My Favorite Movies #39 – To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird - PosterTo Kill a Mockingbird

1962

Directed by Robert Mulligan

Quick synopsis… Southern comforts abound in this big-screen adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel as lawyer Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck, in an Oscar-winning role) defends an innocent black man (Brock Peters) against rape charges but ends up in a maelstrom of hate and prejudice. Meanwhile, with help from a friend (John Megna), Finch’s children, Jem (Phillip Alford) and Scout (Mary Badham), set their sights on making contact with a reclusive neighbor (Robert Duvall).

  • It doesn’t matter how you experience this story, it’s always worth experiencing.
  • My first exposure to To Kill a Mockingbird was on the stage.
  • After seeing the play, I decided to read the book… which was decidedly better.
  • I didn’t see the movie until well into adulthood, even though it stars my great uncle Gregory.
  • Just kidding… Gregory Peck is not actually my uncle.
  • He’s technically a cousin.
  • Fun story… a school I once worked in had a kid named Atticus.
  • His teacher asked him if he knew where his name came from.
  • He confidently responded that it’s from a book called “How to Kill a Mockingbird.”
  • Pretty close…
  • A few years ago, I listened to the Audible version of the book, as read by Sissy Spacek.
  • I’m not sure if it’s because I’m older now and have a firmer grasp on the subject matter or what… but I sure did cry listening through it this time around.
  • Rewatching the movie is getting me to tear up, too.
  • Look, I don’t want to give you a blow for blow description of what’s happening in this film.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird is not a fun, popcorn kind of movie, like so many others that make my personal list of favorites.
  • But its subject matter is so important to experience… maybe now more than ever before.
  • The book has been in publication now for 60 years. The movie has been around for 58.
  • Personally, I recommend the book over the movie or the play.
  • If you haven’t yet read or seen To Kill a Mockingbird for yourself, make that a priority.

Next week’s movie is definitely more fun. I mean, when Steve Martin is the star, it’s gotta be funny, right?

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