Screening: To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
(1962, USA, 129 min)
Director: Robert Mulligan
In English with Chinese subtitles
Set in a small Alabama town in the 1930s, the story focuses on the scrupulously honest lawyer Atticus Finch, magnificently embodied by Gregory Peck. Finch puts his career on the line when he agrees to represent Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape. The trial and the events surrounding it are seen through the eyes of Finch's six-year-old daughter Scout. While Robinson's trial gives the film its momentum, there are plenty of anecdotal occurrences before and after the court date: Scout's ever-strengthening bond with older brother Jem, her friendship with precocious young Dill Harris (a character based on Harper Lee's childhood friend Truman Capote), her father's no-nonsense reactions to such life-and-death crises as a rampaging mad dog, and especially Scout's reactions to, and relationship with, Boo Radley, the reclusive "village idiot" who turns out to be her salvation when she is attacked by a venomous bigot.
To Kill a Mockingbird won Academy Awards for Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Art Direction in 1963. Atticus Finch, as portrayed by Gregory Peck, was voted by the American Film Institute to be the greatest hero in American film.