American crime drama from 1962.
Starring: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton
Director: Robert Mulligan
Writers: Harper Lee, Horton Foote
Bechdel test: Pass
Six year old Scout and ten year old Jem live with their father who is defending a black man accused of raping a white woman. There are many strong feelings surrounding this crime and trial in their small southern village in 1936. The two children experience some of what is going on in the adult’s world.
What a lovely look at childhood and a truly healthy reminder of many nice details of what I did as a child. Of course these children had other specific experiences than I did, but in general there were many reminders of childhood activities.
I was initially apprehensive about a serious movie set in depression era US, but the movie focused on the children and their world. It was filled with the innocence and play of children, and I, as a viewer, was taken into their experience of the world. Very interesting and childlike, even if the subject matter was quite heavy and serious at times.
The acting was remarkable. Specially Scout (Mary Badham) was good in her role. Mary Badham was nominated for an Oscar as best actress in a supporting role for her performance, but I felt Scout was the main character. Regardless, she was a central character and did a wonderful job.
Usually when there is a storyteller in a movie, a voice that explains or expands on what is shown on screen, I think it is a cheap or lazy trick to get the story across. This time the voice of an older Scout explains some things that would not be evident to a child, or she foreshadows larger events. It is not used as an alternative to filming the actual story. So, in this case I did not mind the storyteller.
The story is maybe not the most original, but the way it is told, the way it is seen through the eyes of children, is quite remarkable. All the adult ways of explaining things with “the situation is nuanced” or “its complicated”, simply doesn’t work with children. For them the world just is, and it is either something that should be changed or not. It is a great way of talking about racism. It isn’t complicated or nuanced, it just shouldn’t be.
I really liked this movie, and as in a few other cases, I now want to read the book this movie was based on. If you want to get the book, here is “To kill a mockingbird” by Harper Lee on Amazon, but I do think most libraries will have it. For me though, this book is so important I want to own a copy.
I think “To kill a mockingbird” is a great movie with an important message that would keep anyone entertained.
Over to you
If you’ve recently seen “To kill a mockingbird” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.
25 movies down. 340 to go.
If you want to get “To kill a mockingbird” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?
Tomorrow’s movie is “The sting“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.
Until next time; live long and prosper.