To Kill A Mockingbird; Film on Friday

What a classic movie this is! Apparently it features regularly in top 100 movie lists and I have read the book, but I have to come clean..... I have never watched the movie. (until now)

To Kill A Mockingbird is a 1962 movie starring Gregory Peck and based on the one and only book that Harper Lee wrote. The book is often read in senior schools as a sort of commentary on race relations in the USA and, I believe, has been banned from some libraries in the USA for the same reason.


The movie follows the book's plot quite closely. In 1932, small-town mid west Jem and Scout live with their widowed father, Atticus Finch, who is a small town lawyer and a really good egg. He is honest, decent and dedicated to helping those in need. You see him at the start of the film disappearing so that an impoverished sharecropper can pay him in peanuts rather than cash he just don't have without feeling beholden or wounding his pride. He teaches his children manners, tolerance and the need to 'stand on another man's porch' as a way to grow to understand and to accept the behaviour of others.
He tells them to leave the Radleys alone, so as not to make their son, Boo, a source of entertainment and to be kind to the little old lady who survived the American Civil War to sit all day on her porch.

Life is good and they are happy, until the sherrif of the town asks Atticus to represent a black man who has been accused of raping and attacking a white girl, Mayella Ewell. The trial and subsequent fate of the accused is really well done. You know what the result should be, and yet you know what the result will be. There's a 1930's inevitability about it all that makes you watch. And cry.

We watched it as a family, there being no Guides on last Friday for the Princess. She is 12 and only barely into history. She complained at first about the fact that the film was in black and white, until the story caught her and she went quiet. There are racist words that I was pleased to learn she had never heard and the fact of segregation to the degree the film shows had been an alien concept to her. Most heartening of all, she kept asking 'Why? Why, Mummy, why?' A film that can make a modern teenager ask questions is a treasure indeed.



Gregory Peck won an Oscar for his role as Atticus Finch, and the film is a classic. If you have never seen it, or if you have and have forgotten it, then I can recommend looking out for it. We watched it on Sky movies on Demand, but I think it's buried in their film schedule sometimes. It's also available on Amazon for £4.99.

What I also came away with was a powerful echo of John Grisham's A Time to Kill, which is essentially the same story set in a more up to date time. Mr AJ loves anything with a court room in, and I have seen almost every film (except The Judge, and it's on my list!) with a courtroom in, including My Cousin Vinnie (yes, really). I was pleased to see that the trial scenes held the children as well, so perhaps (whisper it quietly) it's time to get the old battered copies of The Firm and Pelican Brief out to watch.

Have a good weekend; what's your viewing pleasure of choice this week? Let me know below!

Comments

  1. It's such a good film, isn't it, but I have to admit to preferring the book. Definitely worth watching though whether you've read the book or not. Eleanor hates watching films in black and white, I made her sit down with me a couple of years ago to watch It's A Wonderful Life and she enjoyed it, but she still slips off if I put anything black and white on the tv. I'm going to own up, we love My Cousin Vinnie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love black and white movies, and the children are happy to watch good black and white movies, as in good story and great acting.
      It's ages since I read the book. I might have to go back for a re-read.

      Delete
  2. It's an excellent movie and the book is even better, I think. I used to teach the book when I taught high school English. It was always the most popular and well-received book of the school year. My students loved it uniformly, I think. Gregory Peck is so good in it and I love the actress who plays Scout, I think she was very talented at her young age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The movie had so much in to get my daughter (who is allergic to museums) think about and realise. I'd love for her to read the book as well, but she takes so much time to read anything (slightly dyslexic) so I might get the audio book instead.
      The 'accused man' actor spoke at Gregory Peck's funeral and said that, basically, he just played himself. I could imagine that.

      Delete
  3. Just added it to my Lovefilm list - thanks for the recommendation. Studied the book at school and really enjoyed it, but the film has passed me by until now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ditto! It was a really good watch, no where near as bloody as Mississippi Burning but dealing very well with some of the same topics (race, separation of races, attitudes to others)

      Delete
  4. I've been meaning to read this again for a while and have been wanting to get the film....how funny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go find it! It was really good. And I'm glad nobody's re-made it. It doesn't need colour to be excellent.

      Delete
  5. I read and studied the book at school but have never seen the film, I think I might have to now x

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have never read the book or seen the film, but obviously I need to do both! xx

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I love reading your comments.

Popular Posts