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An Evocative Presentation
at Friday Night Movies:

To Kill A Mockingbird

Friday the 25th of February
Pot luck supper @ 7pm
Movie @ 8pm

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My daddy told me...that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted - if I could hit 'em, but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird.
--Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck)


USA: 1962 -- Directed by Robert Mulligan
Written by Horton Foote based on the novel by Harper Lee
Starring Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Brock Peters and introducing Robert Duvall

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.
--Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch


Ranked 25 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest American Films, To Kill a Mockingbird is quite simply one of the finest family-oriented dramas ever made. A beautiful and deeply affecting adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee, the film retains a timeless quality that transcends its historically dated subject matter (racism in the Depression-era South) and remains powerfully resonant in present-day America with its advocacy of tolerance, justice, integrity, and loving, responsible parenthood. It's tempting to call this an important "message" movie that should be required viewing for children and adults alike, but this riveting courtroom drama is anything but stodgy or pedantic. As Atticus Finch, the small-town Alabama lawyer and widower father of two, Gregory Peck gives one of his finest performances with his impassioned defense of a black man (Brock Peters) wrongfully accused of the rape and assault of a young white woman. While his children, Scout (Mary Badham) and Jem (Philip Alford), learn the realities of racial prejudice and irrational hatred, they also learn to overcome their fear of the unknown as personified by their mysterious, mostly unseen neighbor Boo Radley (Robert Duvall, in his brilliant, almost completely nonverbal screen debut). What emerges from this evocative, exquisitely filmed drama is a pure distillation of the themes of Harper Lee's enduring novel, a showcase for some of the finest American acting ever assembled in one film, and a rare quality of humanitarian artistry (including Horton Foote's splendid screenplay and Elmer Bernstein's outstanding score) that seems all but lost in the chaotic morass of modern cinema.

Hope to see you there. I'll save you an aisle seat next to the chifforobe.


Awards

Won Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Gregory Peck); Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White; and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium

Nominated ofr Oscars for Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Mary Badham); Best Cinematography, Black-and-White; and Best Music, Score

Atticus Finch was voted as the top screen hero of the last 100 years by the American Film Institute.

Ranked 25 on AFI's list of the 100 Greatest American Films (2007)

Ranked #2 on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time (2006).

Ranked #1 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Courtroom Drama".

Ranks #58 on the Internet Movie Database's Top 250 Movies

More awards


Memorable Quotes

Atticus Finch: I remember when my daddy gave me that gun. He told me that I should never point it at anything in the house; and that he'd rather I'd shoot at tin cans in the backyard. But he said that sooner or later he supposed the temptation to go after birds would be too much, and that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted - if I could hit 'em; but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird.
Jem: Why?
Atticus Finch: Well, I reckon because mockingbirds don't do anything but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat people's gardens, don't nest in the corncrib, they don't do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us.

Miss Maudie Atkinson: I don't know if it will help saying this to you... some men in this world are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us... your father is one of them.

Rev. Sykes: Jean Louise. Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passing.

Scout: Jem is up in a tree, he said he won't come down until you agree to play football with the Methodists.

More quotes


Trivia

Although Gregory Peck's inspirational performance as Atticus Finch turned out to be a perfect highlight to his long career, Rock Hudson was actually the studio's first choice for the role. James Stewart was also offered the part, but told the producers he believed the script was "too liberal", and feared the film would be controversial.

The character of Dill is purportedly based upon Truman Capote, who had been a childhood friend of Harper Lee when he was sent to live with relatives in Lee's hometown each summer. Truman Capote, in turn, based one of his characters in his literary work "Other Voices, Other Rooms" upon his recollection of Harper Lee.

Brock Peters delivered Gregory Peck's eulogy on the day of his funeral and burial, June 16, 2003. Peck defended Peters in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962).

Movie debut for Robert Duvall, William Windom and Alice Ghostley

More trivia


Goofs

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Mr. Gilmer calls his next witness, he calls the wrong one (Mayella) to come first, which would have made the entire case scene non-crucial as it was in the book. Gregory Peck picks up on this superbly and improves the line which makes Mr. Gilmer re-think and correct his actions. This was all a mistake by Mr. Gilmer in the movie.

Errors in geography: There isn't a mountain within 200 miles of South Alabama where the film takes place. However, mountains are clearly visible as part of the landscape in several shots throughout the movie.

Anachronisms: At the beginning of the film, the pennies in the cigar box are dated circa 1962, while the story is set in the year 1932.

Miscellaneous: At the trial, the defense table is set nearest to the jury box. In all US criminal courts, the jury sits on the Prosecution's side of the court room.

Revealing mistakes: When Atticus shoots the mad dog, it is obvious its hind legs are jerked from under it to make it fall.

More goofs