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Customer Review

272 of 295 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving Treatment of A True American Classic, March 11, 2003
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Collector's Edition) (DVD)
Everyone who has ever taken high school English classes will no doubt be familiar with Harper Lee's time honored story. As is mentioned in the accompanying DVD, Fearfull Symmetry, it is second only to the Bible in the hearts and minds of U.S. readers. This is probably also the most often-shown film in said classrooms. No need to reshash the story-line, then.
This DVD set offers an excellent transfer of the famed black and white cinematography of the prolific Russel Harlan. It's a real treat to hear from so many of the people who were involved in the production, from the producer, Alan J. Pakula, to the now grown actors who played Scout and Jim. The audience gains great insights into what made this film so special, not only to the legions of its admiring fans, but to everyone involved in creating it. We learn the scenes that Horton Foote, the screenwriter added from the book to advance character development (the scene showing Atticus putting Scout to bed and her questioning Jim about their mother as Atticus overhears them from the porch, was not in the book, for instance). We get to hear from Elmer Bernstein talk about the genesis of his unforgettable soundtrack. Due credit is also given to Stephen Frankfurt, for his highly creative and original title design, which sets the tone so beatifully for the rest of the film.
There is no question that this is director Robert Mulligan's greatest film, nor that in his portrayal of Atticus Finch, Gregory Peck found the role most perfectly suited to his character and rock-solid persona. This is a film about integrity, essentially, and there is not a false moment in the film. This compilation should be included in any film collector's library. I hope it continues to be shown in English classes until time immemorial. It's message and its relevance to the human condition will never go out of style, one hopes. Major Praise to Universal Studios and to all those involved in assembling this perfect DVD special edition.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 10, 2007 8:55:57 PM PST
in1ear says:
The boy's name is Jem not Jim. Possibly short for "Jeramiah" but just a guess on my part. Turn on the subtitle or read the Harper Lee novel again
Sorry for the correction. I read and respect your reviews and the fine job you do!
John Row a one time top 100 Amazon reviewer also.

Posted on Dec 12, 2009 5:01:10 PM PST
This edition IS Close Captioned and the Legacy edition is NOT. For those of us who are hearing impaired this is critically important!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2009 8:31:35 PM PST
Jem's full first name is "Jeremy"

Posted on Jan 31, 2012 10:37:34 AM PST
D. Mckinzie says:
I agree with you about the fine work done by the cast and crew, but also would like to commend the makers of the set. I have heard that the people charged with set (whose names I don't remember) heard of a lot of period houses that were to be torn down for a freeway and managed to snag the right to move them all to the set, which accounts for how realistic the neighborhood is. Kudos for such creative "recycling" of houses that would otherwise have been wasted. Clearly everyone involved with this great movie was exceptional!

Posted on Feb 7, 2012 4:09:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 7, 2012 8:14:28 PM PST
I am wanting this Blue Ray for sure, but what sort of kills it for me is the colorized version, and Im just wondering if they have "an option" to watch it colored or the original black and white?

Updated: I thought this post was based on teh blu ray version, yes I have the dvd you are talking about as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2012 6:35:24 PM PST
D. Mckinzie says:
I bought the collector's edition as a DVD several years ago and the jacket shows the pictures with color, but the movie itself is black and white. Maybe the blue ray will have that option or will be black and white, too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2013 8:40:16 AM PDT
musicman37 says:
A colorized "Mockingbird"? That would TRULY be sacrilege.

What are people thinking??!!

Posted on Feb 13, 2014 5:20:17 AM PST
vb says:
The scene of Atticus on the porch is one of my favorites. You can see the burden he feels in having to raise the children without their mother. You can see the pain he feels in knowing that his children will not even know their mother, except for a few of Jem's early memories. I hope this is mentioned when school classes are shown the film. It's a far cry from the world of baby mamas and baby daddies.
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Review Details



Bruce Kendall

Location: Southern Pines, NC

Top Reviewer Ranking: 34,476