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Gregory Peck: An Agreeable Gentleman

Sunday, June 24, 2012
4:45 p.m. To Kill a Mockingbird
Robert Mulligan (U.S., 1962)

New Print!
Student Pick!

Introduction/Michael Butler

Butler is artistic director of Walnut Creek’s Center REPertory Company, which recently staged a production of the Harper Lee story.

Like Harper Lee’s novel on which it is based, To Kill a Mockingbird is rooted in the America of the early 1960s, with its gathering struggle for civil rights, yet the film’s message of tolerance—told from the point of view of a child, yet never childish—hasn’t grown old. In pristine black and white, the adaptation skillfully captures both the quiet rhythms of small-town Southern life in the 1930s and the currents of racial violence beneath the surface. Gregory Peck won an Oscar for his portrayal of courageous lawyer Atticus Finch, Mary Badham beautifully plays his daughter Scout, and Robert Duvall made his debut as mysterious recluse Boo Radley.

• Written by Horton Foote, from the novel by Harper Lee. Photographed by Russell Harlan. With Mary Badham, Philip Alford, Brock Peters, Robert Duvall. (125 mins, B&W, 35mm, From Universal)