To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

mocking“If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus Finch

Number of Times Seen – at least 5 (video, DVD, 22 Aug 2013)

Brief Synopsis – A young girl growing up during the depression learns about life in the south when her father chooses to defend a black man accused of rape.

My Take on it – I saw this movie back in high school in a classroom viewing after we were finished studying the book.

It is the perfect example of how the prejudices in the south continued many years after the civil war ended.

I have seen in numerous places that this is one of the best courtroom dramas ever made, but I have a big problem with that characterization.

This movie IS definitely a great movie and it also has a message about prejudice and also for standing up for what is right, but the scenes in the courtroom are few and far between and what happens outside of the courtroom is much more poignant and important than what occurs within it.

This movie was nominated for 8 Oscars including Best Picture.  It lost to Lawrence of Arabia (1962) which was a better film.  It’s too bad this movie didn’t come out one year earlier or even later because I think it had the chance to beat both West Side Story (1961) and Tom Jones (1963).  Gregory Peck did win Best Actor for this movie and it was rightfully deserved.  This was his 5th Best Actor nomination and was perhaps his best role.

Bottom Line – Excellent movie about prejudice in the South and the importance for standing up for what you believe. Highly Recommended!

Rating – Oscar Worthy

13 thoughts on “To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

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  7. One of the best films of all time, with one of the best heroes ever put on screen. Whoever told you this was a courtroom movie was wrong. For me, it’s about how we lose our innocence. A court/lawyer is a good way to examine justice (and its many meanings).

    Scout (the little girl) is struggling hard not lose her innocence, while her father Atticus lost his in the war (perhaps – ie: rabid dog scene and its metaphor). The country has lost their innocence, the town too when they wrongfully point to a black man (who lost his innocence the moment others saw his skin) and wrongfully judge others like Boo Radley.

    Childhood is supposed to be innocent – so is life. The term Mockingbird shows how a nest can be stolen and house another occupant (ie: forefathers built nation of freedom, and racists stole the nest/country away).

    I love how rich the themes are and the numerous ways they can be interpreted. I never studied Mockingbird in school. I saw it on my own as a teen, and didn’t quite register the overall message, but still loved it. Then I saw it as I was older and was inspired to read the book just a few years ago.

    Like you said in podcast interview with Riley, movies change with us over the years. I wonder if you watch it (or think of it) from this new thematic (aka super nerdy) angle, you will appreciate this so-called ‘court-room’ movie more.


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