In 9th Grade I had to read To Kill a Mockingbird, the classic Harper Lee novel. I became enthralled with the story of the young girl’s story and found the movie on VHS and watched it over and over. Today I’ve probably seen the movie over 100 times and it still pulls me into the life of Scout, Jem and Atticus, not to mention Boo Radley.
Robert Duvall made his acting debut in the Academy Award Winning film and is the most mysterious character in the movie. Gregory Peck brings a worthy Oscar winning performance and will forever be connected to Atticus Finch. So much has been said of Peck’s performance that further praise is redundant; suffice to say that after Peck’s performance, no one else will ever be able to play Atticus Finch. The children are wonderful, so real that they hardly seem to be acting at all.
From the Opening Credits this movie is a classic example of great cinematography. Filmed in black and white, it is now used in film school. Throughout the movie the camera plays with your mind and heart helping you feel the hope, terror, mystery, and confusion. Even though the film was released in 1962, the issues the film deals with are as real today as they were then. Bigotry, racism, and family values are portrayed in an honest realism.
After being a devoted fan of this movie for years it was great to learn the back story. Harper Lee the author of the book was a childhood friend of Truman Capote and she based the character of “Dill” on him. And the character of Atticus was based on her own father and that she gave Peck her father’s watch, which he uses in the film.
It’s hard to write a review on such a classic film, as anything you would want to say has already been said, but To Kill a Mockingbird is #1 in my list of favorite movies, and will always remain at the top of my list.