To Kill a Mockingbird
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?