Patt Morrison for February 16, 2012

“To Kill a Mockingbird” (the film) turns 50, with previously unpublished notes on the script from Gregory Peck

AP

In this file photo, Gregory Peck is shown as attorney Atticus Finch, a small-town Southern lawyer who defends a black man accused of rape, in a scene from the 1962 movie "To Kill a Mockingbird."

The film “To Kill A Mockingbird,” based on Harper Lee’s classic novel about race and law and culture in the segregated South, appeared 50 years ago this year. It won actor Gregory Peck an Oscar for his portrayal of lawyer Atticus Finch; author Lee was delighted with Peck's performance. A seminal American book had become a seminal American movie -- to this day, American parents still name their children after characters in the book. It's been suggested that Peck may have nailed the role because the character fit his own personality so well, and now a new edition of the film has been released with several pages of Peck's shooting script, full of his personal interpretations and memories. Film scholar Jeanine Basinger joins Patt to talk about Peck and how some of the story’s more controversial elements were translated to the silver screen. Is "Mockingbird" one of your favorite films, and why?

Guest:

Jeanine Basinger, Corwin-Fuller professor of Film Studies; chair, Film Studies Department, Wesleyan University and curator, Wesleyan Cinema Archives


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