To Kill A Mockingbird

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When the American Film Institute held a survey to find American film’s greatest hero, it was no great surprise that To Kill A Mockingbird’s Atticus Finch romped to victory. As brought to life by Gregory Peck, he is the walking embodiment of decency and courage. Indeed, such are Peck’s dimensions and physiognomy, that when Finch is fighting for justice, you could be forgiven for thinking that Abraham Lincoln had walked out of a history book and straight into a law court.

Poster for the classic To Kill A MockingbirdFinch is one of Hollywood’s greatest heroes, and To Kill A Mockingbird is one of America’s true film triumphs. Its success is in part due to its source material – Harper Lee’s best-selling novel tells a fierce story.When a black man is charged with raping a white woman, Alabama lawyer Finch does the right thing and defends the lad. It’s an unpopular decision among locals, who give Atticus every reason to quit. While his young family makes him vulnerable, Finch’s determination to teach his children the difference between right and wrong makes him see the case through.

Winner of three Oscars, To Kill A Mockingbird is one of those films where all the elements came together perfectly. Besides hiring one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, producer Alan J. Pakula secured an esteemed director, Robert Mulligan, gifted D.P. Russell Harlan, and acclaimed composer Elmer Bernstein. Pakula also struck gold when it came to the supporting roles, and the cast here do much to carry the film – particularly a young unknown by the name of Robert Duvall.

– Film4

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