Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA, 1962. Universal International Pictures, Pakula-Mulligan, Brentwood Productions. Screenplay by Horton Foote, based on the novel Harper Lee. Cinematography by Russell Harlan. Produced by Alan J. Pakula. Music by Elmer Bernstein. Production Design by Henry Bumstead. Costume Design by Rosemary Odell. Film Editing by Aaron Stell.
Harper Lee’s incredibly popular novel makes its way to the big screen with very admirable results. Gregory Peck gives one of the best performances of his career as Atticus Finch, a Southern lawyer who is assigned the defense of a young black man accused of rape. In defending the boy, Finch finds himself not only dealing with the law but also the incredible prejudices of the society around him, starting with his own children. Mary Badham gives one of the greatest performances from a child star as Finch’s precocious daughter, and Robert Duvall makes his feature film debut as the very creepy Boo Radley. Excellent screenplay beautifully adapts the novel with ease and intelligence.
Academy Awards: Best Actor (Gregory Peck); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Art Direction-BW
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Supporting Actress (Mary Badham); Best Director (Robert Mulligan); Best Cinematography-BW; Best Music Score-Substantially Original
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition
Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor-Drama (Gregory Peck); Best Original Score; Best Film Promoting International Understanding
Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Director (Robert Mulligan)