To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) [c]
To Kill A Mockingbird” is a legendary movie, uniquely strong and sensitive about racism and the ways of the Old South during the Depression in the 1930s. It... nicely captures the book’s essence. Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) is a successful lawyer in Alabama, raising two children (Scout, played by Mary Badham, and Jem, portrayed by Phillip Alford) without their mother. When a black man is accused of raping a white woman, Atticus steps up to defend the man. Fully convinced of the man’s innocence, he causes a stir as he actually fights against the trial’s foregone conclusion. With growing admiration and fascination his children watch as their father tries to break with prejudices and biased traditions, exercising in person the kind of compassion and values he has been teaching them throughout their childhoods. Though Atticus is pressured and harassed on all fronts, and though he loses many friends over the course of the trial, he earns the respect and admiration of both his motherless children and the black people in this dusty, sleepy small town.
What makes this movie so special - apart from its touching upon a taboo of the time - is the fact that we witness the story’s evolution through the eyes of children. The threats, the injustice, the pain, the fears, the hopes - everything takes on new proportions when seen through the eyes of Scout and Jem. It highly enhances the movie’s impact and, while dealing with a melodramatic subject, it never feels clichéd at all. The racial prejudices and the blatant stupidity that come with the times are greatly amplified by the children’s natural impartiality and innocence. This view also introduces some interesting themes on the side, such as the haunted house next door and the old lady that supposedly eats children, that could only be sparked by the imagination of a child.
It is very hard to imagine the adaptation of this movie without Gregory Peck’s fantastic, award-winning (an Oscar and a Golden Globe) performance as Atticus Finch. He is intelligent, strong, charismatic, eloquent, sympathetic, pensive, responsible, compassionate, and very human. His acting is so natural and his interaction with the children so authentic that it seems the movie is taken from his own life. The portrayals of his children are completely stunning, too. Both were “original” Southern kids with no previous acting experience. Still, they behave so naturally in front of the camera that it truly surprises me that neither of them has furthered their acting careers, aside from one or two additional supporting parts. The movie also features a very young Robert Duvall in his first movie role. His enigmatic, somewhat disturbed, yet still sympathetic portrayal of Boo caught everyone’s eyes, building the foundation for a lasting, fruitful career.
High quality, 2 CD mirror
== EnJoY ==