To Kill A Mocking Bird

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.

Adolescence & Coming of Age, Community Engagement, Democracy & Human Rights, Family, Identity & Diversity

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Abou the Film

In 1962, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird was translated to film by screenwriter Horton Foote and director Robert Mulligan. Set in a small Alabama town in the 1930s, the story focuses on Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) a respected lawyer and widower attempting to raise his children in an atmosphere free from hatred and prejudice. Atticus puts his reputation on the line when he agrees to represent Tom Robinson (Brock Peters), a black man accused of attacking a white woman. The trial and the events surrounding it are experienced through the eyes of Atticus’ six-year-old daughter Scout (Mary Badham). The film received three Golden Globe Awards and three Academy Awards and in 1995, was added to the National Film Registry. The American Film Institute listed it as the 25th greatest American movie of all time, and named Atticus Finch the greatest movie hero of the 20th century.

Film In Context

Jim Crow: Race and Justice in the American South

To Kill a Mockingbird is set in a small town in Alabama in the 1930s during a tragic period in American history known as the Jim Crow Era. After the abolition of slavery, a system of laws and rules commonly referred to as Jim Crow emerged in many Southern states to legalize the discrimination against former slaves. Did you know:

Adapted from The Big Read: To Kill A Mockingbird, National Endowment for the Arts (www.neabigread.org)