Bank Holidays are a curious day, they never feel like a weekday and it’s not quite a Sunday yet all the shops close early. Obviously the bank holiday is best used for family outings and star crossed lovers to have a long weekend away, however the hardcore geek will always see the bank holiday as a time to relax and watch a ruddy good movie.
Bank holidays are bonus days after all, so there’s no better day to break out that special edition and actually watch some of those ‘special features’.
Sunday afternoon movies have no place here, neither does the unwatched pile of DVDs that is slowly getting bigger. Celebrating it’s 50th anniversary is Robert Mulligan’s adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird. The book was an instant success, winning a Pulitzer Prize and caused its fair share of controversy. So naturally film studios were looking to snap up the rights.
This film has always stayed with me, there was a time in my teens I could quote Finch’s classic speech line for line as you can imagine it was a hit with the ladies. It wasn’t, geeks were not as highly regarded back in the 90s.
Atticus Finch is a local town lawyer in 1930′s Alabama, his latest cases sees him defend an innocent black man charged with a violent crime. Whilst Peck is the star, the film unfolds through the eyes of Atticus’s young children. Their father is a man with a strong belief that all people should be treated equally, a conviction that is tested to it’s very limits over the course of three years.
It’s a testament to the story and the filmmakers that this remains a timeless classic, the themes it explores are just as relevant today and Gregory Peck gives the performance of a lifetime. The Academy agreed and Peck won Best Actor at the 1963 awards, personally I hold Atticus to be one of the greatest heroes in cinematic history. Sorry Indy.
The special features are divine, the restoration is beautiful and the film looks and sounds stunning. There is a insightful feature length documentary that goes behind the screens of this landmark motion picture like never before.
Finch’s closing statement never fails to choke me up, it’s powerful, moving, heartfelt and commanding. The sheer level of conviction in his voice demands your attention, that powerful voice at times threatens to crack and break but his passion and outrage to right a wrong keeps him going. I honestly couldn’t recommend this film highly enough, those of you that have dismissed it as a stuffy old film are missing out on such a fantastic movie experience.
It’s a rare thing for a book adaptation to get it completely right, for my money To Kill A Mockingbird is that rare thing, it got it right and remains a classic 50 years on.
To Kill A Mockingbird is out now on Blu Ray and is well worth adding to your collection.Pin It