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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 12.87%
Average: 11.88%
Pretty Bad: 7.92%
Total Crap: 10.89%

1 review, 95 user ratings

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To Kill a Mockingbird
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by Slyder

5 stars

One of the greatest literary adaptations into the silver screen ever (Next To The Godfather). I loved the book and I was a little skeptic on whether this film would be as good as the book. It was.

Jean Louise “Scout” Finch (Mary Badham) and his older brother Jeremy “Jem” Finch (Phillip Alford) are son’s Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) is a small town lawyer and widow, in Maycomb, Alabama during the depression era. We get to see, from Scout’s point of view the struggles of her father Atticus, as he takes the assignment of defending a black man, Tom Robinson (Brock Peters), who’s been accused of raping a white girl. While this happens, both Scout and Jem, and their friend Dill Harris (John Megna) cope with school troubles, and also submerge themselves in the myth that is Arthur “Boo” Radley (Robert Duvall), whom lives in the nearby neighborhood.

Viewers will find it a little eerie when in the movie, the mood of the film is at times a little too lighthearted, and the sharp division of who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy (and example is the courtroom scene). Well, that’s the whole point of the movie. The book was written from a child’s innocent point of view, and Horton Foote’s adaptation never forgets that. The atmosphere of the film is a childlike one, where happiness and fun reign and in the moments of suspense, evil reigns. It’s pretty much the same type of mood you will find in films like Hope And Glory and the underrated Empire Of The Sun, yet it’s interesting since were seeing through a child’s eyes the popular view of racism, and in no worse place than Maycomb, Alabama (yeah, redneck country). From the very beginning of the film, as the crayons make their way through the paper, you’ll notice a metaphoric view on racism and the hatred that comes with it. But as the film keeps rolling, it’s not necessarily a film about racism and hatred; it’s actually more than that. It’s simply a film about growing up, seeing things, learning and drawing your conclusions, and move on, with a different perspective of the world. A character study on how our 2 main characters, Scout and Jem, experience the racist-torn world of the 1930s, with a little touch of “urban legend” added to it. But it’s this type of depiction in which many people can relate to their own childhood, having fear of the boogeyman, playing with friends, going places and on many whimsical adventures, and of course, the warm love of our parents. Atticus is represented as a “father figure,” of course, he’s their dad, but in a more symbolic way, a man of experience and that wishes his children to grow straight in a corrupt society (as he vividly tells Scout sitting out in the porch of their house). Atticus also presents the metaphor of “Killing a Mockingbird” (hence the title), which vividly illustrates on how people can be “morally” unjustly punished for doing the right thing, a fact of life which will be always present in our society.

To help make these views effective, cinematographer Russell Harlan director Robert Mulligan keep it simple: wide-angle view shots to show the “coming of age” and the innocence of our characters, and also to produce the childlike atmosphere that surrounds the film. The characters are strict where they stand, whether it’s good or evil, or anything that the kid’s memory makes up. It’s all really well made and I applaud these two for their work. I also applaud Horton Foote for his fine adaptation of this great book.

The performances are dead-on. Gregory Peck is masterful in the role of Atticus Finch, never overdoing his emotions. Mary Badham (who is sister of director John Badham) is also impressive as Scout but is closely matched by Phillip Alford as Jem. All three combined steal the show. It was surprising to me that I found Robert Duvall playing Arthur “Boo” Radley, I mean, gees, it was really surprising since Robert isn’t the type of guy you would cast as a mentally unstable person wouldn’t you? But he does really well that’s what’s good about it, and I have to affirm that this was one of the cementing blocks for Duvall to launch his career, and I’m glad and I guess many people are glad it did. The rest of the cast is also great, and you will forever have James Anderson as the evil “white trash” Bob Ewell.

In the end, is this film recommendable? Yes. It’s a family film that everyone should enjoy. One of the finest films ever made, this film will really make you remember those days when you were a kid and how great and happy and good looking the world around you looked, plus at the same time, teaching and refining some moral values that are still effervescent today as they were many years ago.

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originally posted: 10/02/02 09:08:55
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User Comments

12/17/18 Ajpwales A good movie. Do they make them like this today?. 4 stars
3/23/15 Jerry Spray What's all the fuss about? I particularly thought this film was unremarkable. 2 stars
6/06/12 keith miron This movie has nothing to do with monkingbirds, but good court drama 3 stars
11/10/10 Eli A bunch of horse feces 1 stars
4/16/10 Taylor B. I really thought this was a good movie and i reallly loved Scout. 4 stars
4/06/10 Alex M. The review has the wrong word in the first sentence it should be "her" and not "his". other 4 stars
3/18/10 Dion IF you didn't like te film it's clearly because you have some sort of bias. Movie was great 5 stars
1/23/10 olga I HATE IT MORE THAN SALAD 1 stars
11/02/09 Rosie I really didn't like the movie, it didn't have the same feel as she book. 1 stars
5/06/09 alliebeth the book is a really good representation of the racial inequality in the 1930's 5 stars
1/26/09 jgtbld Atticus, Scout, Jem, Boo - great story - great characters 5 stars
12/10/08 Katherine H. i love this movie...gregory peck is awesome! 5 stars
6/27/08 Mary Alright 4 stars
4/06/08 agent101 an engaging and impacting novel and film 5 stars
3/22/08 Pamela White life in a small town is never dull and there is never nothing going on 5 stars
3/05/08 ladavies This is my favorite book, and am happy to say that the film did not disappoint. 5 stars
12/20/07 lindsey this film is a lot different from the book 3 stars
12/05/07 Phillips&Edguardo i loved this book so much ive read it 5 times its my whole life!!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/16/07 nadia it was a really good movie.... 5 stars
10/10/07 I ate your baby Okay first Scout is a girl... learn to spell.... Did you even watch the movie?! 1 stars
9/12/07 Jewelzz. I hate reading, this book sucks. 1 stars
8/24/07 Lisa A. Goff Scout is a girl and your sentences did not make sense. Did you read your writing? 2 stars
7/09/07 amanda ok 3 stars
6/17/07 stac Ummm scout is a gil not a boy 3 stars
5/18/07 Jenna Fay It was so much better then the book! 4 stars
5/10/07 jasmine This movie was amazing 5 stars
3/30/07 g36gunner michelle didnt notice tht but ur rite 3 stars
3/30/07 michelle scout is a GIRL. so whoever wrote this article should definetly fix that up! 4 stars
3/30/07 g36gunner It missed many important scenes and lines that should hav been shown but overall its good 3 stars
3/22/07 Amy Rae I enjoy the book and the movie. The movie told the big events soon then the book. 5 stars
2/11/07 action movie fan not bad for a film of this type-some scenes truly scary 3 stars
2/03/07 esther I thought that the book was better, could be better 2 stars
1/16/07 R.W.Welch Strikingly atmospheric with pitch-perfect perf by Peck. 5 stars
12/16/06 Zaw Highschool was too early for me to really appreciate the movie. 5 stars
11/27/06 Justin missed some important parts and characters from the book 3 stars
11/12/06 Abby Nash 1 of the best films ever, inspiring esp. in this age of cowardice, pettiness, & worse. 5 stars
10/27/06 Amber I really didnt like it only because it left out some major facts form the book 2 stars
10/06/06 cam a great film about the oh so sensitive issues of its time, truely a remarkible film 5 stars
9/27/06 Jing ling alright 3 stars
5/02/06 Amanda Smith It is a reat film for the family to enjoy. I recomend it to everyone 5 stars
4/24/06 Jennifer great, awesome, atticus is a great rolemodel 5 stars
4/15/06 Kelly everyone says its the best ever but i think its just Okay 4 stars
4/07/06 Rcp123190 It was alright 3 stars
3/23/06 giles flowitt-hill it was a terrible representation of the book 1 stars
3/08/06 Ryan Petros pretty boring 3 stars
3/03/06 Felicia Ayon well wat can i sayit was like wat ever it could be better... 3 stars
3/01/06 Eric Smotek It sucks 1 stars
2/08/06 Richard Colwell Truly a film in relating to the moral & social injustices in our history 5 stars
1/27/06 shaniqua total bull 1 stars
1/21/06 Jackie I thought the movie strayed to far from the book and left out some important details 2 stars
1/17/06 sabrina my favorite book 5 stars
12/14/05 LeSharon Nunnery This movie has a gripping reality. I enjoy it every time I watch it!!! 4 stars
11/03/05 Matt It was so romantic 1 stars
11/02/05 kristhel rankine it was pretty good! 5 stars
10/25/05 Katie Snyder good but missed some key points 4 stars
10/12/05 bobby wasnt as good as book 1 stars
10/02/05 Johnny Whoever says this movie's stupid or it sucks is an insignificant moron. A classic. 5 stars
9/29/05 Missdontlikeit ITS STUPID! 1 stars
9/28/05 Stormie Hobbs This film was great! 5 stars
9/15/05 Susan Sout is a girl, not a "son." 5 stars
5/20/05 dwarzel Perfect and flawless. 5 stars
1/13/05 Tom Benton One of the very finest movies ever made. Gregory Peck is excellent. 5 stars
1/07/05 Sherry Excellent viewing after reading the book. I use it in my classroom. 5 stars
12/14/04 Lord Durvok 2 Look up the word "Classic" in the dictionary. You're likely to see a poster for this movie. 5 stars
10/31/04 johnn powerful,broad appeal, one of the best ever, must see once a year 5 stars
8/18/04 sarah strong & realistic 5 stars
7/25/04 Katie This movie is greatly written. Everyone in the cast is AWESOME! I LOVE this movie! 5 stars
7/07/04 EricDSnider A lovely film 5 stars
6/01/04 Sean Scanlan Best movie ever made 5 stars
2/28/04 alien assasin Much better than that "Forrest Gump" guff !!! 5 stars
12/20/03 Kent Price A classic! Tells a true tale of morality. 5 stars
11/22/03 adguy Do they get better than this? I don't think so. 5 stars
11/05/03 km Excellent movie...BTW...Scout was a girl. 4 stars
10/13/03 Shadaan Felfeli Loved the film. Peck's performance is sheer acting brilliance. 5 stars
9/27/03 Alan Great. Extremely moving. Look for Robert Duvall, in his first movie role, as Boo Radley. 5 stars
8/31/03 Kitty Kelso Peck waz t'riffic but they need 2 put more of the scenes from the book into the movie 4 stars
8/14/03 Gray deeply philisophical 5 stars
8/11/03 Donald Hasselhoff Most untalented bird since JL Seagull 2 stars
6/22/03 John Bale Gregory Peck's finest hour, classic human story of intolerence. Doesn't get much better. 5 stars
4/06/03 defranco71 Gregory Peck at his prime! 5 stars
11/29/02 C Damien Leonard it was way way too boring 2 stars
11/28/02 Joe It was long, but it was pretty good. 5 stars
11/26/02 janine fabulous; real life lessons and applications 5 stars
11/24/02 Kyle Peck at his best! 5 stars
11/24/02 ARAN Dagger Through the Heart 5 stars
11/20/02 brittany was just old anf gay 2 stars
11/15/02 Kelly Meade great book! 5 stars
11/14/02 darcy nice 5 stars
11/06/02 Nathalie Vazquez The movie was pretty good, but some parts were boring. 4 stars
6/21/02 Monster W. Kung Overrated, but good. 4 stars
6/10/02 kaye Gregory Peck was never better and that's saying a lot. Great movie 5 stars
4/25/02 Amaia Goñi Just beautiful, from start to end! Una película a recordar 5 stars
4/28/01 The Jedi Droid Best Book to film adaptation...Gregory Peck is wonderful 5 stars
1/18/01 skip Even better than the book, thanks to the cast and music. A perfect film. 5 stars
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  DVD: 06-Sep-2005



Directed by
  Robert Mulligan

Written by
  Horton Foote

  Gregory Peck
  John Megna
  Frank Overton
  Rosemary Murphy
  Ruth White
  Brock Peters

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