Confession time: I don't really like the film To Kill a Mockingbird. I don't like the cuts to the story that were made, I don't like the kid actors in it, and I don't like the virtual elimination of Calpurnia, Miss Maudie or Mrs. DuBose. Of course, I'm an insane fan of the book so that's probably one reason why the movie is such a disappointment to me. But, still, I think it could be so much better. I know it's considered one of the better adaptations of a classic novel, but I think the Gary Sinise version of Of Mice and Men is a much better example of a film staying true to a classic book while maintaining an artistic integrity of its own.
However, the acting in To Kill a Mockingbird is superb (except for the kids, but whatever). It's impossible to think of anyone besides Gregory Peck as Atticus. Collin Wilcox is pitch perfect as Mayella. Robert Duvull is perfect as Boo Radley. And, most impressively, Brock Peters took the tiny part of Tom Robinson and made it central to the film. His courtroom scene is portrayed exactly how I imagined it in the novel, and is heartbreaking. After all, he was just going to help her break up a chiffarobe.
Brock Peters died yesterday.
Luckily, he'll live on for centuries to come in 9th grade English classrooms. Even though I don't really even like the movie that much, I never go a year without showing the courtroom scene after we've finished reading the book. Because, that scene they got just right.
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