29 March 2010

Data on Gold Coast Bluenote: An Apparently Popular Post on the Film "To Kill a Mockingkingbird"

The post that, far and away gets the most hits here at Gold Coast Bluenote (GCB), is a discussion of the film made from Horton Foote's screenplay -- based on Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel -- for the 1962 film starring Gregory Peck, To Kill a Mockingbird. My hypothesis is that a substantial number of students assigned to read the book or see the film may find my 2007 GCB post, 'It's a Sin to Kill a Mockingbird', because the post's title is a line directly from the film. Image and article searches, therefore, using primarily but not exclusively Google search engines, hit home here.

I find it a good time, to repost this modest effort up front for those who might otherwise miss it.
Now, 'to play it again, Sam' so to speak, let's revisit my discussion of director Robert Mullingan's inspirational film:

The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box. As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it - whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.
(- Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 23, spoken by the character Atticus)
Gregory Peck's performance as Atticus Finch in the 1962 film adaptation of Harper Lee's novel To Kill A Mockingbird inspired many a young social activist and prospective lawyer to follow Atticus' example and seek social justice, whatever the personal cost. These young idealists would drop like flies as the realities of the real world closed around them. But a few survived to carry the torch for the equality of all men and women under the law.

And the film's impact stretches even further.

The Story of Movies Foundation uses the film To Kill A Mockingbird in the The Story of Movies as a way to provide middle school children a ".... guide to [the] students in learning how to read moving images. Although teachers frequently use films in the classroom, film as language and as historical and cultural documents is not widely taught. ...."

Lovers of great books -- me, I plead guilty -- are becoming fewer and farther between as the electronic media age progresses and instant visual and audio gratification becomes the status quo. But Harper Lee's novel survives as assigned classroom reading and Robert Mulligan's 1962 film adaptation still inspires idealists young and old to this day.

A large part of the credit goes to Gregory Peck for his performance in the role of Atticus Finch. Peck brings a sense of moral certainty, legal ethics and talent, as well as compassionate single-parent wisdom to the role that is truly astonishing.

Thanks Ms. Lee, Mr. Peck, and everyone who contributed to the creation of this film; I am re-inspired and given hope for humanity every time I see this film masterwork.

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