- To Kill a Mockingbird (film)
name = To Kill a Mockingbird
image_size = 215px
caption = original release poster
Alan J. Pakula
Harper Lee"(novel)" Horton Foote
Gregory Peck Mary Badham Phillip Alford Robert Duvall
editing = Aaron Stell
released = 25 December fy|1962
runtime = 128 minutes
country = FilmUS
language = English
budget = $2,000,000
gross = $20,629,846
imdb_id = 0056592
"To Kill a Mockingbird" is a fy|1962
drama filmdirected by Robert Mulliganand based on the novel of the same name by Harper Lee. The film stars Gregory Peckin the role of Atticus Finch. In 2007, it was ranked twenty-fifth on the American Film Institute's 10th anniversary list of the greatest American movies of all time. Today, the film is in the public domainin the United States because of missing copyright indication.
Through the eyes of "Scout (
Mary Badham), a feisty six-year-old tomboy, the story carries us on an odyssey through the fires of prejudice and injustice in 1932 Alabama. Presenting her tale first as a sweetly lulling reminiscence of events from her childhood, the narrator draws us near with stories of daring neighborhood exploits by Scout, her brother "Jem" ( Phillip Alford), and their friend "Dill" ( John Megna). Peopled with a cast of eccentrics, Maycomb finds itself the venue of the trial of Tom Robinson ( Brock Peters), a young black man falsely accused of raping an ignorant white woman. Atticus Finch( Gregory Peck), Scout and Jem's widower father and a deeply principled man, is appointed to defend Tom for whom a guilty verdict from an all-white jury is a foregone conclusion. Juxtaposed against the story of the trial is the children's hit and run relationship with Boo Radley ( Robert Duvall), a shut-in whom the children and Dill's Aunt Rachel suspect of insanity and whom no one has seen in recent history. Cigar-box treasures, found in the knot hole of a tree near the ramshackle Radley house, temper the children's judgment of Boo. "You never know someone," Atticus tells Scout, "until you step inside their skin and walk around a little." But fear keeps them at a distance until one night, in streetlight and shadows, the children confront an evil born of ignorance and blind hatred and must somehow find their way home.
Production and reception
The character of Atticus in this movie has been deemed the #1 greatest hero of American film, as rated by the
American Film Institute. [ [http://www.afi.com/tvevents/100years/handv.aspx AFI's 100 Years List] ] It is also Robert Duvall's big-screen debut, as the misunderstood recluse Boo Radley. The movie was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning three. In 1995, "To Kill a Mockingbird" was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registryby the Library of Congressas being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Phillip Alford, who played the role of Jem, did not initially want to audition for the part. However, when his mother informed him that he would miss a half day of school, he quickly changed his mind. Additionally, he became upset during the filming of the scene at the breakfast table, when Mary Badham, who played Scout, had trouble performing the scene properly. By way of retaliating, during the scene where Jem rolls Scout in a tire, he intentionally rolled the tire toward an equipment truck. [ [http://imdb.com/title/tt0056592/trivia "To Kill a Mockingbird" Movie Page] ]
According to Kim Hamilton, who played the part of Helen Robinson in the movie, Gregory Peck was the consummate gentleman. She recalled a scene where her character collapses after hearing the news of her husband's death, and Peck, as Atticus, picks her up and carries her into the house. "He was such a gentleman," she says. "I never forgot that."
Gregory Peck's performance became synonymous with the role and character of Atticus Finch. Alan J. Pakula remembered hearing from Peck when he was first approached with the role: "He called back immediately. No maybes. The fit was among the most natural things about a most natural film. I must say the man and the character he played were not unalike."Nichols, Peter. "Time Can't Kill 'Mockingbird'; [Review] ." "New York Times":
February 27, 1998. pg. E.1] Peck later said in an interview that he was drawn to the role because the book reminded him of growing up in La Jolla, California.King, Susan. "How the Finch Stole Christmas; Q & A WITH GREGORY PECK." "Los Angeles Times": December 22, 1997. pg. 1] "Hardly a day passes that I don't think how lucky I was to be cast in that film," Peck said in a 1997 interview. "I recently sat at a dinner next to a woman who saw it when she was 14 years old, and she said it changed her life. I hear things like that all the time."Bobbin, Jay. "Gregory Peck is Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird." "Birmingham News" (Alabama): December 21, 1997Pg. 1F.]
Upon Peck's death in 2003,
Brock Peters, who played Tom Robinson in the film version, quoted Harper Lee at Peck's eulogy, saying, "Atticus Finch gave him an opportunity to play himself". Peters concluded his eulogy stating, "To my friend Gregory Peck, to my friend Atticus Finch, vaya con Dios." [Hoffman, Allison, Rubin, H. "Peck Memorial Honors Beloved Actor and Man; The longtime star is remembered for his integrity and constancy." "Los Angeles Times": June 17, 2003. pg. B.1.] Peters remembered the role of Tom Robinson when he recalled, "It certainly is one of my proudest achievements in life, one of the happiest participations in film or theater I have experienced." [Oliver, Myrna. "Obituaries; Brock Peters, 78; Stage, Screen, TV Actor Noted for Role in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'; " "Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles, Calif.: August 24, 2005. pg. B.8.] Peters remained friends not only with Peck but with Mary Badham throughout his life.
American Film Institutenamed Atticus Finch the greatest movie hero of the 20th century. Additionally, the AFI ranked the movie second on their 100 Cheers list, behind " It's a Wonderful Life", and twenty-fifth on the list of greatest American films of all time. [ [http://imdb.com/title/tt0056592/trivia "To Kill a Mockingbird" Movie Page] ] In June 2008, the AFI revealed its "Ten top Ten"—the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. "To Kill a Mockingbird" was acknowledged as the best film in the courtroom drama genre. [cite news | publisher = American Film Institute| title = AFI's 10 Top 10 | date = 2008-06-17| url = http://www.afi.com/10top10/crdrama.html | accessdate=2008-06-18]
In 2007, Hamilton was honored by the
Harlemcommunity for her part in the movie. She is the last surviving African-American adult who had a speaking part in the movie. When told of the award, she said, "I think it is terrific. I'm very pleased and very surprised." [http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2007-12-11-mockingbird_N.htm "Harlem community honors 'Mockingbird' actress"] from the "USA Today".]
*"The most beloved and widely read Pulitzer Prize Winner now comes vividly alive on the screen!"
*"The most beloved Pulitzer Prize book now comes vividly alive on the screen!"
*"If you have read the novel, you will relive every treasured moment...If not, a deeply moving experience awaits you!"
The film won three Oscars
Academy Award for Best Actor— Gregory Peck
Academy Award for Best Art Direction- Set Decoration, Black-and-White — Henry Bumstead, Alexander Golitzen, Muzamiel Hady, & Oliver Emert)
Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay— Horton Foote
Golden Globe Awards
It won three Golden Globes as well
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama Gregory Peck
Golden Globe Awardfor Best Original Score - Motion Picture Elmer Bernstein
Golden Globe Awardfor Best Film Promoting International Understanding
Entry into the
National Film Registry
* It was entered into the
National Film Registryin 1995 by the Library of Congress, deemed as 'culturally, aesthetically and historically' significant
American Film Institute recognition
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies#34
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
** Atticus Finch, hero #1
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers#2
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition)#25
AFI's 10 Top 10#1 courtroom dramafilm
* [http://medialit.med.sc.edu/tkam.htm Film Study Guide for "To Kill A Mockingbird"]
*& amg movie|1:50165|To Kill a Mockingbird
* [http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechtokillamockingbird.html Atticus Finch's Closing Argument in Text and Audio] from AmericanRhetoric.com
* [http://thestudiotour.com/ush/movies/1962_tokillamockingbird.shtml Location and production notes for "To Kill A Mockingbird" at www.thestudiotour.com]
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