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
The film takes my breath away. It's a perfect drama! It is so unpretentious, profound, simple, truthful, and elegant. It is absolutely timeless. It seems to deeply move everyone who watches it. I own this movie and bawl my eyes out every time I see it. But it's a good cry. To Kill a Mockingbird (TKAM, I'll call it) both breaks my heart and inspires me, because it reminds me of human beings' capacity for decency and bravery.
Has there ever been a more touching character than Atticus Finch???? Not a perfect man, not a God, but just a person who respected the rights of other people and tried to do the right thing; he was a "decent" man. He tried to live his life according to the saying "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Such quiet dignity! I can see why Atticus Finch was recently named the #1 movie "Hero" of all time by the American Film Institute. Just thinking about this movie brings tears to my eyes. The only other film to affect me in such a deep way has been The Shawshank Redemption.
Gregory Peck would be forever known as Atticus Finch, and he expressed how honored he felt to be associated with such a character. I saw an interesting documentary about Peck's life, and in it he was doing one-man shows around the country. These shows were question-and-answer sessions with the audience, and the majority of questions and comments were related to TKAM and how portraying Atticus Finch had impacted Peck's life. It was so interesting and touching to hear people talk about how the film and that character affected them. I remember one man standing up and saying that TKAM inspired him to become a lawyer, and that he named his son Atticus. I've read here and there about the favorite movies of various celebrities, and have been amazed that of all the movies out there in the world, there's one title that pops up frequently as a favorite - and that's TKAM. And it's the favorite of all kinds of people, both young and old. I almost fell off my chair when I read that it was Madonna's favorite movie. Didn't think she has such good taste! Anyway, how extraordinary it must have been for G. Peck, Robert Duvall and all the other people who were part of TKAM to realize that they created something really, truly impacted people - and could inspire people to try to be better human beings. Wow. Such a legacy!
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