem (boy) shows up on a tree on his first scene. Demanding his father to come and play football while he refuses believing he is too old for that. So the simple conclusion is that Jem is unruly. They meet Dill, conservative coward but thoughtful boy, and a typical childish group establishes. Jem rules the group, Dill is sort of his protégé and Scout's curiosity makes her follow them. then classic secretive house with mysterious and frightening story behind it (Radely place) comes along and ….

A black guy is convicted of raping a white girl and judge appoints Aticuss as his advocate. Though the trial was so lame,both the subject of crime and conversations but Mayella(raped girl) acted a notable scene saying her dialogues passionately in wrath. Moreover the decision of jury was promising for the story, since audience expected Tom claimed to be innocent but announcing him guilty, in my book, was a practical peak in the storyline. besides, when black community stood for Atticus leaving the court even when he was defeated was profoundly effective scene and a great way of teaching respect : "Miss Jean Louise(scout), Miss Jean Louise. stand up. Your father's passing."

Overall, since the movie was released on the cusp of the civil right movements in united states ,it could be considered highly influential both in Justice and Racism. attacking prejudice against black people , racism and inappropriate social protocols made the movie an epitome of ideology. In other hand, " To kill a mocking bird" from the children and family point of view is totally a masterpiece. a manifesto of a nice family that has lost the mother. It is almost inevitable to smile when Atticus interacts with his children. As if I will finish with emotionally breath taking conversation of Jem with Scout in their bedroom before they go to sleep: " -jem? -yeah? -how old was I when mamma died? -two -how old were you? -six -as old as I am now? -uhummm -Was mamma pretty? - uhummm -was mama nice? - uhummm -did you love her? -yea -did I love her ? -yes - do you miss her? - uhummm(jem going to sleep) "
2012-08-08
Life in the Deep South during the Depression...
I first saw this movie, and read Harper Lee's prize-winning novel, when I was in High School. And the subject matter has stood the test of time...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' would have to be one of the classic on-screen court-room dramas and Gregory Peck once said that his award-winning portrayal of Atticus Finch, a small-town lawyer during the Depression, was his crowning achievement as an actor.

The other character dominating the movie is 'Scout', Atticus' school-age daughter, who seems like she would rather be a boy at times. Her adult character (never seen on screen) acts as a narrator, quietly reflecting on and interpreting some of what we see.

'Jem' is Scout's older brother. Jem and Scout's mother had passed away previously and there is a touching scene early in the film where the children quietly remember their mother and are overheard by Atticus. At the same time Sheriff Tate arrives to offer Atticus the most difficult case of his career -- that of Tom Robinson.

Tom is an African-American and race relations in the 'Deep South' is another major theme of the film. Tom has been accused by a white woman, and will face a white judge and white jury. Some might say that the movie points to social inequalities and the fallibility of our judicial system.

The movie is filmed in black and white and this seemed wholly appropriate given the subject matter and austere setting. It's a poignant movie that can be enjoyed many times over...
2005-05-27
This bird don't sing
This much-praised movie is about a lawyer and his children living in a racially divisive South in the 1930s. Although the central theme concerns the lawyer defending a black man accused of raping a white woman, much of the film is devoted to the exploits of the children as they play games and make trouble. Therein lies the problem. Watching the children at play is only mildly interesting. The focus shifts to the rape trial for a while and then its back to the children and a weird neighbor (Duvall), who seems to be from another movie. The film is poorly constructed, lacking focus. Peck is good as Finch, who is portrayed as a decent fellow but certainly not the greatest hero in American cinema as AFI would have us believe. Considering its reputation, a very disappointing film.
2006-05-12
Fairly engaging, just a rather old movie
To Kill A Mockingbird was fairly engaging considering it was a movie that was shot in the 1960s. Although I will say that it does start off rather slow but right around when Tom Robinson's court case starts the movie starts to pick up and become a more interesting movie. Another good thing about this movie is that other than skipping a few parts it was a lot like the book that was written and the book was very well done as well. I think the only weakness of this movie is that it was shot in the 1960s so being so old the acting isn't always as great and it was in black and white which can also be less appealing to some people, mainly teenagers that haven't been exposed to black and white movies and might not like them as much. All in all, it was a pretty solid movie, Gregory Peck did a very good job acting as Atticus Finch, although the rest of the acting wasn't that great but that wasn't all that relevant because Atticus was really the main guy to watch in the movie. I'd say give it a watch unless you aren't interested in black and white or old movies.
2015-04-13
Our Greatest Film Hero
When the American Film Institute polled its members and they selected Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch as the greatest hero on film ever, the selection was met with very few dissenters. I'm sure not going to argue the merits of the choice. But I do have a theory as to why.

Gregory Peck for the most part played decent honorable thinking men in his films. A few films like Duel in the Sun and The Boys from Brazil have him as a villain, but the public never accepted him really in those parts.

Few of us in our lives can be Horatio Hornblower or spike the Guns of Navarone or command a submarine as in On the Beach. But Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird is well within our grasp. He's a small town lawyer, raising his children as a single parent and most of all trying to lead them by example. The performances of Mary Badham and Philip Alford show the kids have learned it very well as does the uncredited narration of Kim Stanley as the grown-up Scout.

Atticus Finch is a very attainable ideal. It is I believe the secret of the popularity of both the book and the film.

To Kill a Mockingbird is the story of Atticus Finch and his family during the Thirties in rural Alabama. The action takes place over several months of a given year. The most important part of the film deals with Finch defending a black man for allegedly raping a white woman.

It's a thankless task and Finch knows it, because he knows the attitudes of the people there, those who would make up an all white jury. Still he proceeds with courage and determination. His summation to the jury is a film classic and Peck's innate decency is nicely counterbalanced by William Windom's prosecutor who smirks through out the trial knowing he just has to play the race card to win.

Other outstanding performances are Brock Peters as the man Peck is defending, James Anderson as the father of the girl he's accused of violating, and Frank Overton as the county sheriff.

This film was the debut of Robert Duvall in the part of Boo Radley who plays the autistic neighbor of the Finches. No dialog at all for Duvall who conveys great and pained emotion with a series of expressions that are unforgettable. Duvall played a similar role in another Peck film, Captain Newman, MD.

Gregory Peck got the Best Actor Award for 1962. He was up against some very stiff competition that year. Peck beat out Jack Lemmon for Days of Wine and Roses, Burt Lancaster for Birdman of Alcatraz, Peter O'Toole for Lawrence of Arabia and Marcello Mastroianni for Divorce Italian style.

No doubt sentiment did play a part in the final award. Lemmon and Lancaster had already gotten Oscars and O'Toole and Mastroianni were relative newcomers. But I sure think the Academy selection that year has stood the test of time.

This film has sure stood the same test.
2006-01-27
Warmly prestigious (which is both pro and con)
Well-made film from Harper Lee's controversial but justly-celebrated book with Gregory Peck standing pensively tall and mighty as Atticus Finch, one of the most warmly regarded literary figures of the past century. Mary Badham does sterling work as a young white girl in the South watching with interest as her lawyer-father defends a black man on trial for raping a white woman. The coming-of-age dramatics and the rural atmospherics are ladled smoothly but thickly, and the juxtaposition with the heated courtroom theatrics is a bit bumpy; still, all the trial scenes are riveting, and Peck certainly earns his Best Actor Oscar with his fatherly approach and quiet grace. The film is difficult at times and perhaps tries too hard at others (it has a heavy spirit), but it's also quite rich as a character-study and it has a profound affect on many people. *** from ****
2005-11-13
To Kill a Mockingbird
When I was in high school, I had to read the book. I was not a fan of the book at all, but then again I had no care for the idea of reading back then. After reading it, we also had to watch the movie. Again, I was not a fan of it. But, re-watching it now, I have come to realize that in fact it really was a great film. It had great camera work, lighting, and fantastic actors to it all. I am sure that Harper was very proud of how her book came out into the adaptation of a film, because it is in fact a spectacular film where you feel immersed into the entirety of it. You feel like you're in the court room during the case, in the houses of the characters, and have feelings for when all the action takes place. It truly is a fantastic film. Maybe it is time to go and reread the book as well.
2017-05-11
'Do you know what a compromise is?'
To Kill a Mockingbird is pretty famous in my household. My mom loved Gregory Peck's portrayal of the integrity-filled, honest, caring, patient father so much that she named my brother Atticus. It was a running quotation when I was growing up to say, "Do you know what a compromise is?" with a little Southern drawl. I know my family is one of millions who have tried to emulate Gregory Peck's clipped pronunciation of "Scout"; that one word is another one of our famous and long-running movie quotations.

Unfortunately, there's nothing more American than racism, and in this adaptation of one of the most iconic American novels, lawyer Atticus Finch defends a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. Since it's the South, you can only imagine the backlash he and his family receive from the community when he steps up to give Tom Robinson his right to a fair trial. As in the novel, the story is told from the point of view of Scout, Atticus's young daughter. Mary Badham plays Scout, and she's not only adorable, but completely earned her Oscar nomination. She was only ten years old, and the youngest actress to be nominated at that time!

To Kill a Mockingbird marks Gregory Peck's most famous role, and while everyone knows the famous "In the name of God" powerful courtroom speech, his performance isn't just a "Gregory Peck role". He's a caring, concerned father, and the scenes between Greg and Mary are beautiful. Greg won an Oscar for his performance, and the film also picked up statues for Adapted Screenplay and Art Direction. Elmer Bernstein's lovely theme was nominated, but it was hard to compete against Laurence of Arabia, which took the music, director, and picture awards away from To Kill a Mockingbird. This is a real American classic, so if you're that one person in the country who hasn't yet seen it, rent it so you can join in the conversation with all your family and friends. Even if you're particularly attached to the novel and don't generally like film adaptations, give it a chance. Harper Lee herself loved the movie and thought Gregory Peck's performance was so wonderful, she gave him her father's (the real Atticus Finch) pocket watch. Peck's grandson is named Harper, which is really sweet, and it shows just how much this role and film meant to him and his family.
2017-08-10
Sorry to be so picky
I'm sorry I don't really like this film, much as I approve of its goal. It has many good things: heavenly music, great black and white cinematography, likable young actors (who alas, did not have much of a career), noble purpose, pleasantly slow pacing. But all this does not coalesce into greatness. The drama is too overwrought, long-winded, and there is never any doubt who the good guy is. I especially disliked the courtroom scene with its histrionics revolving around a tawdry subject. It clashes with the film's overall dreamy lyricism. I tend to dislike films based on novels. Their dramatic shape is never quite right. Give me filmed plays anytime. I'm sad that John Megna died young and that there isn't more of him on screen. He had a poignancy.

2002-03-03
Sorry, folks...
(Possible spoilers) Surely Harper Lee's morality tale was an impressive filming of an essential novel in 1962, but from the vantage point of four decades-plus it's an old-smoothie job -- respectful, careful, and entirely too pleased with itself. It's in black and white, and so are its issues -- you know from the first shot of the Ewells, from costuming, lighting, and angle, that they're white trash; you know from the first ennobling look at Tom Robinson that he's an innocent victim. You never have to think -- the movie tells you what you're supposed to think and feel at every juncture.

Peck's Finch is a plaster saint; I suspect that the praise heaped on him, and the Oscar, has more to do with the quiet heroism of the character (who wouldn't want a father, a lawyer -- heck, a President -- like Atticus Finch?) than any great acting on his part. The storytelling strains credibility at some crucial junctures: Surely the redneck lynching crowd wouldn't be dispersed that readily by The Simple Wholesome Innocence of a Child, and does Atticus have to be, on top of everything else, a crackerjack rifleman? There's Elmer Bernstein's treacly scoring to underline the already over emphatic pontificating, and the photography, handsome as it is, pretties up a small Southern town in the Depression perhaps more than necessary. On the plus side, yes, it's an unusually up-close and incisive look at the growing pains of early childhood, and Mary Badham's Scout hits remarkably few false notes. Pauline Kael once dismissed it, scornfully, as "a movie the industry can be proud of," and I know what she meant -- its prime function seems to be to allow non-bigots to congratulate themselves on their open minds. The fact that its viewpoint is right, proper, and laudable doesn't make the movie any less smug.
2004-09-14
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