18 January 2014

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird 1962
  • Director: Robert Mulligan
  • Based on novel by Harper Lee
  • Cast: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford, John Megna, Brock Peters, Paul Fix, Collin Paxton,  Alice Ghostley, Robert Duvall
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Gregory Peck: Guns of Navarone Moby Dick, David and Bathsheba and probably many more
    • Mary Badham: This Property is Condemned
    • Phillip Alford: Shenandoah
    • John Megna: Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte
    • Brock Peters: Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, Soylent Green, The L-Shaped Room, old TV series
    • Paul Fix: old TV series
    • Collin Paxton: Catch 22, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and old TV series
    • Alice Ghostley: Grease, The Graduate and old TV series
    • Robert Duvall: Sling Blade, The Stars Fell on Henrietta, Apocalypse Now, MASH and old TV series
  • Why? A must have, a must see
  • Seen: 4-5 times. Now: January 12, 2014 
       One of the best books ever written was made into one of the best films of the 60’s. It’s among my all-time favorites and this viewing doesn’t change that.  If I must find something negative it’s possibly that the bad guy Ewell is too sleazily bad and Atticus is too good to be true. So the characters are too black and white (sorry).
       Another criticism – the townspeople are a little too good-hearted, the poor farmers too yokelly. I’m sure in the small towns of the south (and the north) in the 30’s, the good people were just as racist as the farmers. 
       The story is in itself entirely realistic. A black man, Tom Robinson, is accused of raping a white woman. Small town lawyer Atticus Finch defends him, proving that Robinson is completely innocent of all charges. A widower, Atticus teaches his young children the values of human rights and dignity. Gregory Peck is so good in the role that I believe in him completely.  And the kids are perfect.
       There are many moments that bring tears to my eyes, especially tiny Scout taking deathly pale recluse Boo Radley by the hand and sitting on the porch swing with him, the man who had been so scary in the children’s imagination.
       If you haven’t read the book, read it.  If you haven’t seen the film, see it.

4 ½ * of 5  

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