To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –

Harper Lee was one of the most beloved authors in contemporary American literature. The world mourned her passing on February 19, 2016, and her novel Go Set a Watchman shook the literary landscape upon its publication the year before. Lee was responsible for one of the greatest novels ever written, and the adaptation of that same novel ended up becoming a cinematic masterpiece. That beloved classic is none other than To Kill a Mockingbird. Indeed, this Pulitzer Prize winner served the basis for a triumph in filmmaking that students continue to study in academic settings, and remains a landmark in both the literary and cinematic world.

A Toast

This film features an Oscar-winning screenplay, outstanding art direction, and great performances from both Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Mary Badham as Scout. Mary Badham might have lost the Oscar to Patty Duke’s portrayal of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, but her nomination was well-deserved. Gregory Peck’s performance is iconic because he was able to bring one of the most beloved characters to the silver screen. Peck ended up winning the Oscar for playing the inspirational lawyer in Maycomb, Alabama, and the American Film Institute (AFI) voted that Atticus Finch was the #1 greatest hero in film history. To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely a film that has stood the test of time simply because of its profound explorations of racism, growth, and maturation.


Harper Lee might no longer be with us, but she blessed the world with one of the most profound stories ever written. Many people love Atticus Finch so much that they were hesitant to read Go Set a Watchman since that novel portrays Atticus as an anti-hero. Maybe the reason why Harper Lee wrote about that specific character in both a positive and negative way is to reveal the fundamental fact that there will always be both a good side and a bad side to everything. Even if readers do not enjoy Go Set a Watchman, film lovers can still marvel at Alan J. Pakula’s adaptation of one of the most beloved American novels that the world has ever known.

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time Scout and Jim behave rambunctiously together

Take a Drink: during every courtroom scene.

Enjoy Your Favorite Drink: while Atticus Finch delivers his famous and inspirational speech about the humanity that defines this beloved classic.

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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