Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962). Directed by Robert Mulligan. Written by Horton Foote from the novel by Harper Lee. With Gregory Peck , Mary Badham, Philip Alford, John Megna, Brock Peters, Robert Duvall ( in an impressive debut, as Boo Radley,the brain impaired man that the children are afraid of) et al. In a small Alabama town in the thirties, widowed lawyer Atticus Finch (Peck) defends a black (Peters) accused of raping a white girl. . The interest arises both from the social context and from the use of the lawyers' kids who are growing up and who must understand the world of their seniors and matters of justice and injustice. The kids are excellent and much of the film is shown from their point of view. Very carefully laid-out Americana with sensitive well-observed touches and with elements of southern gothic. Film has a great deal of feeling. There is, among others, a terrific scene charged with quiet emotion : the children are in bed and the younger asks the other questions about their late mother, ending with "Was she beautiful?" Cut to the outside with Peck sitting on the porch, overhearing this. One of the best scenes of the silver screen in my book. Superior production values: cinematography by Russell Harlan, music by Elmer Bernstein, art work, costumes. Film had 5 Oscar nominations, received two awards, for writer Foote and actor Peck .