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Plot: 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 ? Runtime: 129 mins Release Date: 15 Mar 1962
One of the most important films of all time (by FilmOtaku)
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 <more>
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. --Shelly
Enough good things can't be said about this movie. It is undoubtedly one of the best and most moving films ever made. No other racial injustice or discriminatory based movie can even compare with "To Kill a Mockingbird". This movie not only makes you sympathize with those who were being discriminated against, but also those who fought for those people. One of the most moving parts of the movie is when Atticus Finch is leaving the court room and Reverend Sykes tells Scout to "stand up your father is passing".Gregory Peck has always been one of my favorite actors. This <more>
is definitely one of my favorite roles that he has ever played, and he does an excellent job at it. Mary Badham and Philip Alford are excellent as Jem and Scout. Mary Badham became the youngest girl to receive an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress for her role as Scout. Although it had a short time on screen, Robert Duvall's portrayal of "Boo" Radley was one of his very first roles on screen and what better movie than "To Kill a Mockingbird" to kick off your acting career.A great movie of all times.
One of the most memorable and wonderful movies of the 20th century. (by mmr820)
"To Kill A Mockingbird" is truly a much loved and critically-acclaimed film. It is a perfect portrayal of childhood innocence, racial prejudice, moral tolerance and courage. No other words can describe this film except marvellous. The film is so wonderfully done that the audience actually feels as if they were in Alabama during the 1930s. This is a must see for anyone of any age.
Wonderful Social Classic That Echoes Issues of Its Day... (by Don-102)
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is presented like a play in three acts. It is also from the children's perspective. Through the kids, we find that racism is a learned attitude or feeling. We also see a delightful coming of age drama as the young kids realize that there is no Boogeyman down the street and their father is capable of doing a lot more than they think. The great Gregory Peck plays Atticus Finch, a pillar of nobility, social conscience, and, rare for 1930's Americana, a single parent. Peck is such a strong presence, you believe everything about him. It is something you can compare to <more>
America's trust in TV anchorman Walter Cronkite. We always took his word for it.Act one puts Atticus in the background and allows the kids to flourish. Director Robert Mulligan was able to get such realistic performances from non-professional kids. They are amusing and fun to watch. The big mystery lies in the house down the street in this small Georgia town. Who is the monstrous, "6 and a half feet big" legend living in the end house? Some light suspense ensues, while the buildup to a stirring act two is happening. Atticus must defend an African-American man for the alleged rape of a white woman.After threats galore, an unshaken Peck takes to the courtroom jungle in, without a doubt, one of the top 5 court scenes in motion picture history. Brock Peters lends the film its best moments as the accused "negro" on trial. This man has a face chiseled with suffering and deep, deep sorrow. We know Atticus is a good man, a decent human being with a soul. He sees this in his client as well, and in a closing argument that must have roused the civil rights movement, implores the jury to vote justice. An all-male, all-white jury in the 1930's were tough listeners. Peters' breakdown on the stand is one of the most realistic, emotionally saddening moments you'll ever see, especially in Hollywood films of the 1960's. The scene when Peck leaves the courtroom is now legendary as well.Act three produces a tragic death, an unlikely hero, and the bringing together of a family. The filmmakers have such a passion for the material, they seem to handle it with gentleness. Racism is a hard-boiled subject and it is depicted and dealt with through grace and patience. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD poses the injustice of race relations in the 1930's as a front for the events happening in the 1960's. The film came out during turbulent times and was also an adaption of a literary classic. I am one to judge a film solely by film only. The book is a separate art form and should not be compared to the film, an art form itself. It is important, it is enlightening, and it has not aged. Watch it.RATING: 9 of 10
After studying the outstanding book of To Kill A Mockingbird at school, I viewed this film, and was on the whole very impressed. Scout and Jem are portrayed brilliantly, considering the ages of the children who played them, and they, as with everything else in the production, are true to the book's spirit. Gregory Peck is perfect as the unflappable Atticus Finch, and deserved his Oscar. The music is worthy of praise, especially for the climatic scene, and the raw emotion and feeling of the book is amply conveyed. All of the cast are well cast, and it's interesting to ponder how much <more>
this film, at the time, would've shocked. That the book explores racism and outsiders in a southern town, through the eyes of a child is genius and works very nicely here. The only problems are minor- much of the book's counter-balancing humour was left out, certain characters are omitted Dolphus Raymond and Aunt Alexandra , and some of the book's early characterisation is missed. Aside from these gripes, this is a magical film and a "must-see," as a companion piece to the classic novel. 9/10
"To Kill a Mackingbird" -- Memorable Because of What It Doesn't Purport to Being (by cwente2)
After forty-three years, "To Kill a Mockingbird" TKAM remains one of the most effective testimonials to the ravages of ignorance and prejudice ever recorded on film. Asking myself why this gracefully paced narrative has left such an indelible impression on so many, I've concluded it's because the film isn't about what most of its supporters and detractors claim it's about. Not about race or prejudice? . . . No. At its core, TKAM is about "neighbors" and "community", which concept forms the basis for the gravity of its message in the matter of <more>
Tom Robinson.Other films have followed on the familiar theme of racial bigotry and its well-documented devastations. These films have been consistently less effective because we are not asked to think so much, or to connect the history depicted with the histories of our own lives and our own communities.I've performed in two stage versions of TKAM, neither of which benefited from the brilliant input of screenwriter, Horton Foote. Both plays focus, almost exclusively, on the racial element of the story. They, like so many films of later years, come off as "heavy-handed" or "in-your-face" regarding this element. Well . . . "If you think this way -- you're bad." End of story. In TKAM the film , we see a community of poor, unique, and apparently respectable people helping one another through a Depression. In stark contrast and beautifully prepared by the film's creators the injustices meted out to Tom Robinson and his family represent a dramatic anachronism of unthinkable proportions. And, it's as routine, in this gentle Southern community, as a child's fear of a mysterious neighbor, or a shy but happy exchange of hickory nuts for legal services rendered. Memorable? Most emphatically. Think about it. It's what director Mulligan wants us to do.
Warmly prestigious which is both pro and con (by moonspinner55)
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 <more>
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 ****
Classic movie about a small-town Southern advocate including intense court drama , atmospheric scenarios and superb interpretations (by ma-cortes)
Splendid and flavorful rendition based on bestselling novel written by Harper Lee , being perfectly scripted by Horton Foote . The film takes place from the summer of 1932 to October 31, 1933 , Atticus Finch, Gregory Peck's favorite work , who earned a deserved Academy Award , a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man Brock Peters against an undeserved rape charge . Meanwhile , he attempts to explain proceedings to his kids Mary Badham , Philip Alford , trying to understand life and against social prejudice . The most beloved and widely read Pulitzer Prize Winner by <more>
Harper Lee now comes vividly alive on the screen in this magnificent picture , being leisurely narrated and stunningly filmed . Interesting and thought-provoking screenplay by Horton Foote who also earned an Oscar along with Gregory Peck . Well realized and deliberately paced ; being a powerful retelling , including evocative settings , appropriate cinematography in white and black by cameraman Russell Harlan and rousing musical score . Extraordinary acting by Gregory Peck as a small-town advocate at law who defends an African-American accused of rape . Support cast is frankly well ; cast members such as Mary Badham Scout , film debut by Robert Duvall Boo , Frank Overton Heck Tate , Collin Wilcox Paxton Mayella , Ruth White , Richard Hale , Paul Fix , and William Windom Mr. Gilmer , being narrated by Kim Stanley . Mary Badham became the youngest girl to receive an Oscar nomination, ironically losing the award to another child actress, Patty Duke in The miracle worker 1962 . Special mention to Brock Peters , as an inmate , wrongly accused as rapist ; he started to cry while shooting the testifying scene, without rehearsing it this way, and Gregory Peck said that he had to look past him, instead of looking him in the eye, without choking up himself . With the death of Rosemary Murphy Maudie Atkinson on July 5, 2014, Robert Duvall Boo Radley is the film's last surviving adult cast member . Sensitive as well as evocative musical score by the great Elmer Bernstein ; the piano in Elmer Bernstein's score was played by John Williams . Adequate production and set design , as Art directors Alexander Golitzen and Henry Bumstead had an entire reconstruction of the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, built on the Universal backlot at a cost of $225,000 , as the set contained more than 30 buildings . The motion picture was magnificently directed by Robert Mulligan . Robert's way of handling his child actors was to let them play together while keeping the cameras as unobtrusive as possible. It is the first of six films director Robert Mulligan made with his producer partner, Alan J. Pakula . Director Robert Mulligan and producer Alan J. Pakula traveled to Harper Lee's hometown of Monroeville but found it unsuitable for filming , the town had been modernized ; therefore the production team constructed their own ideal version of Monroeville on a backlot at Universal . Robert Mulligan was a good filmmaker expert on dramas such as he proved in ¨Bloodbrothers¨ , ¨Baby the rain must fall¨, ¨Kiss me goodbye¨ , ¨Same time , next year¨ , ¨The Nickel Ride¨, ¨The man in the moon¨ , being his greatest successes the followings : the eerie tale of supernatural titled ¨The other¨, the adolescent drama ¨Summer of 42¨ and this ¨¨To kill a mockingbird¨ . The latter ranked #1 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Courtroom Drama" and in 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #25 Greatest Movie of All Time.
Great family drama through children's viewpoint (by Dormo)
The film is unique in it's viewpoint, being that of the children in the movie and especially that of it's narrator , the girl "scout".With that viewpoint, the film deals with mature adult matters as seen through the children's eyes. It thrusts us into their world with their playfulness and fears, especially from their mad next door Neighbor.There are certain scenes that are depicted as horror with the right lighting and music to accompany them , for it is the childhood fears that are depicted there , thus letting us experience it through their eyes.The children are there <more>
in almost every scene, whether as witnesses or as the main attention. The child actors give some of the best performances I have ever seen of actors their age. They truly behave like kids do, and not like child actors acting as children, they are truly believable. And let's not forget Gregory Peck giving one of his best performances as the loving protecting father on one side, and the protector of justice on the other, as he is defending an innocent black man in the racist American south.In conclusion a great family drama, told with tenderness and care, depicted through the eyes of the children.