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Customer Review

181 of 190 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An American classic classically rended in DVD, June 5, 2000
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Collector's Edition) (DVD)
The film, truly an American classic and, for my money, one of the 10 best American films ever made, is splendidly rendered here with a mint-condition print. The DVD also offers a superb mix of additional features, most especially the remarkable documentary on the film, "Fearful Symmetry," by Charles Kiselyak, and compelling yet unassuming commentary by the director, Robert Mulligan, and the producer, the late Alan J. Pakula.
Besides interviews with Mulligan and Pakula, the documentary includes interviews with the actors who play the children, Mary Badham as Scout and Phillip Alford as Jem, as well as with the screen writer, Horton Foote, and the composer, Elmer Bernstein. The documentary also includes interviews with several residents of Monroeville, Ala., the real Macon, to round out a sense of "Macon" then and now.
Among the revelations in the commentary is that production designer Henry Bumstead (Vertigo) masterfully recreated the children's neighborhood on the Universal backlot using houses that would have been demolished by the construction of a freeway. The main titles, by Stephen Frankfurt, with Bernstein's theme, manage brilliantly to capture not only the essense of the film but an essence of childhood, about which both Harper Lee's timeless only published novel and the film itself are very much about. Only later do we discover the nature of that blend of innocence and experience alluded to in the William Blake poem from which Kiselyak takes the title of his documentary.
My only regret is that Harper Lee, though she helped Kiselyak in producing the documetnary, declined to be interviewed for it. In its stead, however, we have another evocation, that of Ms. Lee's voice in the rich tone of nostalgia and reminiscence with which Kiselyak infuses his own small but mighty masterpiece.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 13, 2012 1:26:07 AM PDT
JNagarya says:
PBS produced a wonderful "American Masters" episode about the book (and film) which does include interviews with Harper Lee.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2013 8:43:23 AM PDT
musicman37 says:
Too bad they didn't includes that on this disc.

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 11:18:47 AM PDT
mockingbird says:
The narrator in the documentary has a creepy delivery. It ruined it for me.

Posted on Feb 19, 2016 12:46:08 PM PST
For your information, it is not "Macon", the name of the town is Maycomb.

Posted on Feb 21, 2016 8:54:44 PM PST
John Doe says:
Bill Cosby really need the lawyer in this movie to defend him against all these women who accused him of all these stuffs. He will be exonerate for sure if the lawyer in this movie was defending him.
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