Mockingbird.jpg
Film

To Kill a Mockingbird
Release Date: Decemenber 25, 1962
Director:Robert Mulligan
Synopsis:
To Kill a Mockingbird was produced in 1962 based off the novel by Harper Lee. The film was directed by Robert Mulligan and stars Mary Badham as Scout and Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. A black man named Tom Robinson (Brock Peters) was arrested and is being accused of raping a white woman named
Mayella Ewell (Collin Wilcox Paxton). The small Alabama town is discussing of lynching a "nigger''.

At the opening hearing Atticus is appointed to defend To Robinson. Approaching the trial some of the town’s men decided on their own to take matters into their own hands and remove Tom from jail to hang him. Sheriff Tate played by Franks Overton rushes to Atticus and tells him what the town men are doing. Atticus does not stand for what the town plans on doing to he takes post and guards Tom all night.

The beginning of the trial doesn't look good because the witness of Bob Ewell which is the father of Mayella. Bob testifies how he comes home and sees Tom going out the side door and Maybella is all beat up and black and blue on the left side of her face. When it is Mayella’s turn to testify she starts by retelling what happened by saying she saw Tom coming by and tells him to come up to the house and break up a chifforobe and she'll give him a nickel. She says that when she goes inside to get the nickel, Tom comes up behind her and grabs her and when she screams, he hits her on the left side of his face. About that time her daddy comes up to the house and Tom runs out the side door.

Asking several times Atticus what happens and if she is sure that it was Tom. She replies by saying, “yes I'm sure”.When Tom gets to the stand he tell his version of what happens. Tom says he was walking by the house and Maybella asked him to come in the yard and break up the chifforobe. After he did the chore, he says that Mayella asks him to come inside while she gets his nickel. He also says that, Maybella grabs him and puts her arms around him and that is when Bob Ewell walks in and Tom runs off.

Atticus makes an incredible point when he asks Tom to hold something in his right hand. Tom says now Mr. Finch, I can't do that ever since my arm got crushed in that accident. I have to do everything with my left hand. So Atticus points out if Tome struck the bruises would be on the left side of her face, not the right. Atticus recalls Ewell to the stand and asks him to write on a peice of paper his name. While Bob Ewell does the stimple command we cann see that he is left handed. Atticus says so if you struck someone they would have bruises on the right side of her face. Although Atticus presents strong evidence white jury convicts Tom. The white jury comes up with the decision of Tob Robinson is guilty. Later we find out that Bob Ewell kills Tom Robinson.

Review:The main significance of Scout is the view of looking through innocent eyes. Scout is a young girl wanting to be mature and understand the difficulties in life. With her innocence we can see how her questioning self makes it hard for even the viewer to understand the racism that is shown in this movie. With her strong will and confidence in sticking up for what she believes in, plays a huge part in the direction they movie has. For example, when Scout is standing with her father late at night in front of the men that want to capture Tom Robinson, we can tell she is confused. Her naive self solves the problem of the men leaving when she confronts Mr. Cunningham about their talk they had months before. Having Scout question and wonder brings a strong impact of the viewers watching the movie. We find our self’s wondering the same thing of what is wrong with having the African Americans in our life of being equal. The implication of the title of the movie is the brief conversation that Scout and Atticus have about mockingbird. He tells her those mockingbirds are always singing to please people. There is no harm in the singing that is provided by the bird. What he explains is that everyone deserves the benefit of doubt and know one never really knows what happened unless you’re in their shoes. This moment in the movie shoes the work that Atticus gives to the case against Tom Robinson. He gives Tom an equal chance and makes a good point during the trial. Even though the end outcome of the movie was sad and disappointing what happened to Tom Robinson there was a point being made.

Review:


The main significance of Scout is the view of looking through innocent eyes. Scout is a young girl wanting to be mature and understand the difficulties in life. With her innocence we can see how her questioning self makes it hard for even the viewer to understand the racism that is shown in this movie. With her strong will and confidence in sticking up for what she believes in, plays a huge part in the direction they movie has. For example, when Scout is standing with her father late at night in front of the men that want to capture Tom Robinson, we can tell she is confused. Her naive self solves the problem of the men leaving when she confronts Mr. Cunningham about their talk they had months before. Having Scout question and wonder brings a strong impact of the viewers watching the movie. We find our self’s wondering the same thing of what is wrong with having the African Americans in our life of being equal. The implication of the title of the movie is the brief conversation that Scout and Atticus have about mockingbird. He tells her those mockingbirds are always singing to please people. There is no harm in the singing that is provided by the bird. What he explains is that everyone deserves the benefit of doubt and know one never really knows what happened unless you’re in their shoes. This moment in the movie shoes the work that Atticus gives to the case against Tom Robinson. He gives Tom an equal chance and makes a good point during the trial. Even though the end outcome of the movie was sad and disappointing what happened to Tom Robinson there was a point being made.

Academic Analysis:
To Kill a Mockingbird has been a huge success. For years the book and film and been idolized and have been used as a tool to show the importance of racism. After Harper Lee wrote To Kill Mockingbird it was known as, “was second to the Bible among books, ‘most often cited as making a difference’ in people’s lives”(Metress 95). The book became admired winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, sold 500,000 copies in one year and was translated into ten languages. The novel by Harper Lee has become a icon for American literature in high schools. Lee’s novel was placed in the 500 Great Books by Woman saying, “To Kill a Mockingbird only gets better with rereading” (Metress 95). Therefore the character Atticus Finch has become a well known character for the identity that students and adults can hero worship too. There is an abundant amount of idolizing when looking at Atticus. “Atticus Finch does, indeed, act heroically in his representation of Robinson. But he does so from an elitist sense of noblesse oblige” (Metress 97). Atticus presents a statement within his role of the lawyer, “The film presents the image that lawyers are counselors who are willing to do more than solve the legal problems their clients face” (Ogletree 333). In conclusion the book and film have been a great inspiration to the community for time and time again. People have grown to love and appreciate it. Facing the problems with racism, in a way that everyone can value and identify equally. “To Kill a Mockingbird carefully narrows the terms on which changed race relations are going to be brought about in the South, in the 1960’s” (Metress 100).



Books:
Karolides, Nicholas J. “Censored Books: Critical Viewpoints”. Rowman & Littlefield. May 2001

The book presents To Kill a Mockingbird an excellent example of how censorship is a huge aspect to take in consideration when reading. To Kill a Mockingbird is highlighted how incredible the text is for being “witty and compassionate”. It also example the audience that read the book and how it is now a novel read in literature classes.


Smiley, Jane. "13 Ways of Looking at the Novel". Random House Inc. September 2006, reprint
The film is a hit for adolescents and a great reading to help students identify with the tomboy Scout. The film and book have an understand plot for students to understand and presents important parts of American history to motivate students in learning in racism and purpose.

Shields, Charles J. “Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee”. Henry Holt and Company. April 2007. reprint


Academic Journals:
Champion, Laurie “Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird”. 2003. 234-236. EBSCO.

Metress, Chrispher. “The Rise and Fall of Atticus Finch”. Chattahoochee Review: The Literary Quarterly of George Perimeter College 24.1 (2003): 95-102

Ogletree, Asron Peron. “Film Reviews”. Contempory Justice Review 9.3 (2006): 333-335. EBSCO


Websites:
Dirks, Tim. “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Filmsite.org
This website gives an in depth overview of what happens in the movie. Within the summary there are elements of description of camera techniques and the description of the significance of production.

Hill, Scott. “Bright Lights Film Journal/ Gregory Peck”. 2003
An educational insight of Gregory Peck life and the success he gained from the movie To Kill a Mockingbird.

Samakshi
. “To Kill a Mockingbird-Harper Lee/ Robert Mulligan”. May 2008
Harper Lee and Robert Mulligan did a wonderful job of bringing this story alive. Within this website there is a explanation of a review of their work.