This 2-DVD set is a great addition to any library of classic films. The bonus features are outstanding for a movie of this age.
Of course this is the 50th anniversary year of the writing of To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, so the story is getting a lot of attention. I checked this out of the library, not realizing what a great collection of media it contains.
The movie itself is the primary draw. Not only has the story been called the most important work of fiction in the 20th Century, but the movie is an outstanding adaptation.
Atticus Finch- Gregory Peck
Scout- Mary Badham
Jem- Phillip Alford
Boo Radley- Robert Duvall (in his film debut)
Tom Robinson- Brock Peters
The story is somewhat autobiographical of Harper Lee’s childhood. She grew up in the south, and her father was a lawyer who defended a black man, and also lost the case. In real life, her father was not able to hold his head high and carry on, as Atticus Finch does in the story.
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the few black and white movies that I think could not possibly be improved if it were remade in color. It simply would not have the drama. Released in 1962, color movies were the norm, yet the black and white choice was made for just this reason. From the casting to the direction to the acting and editing, this is one of the most perfect movies ever made. I hadn’t seen it for a few years, and was struck all over again at the power of the story.
It has been remastered for digital presentation and is technically crisp.
Also included in this set of 2 DVDs are:
- original movie trailer
- Oscar acceptance by Gregory Peck for best actor
- AFI lifetime achievement award acceptance by Gregory Peck
- Academy Tribute to Gregory Peck, excerpt from Cecelia Peck (daughter) farewell to her father
- an interview with Mary Badham, who played Scout
- feature commentary with director and producer
- a conversation with Gregory Peck, which was produced by his daughter
- “Fearful Symmetry” the making of To Kill a Mockingbird
For anyone who has a favorite old movie, but has become addicted to the bonus features of new releases, it’s usually a big disappointment to discover nothing but a couple of trailers and some production notes as added features. This set, however, will not disappoint.
It was very interesting to hear how Gregory Peck’s personal life was as understated and upright as the role of Atticus Finch. The short “Fearful Symmetry” was also of particular interest, and the interview with Mary Badham. She continued to view Peck as a real father figure for the remainder of his life.
This is available from Amazon for $21.49, clearly a bargain price.