Small-town Alabama, 1932. Atticus Finch (played by Gregory Peck) is a lawyer and a widower. He has two young children, Jem and Scout. Atticus Finch is currently defending Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. Meanwhile, Jem and Scout are intrigued by their neighbours, the Radleys, and the mysterious, seldom-seen Boo Radley in particular. Written by
During the courtroom scene, there is a close-up of Atticus (at 1:12:50) seated at his table during the prosecuting attorney's questioning of Mr. Ewell. In this shot, the film image is reversed (Atticus' hair and the position of the spectators behind him reveal this). In this same shot, the light at the back of the courtroom is turned on; both before and after this shot, it is off. Actually, the light that is on in the close-up shot (at 1:12:50) is not the same light that is off in the wider shots of Atticus and Tom seated at the defense table (such as at 1:12:07). In the close-up shot the light that is on is five to ten feet from the double door court room entrance with no windows visible in the shot. In the wider shots, the light that is off is five to ten feet from a window with no doors visible in the shot. The close up was flipped accidentally or intentionally either "because" or "so that" the resulting frames more closely resembles the frames of the wider shots. See more »
After studying the outstanding book of To Kill A Mockingbird at school, I viewed this film, and was on the whole very impressed. Scout and Jem are portrayed brilliantly, considering the ages of the children who played them, and they, as with everything else in the production, are true to the book's spirit. Gregory Peck is perfect as the unflappable Atticus Finch, and deserved his Oscar. The music is worthy of praise, especially for the climatic scene, and the raw emotion and feeling of the book is amply conveyed. All of the cast are well cast, and it's interesting to ponder how much this film, at the time, would've shocked. That the book explores racism and outsiders in a southern town, through the eyes of a child is genius and works very nicely here. The only problems are minor- much of the book's counter-balancing humour was left out, certain characters are omitted (Dolphus Raymond and Aunt Alexandra), and some of the book's early characterisation is missed. Aside from these gripes, this is a magical film and a "must-see," as a companion piece to the classic novel. 9/10
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