To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird

DVD - 2012
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When a Southern white woman accuses a black man of rape, the outcome of the trial is a foregone conclusion and no lawyer except Atticus Finch (Peck) will defend him. His defense costs him friendships but earns him the respect of his two children.
Publisher: Universal City, CA : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 2012.
Edition: 50th Anniversary Edition.
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (130 min.) : sd., b&w & col. ; 4 3/4 in.

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EvanSchoenfeld
Nov 17, 2017

For me the role of ‘Boo’ Radley pushed this movie past being a timely study in Southern racism into a disturbing, enigmatic but hopeful study of human nature. Robert Duvall really brought it home. Who could play Atticus Finch today? A younger Tom Hanks might have brought something to the role, but he was no Gregory Peck, and that’s not today.
Was John Stuart Mill one of those utilitarian thinkers like Jeremy Bentham or (don’t laugh) Jethro Tull who supposed that if people were well fed, clothed and educated the species held prospects for improvement? If human nature didn’t improve, what villain or villains are to blame? Where do these bad guys come from? Did Marxism fail because property is supposed to be sacred? Did power corrupt the dictatorship? Of course: Certainly not because people don’t want to live in a better world. A cynic might say that human nature doesn’t want to improve, but not me. If we threaten the planet today, there must be political reasons for it.
Why did I say all that? Robert Duvall deserved mention, period.

I managed to live my entire life (a half-century plus) without having seen, until recently, TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD, the 1960 Harper Lee novel (and Pulitzer winner) about a small Southern town during the Depression and the racism endemic there which was made into a Hollywood film by Alan J. Pakula in 1962 starring Gregory Peck. It's worth seeing today if only because of Trump and his hard-shell white supremacist base of support. But the movie also brings home how we have lost our national character, our national center. Who could pull off Gregory Peck's Academy Award winning performance as Atticus Finch today? Brad Pitt? George Clooney? No. Not even close. Our loss of national purpose was made plain to me during the opening credits. A graphic depiction of the totems Boo Radley collects, it reminded me that in the 1950s and 1960s there was a great faith in public education; that with legislation and proper funding we could build an elementary and secondary education system, and from there an open university, that could erase the blight of poverty and racism; that a good primary education had as much to do with high art as big bucks. If you read your John Stuart Mill, you know that representative democracy is based on this idea. Well, we've totally lost this.

t
tj_is_cool
Jul 05, 2017

Captures the mood of the era and is well acted.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Jun 23, 2017

To Kill A Mockingbird, based on the book of the same name by Harper Lee, is a fantastic film. It captures the main themes and ideas of the movie although many parts aren’t mentioned so you should definitely still read the book. It was originally released in 1962 so it is in black and white but I find that this makes the film even better. I must also mention that Gregory Peck flawlessly portrays Atticus, he is absolutely perfect for the role. I would rate it 4.5/5 stars.
- @reginaphalange of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

c
chriscoleman
Sep 04, 2016

If you've never read the novel, or have forgotten parts of the storyline, here it is on DVD. The first three-quarters of the film is mostly living in a small town in the south during the Depression as told through the eyes of a six year old girl, Scout, the daughter of lawyer Atticus Finch. Although Atticus is appointed to be the attorney for Tom Robinson, a young black man accused of raping and beating a white woman, that part of the story doesn't really enter until the last quarter of the film. Then, during trial, Atticus proves that the woman's father, Bob Ewell, the violent town drunk, caught his daughter trying to kiss Tom and so he beat her almost to death. Then he forced her to lie about Tom. There is no evidence at all that she was ever raped and at one point in her testimony she even says so. The right side of her face is punched in, proving her assailant is left-handed like her father. Tom can't use his left arm at all because of a mill accident when he was 12. After all the testimony is in, it is blatantly obvious the woman, Mayelle Ewell, was never raped and tried seducing Tom who instead fled her home. Her father saw this and beat her almost to death. But the jury still convicts Tom, because he had no business (in their eyes) being in a white woman's house at the time. Although Atticus tells him he's already planning the appeal, Tom tries to escape and is killed. Atticus goes to tell the widow and Bob Ewell, drunk again, walks up and spits on Atticus. Although it's old and slow, it's priceless to see the trial as it unfolds and how truly prejudice this town is. After the trial, all the white people leave the building and Atticus is left alone putting his papers into his briefcase. The black audience who are forced to sit in the balcony during the trial all stand to pay their respects to Atticus, who is the only white person in the building who treats them the same. Bob Ewell goes after Atticus's kids on Halloween night and a reclusive neighbor, Boo Radley, comes to their defense and stabs the drunk. The sheriff calls it an accident and closes the case immediately, reluctant to arrest anyone for killing a man everyone hated (Bob). In the south it was said to kill a mockingbird was a sin because they were innocent and the only thing they ever did was sing to make us happy. At the end Scout mentions to her father that sending Boo to prison for saving her and Gem would be like killing a mockingbird.

a
akirakato
Jan 28, 2016

This is an Academy awards winning drama directed by Robert Mulligan, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by Harper Lee, originally released as a motion picture in 1962.
Lee said that "To Kill a Mockingbird" is not an autobiography, but rather an example of how an author "should write about what she knows and write truthfully".
However, several people and events from Lee's childhood parallel those characters in the movie.
It appears that Scout is Lee herself.
Indeed, Lee's father, Amasa Coleman Lee, was an attorney, similar to Atticus Finch, and in 1919, he defended two black men accused of murder.
After they were convicted, hanged and mutilated, he never tried another criminal case.
You can see Harper Lee in Disk 2.
In any case, you'll be able to find out why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.

m
mooooks
Jan 20, 2016

Classic, beautiful and timeless. A must watch for all ages, and more relevant than ever.

g
glenna14
Aug 06, 2015

Gregory Peck was my idle after watching this in Jr. High. The movie is an excellent adaptation of Harper Lee's novel. The racism and childhood insights are well played out by the actors. If only today's young actors could be like Jem and Scout.

BookReviewer2015 Jan 21, 2015

A fantastic film based on Harper Lee's novel of the same name.

Gregory Peck and Brock Peters give great performances!

Be sure to attend Markham Public Library's screening of this film on February 7th at the Thronhill Community Centre Library from 1-4 PM to mark Black History Month.

t
Triple_X_Rex
Dec 20, 2014

1962's To Kill A Mockingbird is one of those exceptionally rare, beautifully moving films, that, at times, deeply touches the heart with its insight.

Even seen today, more than 50 years later, this film's power and richness cannot be diminished over time. This is the sort of film where everything about it (acting, direction, scripting, cinematography, etc.) all come so nicely together as a flawless whole.

To Kill A Mockingbird is easily one of the best films of all-time.

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mauve_zebu_52
Nov 21, 2016

mauve_zebu_52 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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ajsalazar
Mar 26, 2015

ajsalazar thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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bdls206
Mar 28, 2011

bdls206 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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belleétoile
Jan 01, 2011

belleétoile thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Quotes

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Monolith
Nov 17, 2012

Scout: "Jem is up in a tree, he said he won't come down until you agree to play football with the Methodists."

b
bdls206
Mar 28, 2011

Atticus Finch: I remember when my daddy gave me that gun. He told me that I should never point it at anything in the house; and that he'd rather I'd shoot at tin cans in the backyard. But he said that sooner or later he supposed the temptation to go after birds would be too much, and that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted - if I could hit 'em; but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird.
Jem: Why?
Atticus Finch: Well, I reckon because mockingbirds don't do anything but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat people's gardens, don't nest in the corncrib, they don't do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us.

Summary

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bdls206
Mar 28, 2011

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.

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bdls206
Mar 28, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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