To Kill a Mockingbird
1962| Courtroom Drama | 129 minutes | In English
In the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, Sheriff Heck Tate visits lawyer Atticus Finch. He persuades Atticus to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a young girl named Mayella. With an all-white jury in the Deep South, it doesn’t look promising for Tom. But Atticus believes in justice and the right of everyone to a fair trial. Atticus presents a strong case to prove Tom was innocent. Atticus points out that Tom has a crippled left arm and therefore could not wrestle with Mayella and rape her. He also states that Mayella’s father has beaten Mayella before. Atticus finally asserts that Mayella was never examined by a doctor to check for signs that a rape occurred. When Atticus delivers his summation, an impassioned plea for justice, he not only addresses his remarks to a bigoted jury, but directly to the entire audience in the theater. As expected, Tom is found guilty. When Atticus returns home, Sheriff Tate informs him that Tom was killed during his transfer to what was to be a safer prison.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 91%
- Metacritic Score: 88
- Academy Awards: Winner, Best Actor (Gregory Peck); Best Adapted Screenplay (Horton Foote)
Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor- Motion Picture (Gregory Peck); Best Original Score (Elmer Bernstein)
The American Film Institute (AFI) named Atticus Finch the greatest movie hero in the 20th century. The film was ranked 34th on AFI’s list of 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
The film was selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
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Harper Lee’s highly regarded and eminently successful first novel has been artfully and delicately translated to the screen. TO KILL a MOCKINGBIRD is a major film achievement, a significant, captivating and memorable picture that ranks with the best in recent years. Its success in the literary world seems certain to be replicated in the theatrical sphere.
Horton Foote’s script and the direction of Mr. Mulligan do allow Mr.Peck and little Miss Badham and Master Alford to portray delightful characters. Their charming enactments of a father and his children in that close relationship that can occur at only one brief period are worth all the footage of the film.
One of the finest pictures of this or any other year, TO KILL a MOCKINGBIRD is certain also to be one of the best-loved. Produced with care by Alan J. Pakula and directed with true brilliance by Robert Mulligan, the picture is a genuine experience, so penetrating and pervasive it lingers long after the last image has faded.
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