- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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A great film that elevates the novel
- David H.
I read Harper Lee's novel a dozen years ago and really didn't get much out of it. Later when I saw the film, I was impressed how it bought the feel of time and place in the book to life. For me this film is the best example of a novel turned into an even better movie. It is an excellent job by all who were involved.
The Way it Was
- Pete Sommers
My mom, born in 1921, was from south central Georgia. She saw this movie - once, and never would watch it again. It haunted her for years, and when I asked her why, she said it was because it was so real, and that it was EXACTLY the way things were back then. The Depression effected people in ways those who never lived through it could ever understand. There is a very good reason it was filmed in black and white. It was a drab existence for so many. And it was EXACTLY the way so many of the people were. Many of my own relatives were like those portrayed in the Courthouse confrontation, relatives I was very ashamed to call kin.
atticus not such a good lawyer
- charles lawrence
Have seen this great movie many times over the years, but one part of it defies credibility. Maybe it was the screenplay or a quirk in the book (I've never read the book). I'm watching again right now just to be sure, but I would not want Atticus Finch representing me! The father, Robert Ewell states repeatedly on the witness stand that he saw "him" beating his daughter. Next on the stand is the daughter Mayella stating that her father was standing over her asking "Who done this to you". Huh? Can't have much more explicit contradictory testimony than that. G. Peck is great in the part, just don't think the character is so noble and smart.
- kevin sellers
It's really two movies, of course. One is a Civil Rights lesson, with the white knight defending the black victim, that has dated badly and is almost universally disliked by African Americans. The other is a story of the joys and terrors of childhood, which is timeless, and is still loved by everyone. Or everyone who appreciates good film making, that is. Give it a B plus.
- jack the hat
I just love commie films that come out of Hollywood and this is one of the best.
A Word to the Wise
- Linda Nitzschke
Concerning the review from The New Yorker, below, written by (what was her name, again?), maybe it would be good to remember that, "Those who can, do; those who can't, 'critique.'" This was a great movie, and you don't need to be a reviewer (trying to make a name for him or herself) from The New Yorker, or any other fancy rag or periodical, to know it. (Sorry, but I still can't remember that reviewer's name.) Personally, I'll never forget this movie, Harper Lee, Atticus, Tom Robinson, Mr. Finch, Scout, Boo Radley, Jem, Dill, the movie's theme song, nor any of the rest. There isn't a whole lot I can thank Hollywood for these days, but I'll be eternally grateful to Hollywood for this gem.
Reviewers, Please NOTE:
EVERY film must be viewed in the context of the time it depicts, not in our present time. In the 1930s, our entire way of life was built upon a racial caste system and blacks were at the lowest rung of that caste ladder. I am quite old and very Southern and I vividly recall blacks stepping from the sidewalk whenever whites passed by! Would there have been an Atticus Finch appointed as a lawyer for a black man in the South of the 1930s? Of course there would have been! There were not too many places where a black attorney, even if there was one in that county, would even have been allowed to practice in that day and age and Harper Lee knew that when she wrote this story. Were there good white men who did not believe in discrimination at the time? Of course! This is a brilliant film adapted from an equally brilliant novel that deals with a part of our country's history that is, in many ways, still with us. It is NOT Hollywood's film, nor is it in any way "self-congratulatory." Peck's performance is perfect in every way. There is so much more here than an Academy Award winning film. There are so many lessons being taught. All you have to do is watch and listen!
PC Drible packaged in cracker-barrel epigrams
There is no father for this girl, just an Atticus.This quote about covers both the book and 1962 film version, described by The New Yorker's Pauline Kael as "part eerie Southern gothic and part Hollywood self-congratulation for its enlightened racial attitudes." (Gregory Peck's Atticus, Kael wrote, was "virtuously dull," surely a phrase that can be accurately applied to Ms. Lee's model.)
About as good as it gets.
- George Watson
About as good a film as it gets.
To Kill a Mockingbird
- Dashiell Barnes
In 2003, Peck's performance as Atticus Finch was named as the greatest movie hero. This & the addition with his Oscar for this film, is the drivibng reason to see this film. Badham was nominated for her debut as Peck's tomboy daughter & is the debut of Duvall. Writer Horton Foote won for his adaptation of the influential novel & the film was also honoured for recreating an Alabama town in the 30's. Overall, this is a near-eperfect example of how to adapt a book into a film. I give it a 5/5.
GREAT NOVEL AND MOVIE!
I READ THE NOVEL FIRST. I LIKED IT SO MUCH I RE-READ IT A SECOND TIME. I HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE AT LEAST 8 OR 9 TIMES. THIS IS BY FAR ONE OF MY FAVORITE NOVELS AND MOVIE OF ALL TIMES. GREGORY PECK WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING IN THIS FILM.HE IS BY FAR ONE OF THE GREATEST ACTORS THAT HAS EVER GRACED THE SCREEN. I AM GOING TO PURCHASE THE MOVIE TO PASS IT ON TO MY 4 GRAND CHILDREN. THIS IS A MUST READ FOR ALL SCHOOL AGE KIDS IN 7TH GRADE THROUGH 12TH GRADE.
Understanding and horror
- Marisa Torre
I was just about Jem's age the first time I watched it and I thought it was the scariest movie I'd ever seen; black and white, screeching birds, stormy nights, the father shoots a dog and hate -so much hate. It scared me because I didn't understand it. The next time I watched it I was 20 and it scared me because I did.
One of the Great Courtroom Dramas of Them All.
- Frank Harris Horn
Gregory Peck gives an Oscar-winning performance in director, Robert Mulligan's powerfully dramatic film adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel set in Depression-era Alabama. Peck is Atticus Finch, a Southern lawyer appointed to defend a black man (Brock Peters), who has been charged of raping a white woman (Collin Wilcox), but he must also deal with the racial prejudice of his community. Horton Foote also won the Oscar for Best Screenplay Adaptation. Kim Stanley serves as the narrator of the movie. Mary Badham and Phillip Alford also star as Finch's children, and look for Robert Duvall in his film debut as Arthur "Boo" Radley. Featuring a brilliant cast including William Windom, Alice Ghostley, Paul Fix, Frank Overton, Rosemary Murphy, Crahan Denton, John Megna, Ruth White, Richard Hale, Estelle Evans & James Anderson. One of the best films of the 1960s. Alan J. Pakula is the producer with a memorable score by Elmer Bernstein.
- Gary Holt
A few years ago an effort was made to get everyone, (especially school children) to read the book. That is a challenge for some...but there is no excuse for not "seeing" this masterpiece on film. It forces you to look inside yourself (or should!) Robert Duvall's 1st film...his 10 minutes are KEY! By-the-way didn't Dame Judith Dentch win the Oscar for 5 minutes of screen time? (Duvall doesn't speak) but if this movie doesn't make you think, and maybe initiate an attitude adjustment....teens should see this movie! Gary Holt
My absolute favorite
I'm absolutely love the book and the movie. They are my overall favorites (book and/or movie). I've never said this before and more than likely will never say it again. It's amazing what they have done with this classic of a book and made it into a movie classic as well. No need to add to either one or ever remake them. The person who even would suggest that, would lose my decent opinion of their character. I would feel at that point we had hit rock bottom as a society and there would be no return back. This cast and crew could never be duplicated in any shape or form. Gregory Peck broke the mold in his betrayal as Atticus Finch. The Academy got it right when they gave him the Best Actor Oscar. Some years they don't, but that year they did not miss.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
- James Higgins
A magnificent film version of an incredible novel. Gregory Peck is so perfectly cast and deservedly won an Oscar for his rile. The entire cast is remarkable. Excellent cinematography, great direction.
As Good as the Book
This is the only movie adaptation of a novel that is as good as the book. Usually the movie never does a book justice. Everyone should see this movie. Amazing!
The Best Film Adaptation
To Kill A Mockingbird is my favorite book and initially, when I learned there was a movie adaptation, I was quite hesitant on watching it. There are so many great books that are not given enough justice on film and I wouldn't want to see To Kill A Mockingbird fimed just like the rest. After watching the movie however, I must say that this adaptation is the best I have ever seen! From the opening credits to the great and beautiful music, this movie is touching and memorable masterpiece. I love the performances of all the actors and actresses involved especially Gregory Peck, Brock Peters and the kids played by Mary Badham, Phillip Alford and John Megna.The cinematography is great and the acting is just superb; all of them look so natural. I also love the ingenuity of the set because it looks so realistic, just as described in the book. This movie belongs to a class of its own. It will always be my favorite!
One Of The Greatest Ever
- Bruce Reber
I first saw "To Kill A Mockingbird" when I was in 9th grade and my entire class went to a local theater to see it. It is one of the most moving and heartwarming films ever, a coming-of-age drama about a young girl in 1930's Alabama learning lessons in wisdom and tolerance from her lawyer father. Gregory Peck was up against some strong competition in 1962 for the Best Actor Oscar, including Peter O'Toole and Burt Lancaster, but he totally deserved it for his portrayal of Atticus Finch, a small-town lawyer who defends a black man accused of raping a white woman in the Depression-era deep south. Against the warnings and threats from everyone else he stands for his principles and morals. Robert Duvall is also good in a small role as Boo Radley, the childlike man who the kids are afraid of but who saves them from being killed. Great cinematography and music score also. Please show it again soon TCM - it's been about 4 years since you last did.
WOW, seriously, WOW, the book, WOW, the movie DOUBLE WOW, and again WOW.
Wow....need I say more?
This is one of the greatest films of all time. It sounds cliche, but for this film, it's true. Gregory Peck deserved his oscar for best actor and I really wish Mary Badham would have won for best supporting actress. I could watch this film again and again. And look for the screen debut of Robert Duvall. After I saw this film for the first time, I went back to the scene when we first see Duvall. Even though he only had a few minutes of screen time and no lines, he still played the part wonderfully. He should have been nominated for an oscar! (Anthony Quinn did win for having 10 minutes of screen time, so why not Duvall?) A wonderful piece of cinema.
A "double meaning" intended?
This film has been analyzed for its correlation between the title and the plot, likening the killing of a "Mockingbird" (which only brought beauty to the world with it's melodious tunes and wasn't a nuisance to man) to publicizing the "good deed" that Boo Radley had performed for the Finch children. However I believe there is a tacit, more subliminal message here. My interpretation being, Tom Robinson in connection to the "Mockingbird", as Tom never hurt anyone, yet performed many good deeds which only helped people. The tragedy of which is epitomized by the jury's verdict. Was there an intentional double meaning intended in this? Either way, this is one GREAT presentation.
An American Classic
Few movies compare in the telling the story of race in America as well as this. but this is more than that, its about ethics, values on small and bigger scale and those things that make us human (both the good and bad).
Educational Film Study Guide for TKAM
- Frank Baker