Most of us watch hundreds, or even thousands of movies in our lifetimes. A few of these films leave a lasting impression. One of these movies is To Kill a Mockingbird. This critically acclaimed film is considered by many to be one of the greatest that has ever been made. It is a story that will stay with you long after you have seen it.
I have watched To Kill a Mockingbird several times, and find it a very moving story to watch. The passage of time, and subsequent viewings have not diminished the emotional impact from watching the story unfold. The movie has been preserved by the National Film Registry due to its cultural and historical significance.
It’s a story with universal appeal, and one that will make you realize how cruel and intolerant some people can be.
A Brief Review of To Kill a Mockingbird
The story is narrated and told from the point of view of a young girl named Jean, who is known by everyone as Scout. She lived with her brother Jem and widowed father Atticus in Alabama.
The story takes place in the 1930s, Atticus is an attorney who often accepts food and other items instead of cash from clients due to the poverty in the area. He is a kindly, caring man who believes everyone should be treated with respect. The children start out as young innocents living a carefree life, although they have lost their mother.
They would start to grow up quickly, however, once they were exposed to racism and intolerance in their area. This would become very obvious to the children when their father was asked to represent a young black man.
A young white woman claims that she was assaulted and raped by Tom, and he is charged and put on trial. He admits to having been at the victim’s house, but says she asked him to come to help her with a piece of furniture. The victim was not examined by a doctor, so the case was nothing more than her word against Tom’s. Atticus does his best to defend Tom.
The trial rivets the town, and the courtroom is packed, even though the heat is oppressive at the time. The jury is entirely male and they are all white, which was very typical at that time.
There is a secondary story that is also compelling. It concerns a young, mysterious man who lives as a recluse. The people in the town think he is strange and probably dangerous. No one really knows Boo Radley, but late in the film he commits a heroic act, saving Scout and Jem. The children conclude that Boo chooses to remain reclusive, due to the terrible things that happen in the town.
The Impact This Movie Has Had Over the Years
Gregory Peck made a lot of movies in his career. He often remarked on how grateful he was to have been offered the role of Atticus. Even years later, people told him how moving they found the film.
For some, watching this story was life changing. The attitudes depicted in the movie many not have been unusual many years ago, but thankfully today they are no longer tolerated, and we know how wrong and terrible it is to treat others that way.
It had a big impact on Harper Lee, who wrote the story. She grew up in that era and knew firsthand how cruel some people could be. More than 50 years after its release, To Kill a Mockingbird remains a significant story and is one movie I think everyone should see.Buy Now