Thursday, April 05, 2012

To Kill A Mockingbird: Two Birthdays

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film of To Kill A Mockingbird, President Obama had a screening at the White House.  Attending were Mary Badham, who as a child played Scout in the film, and Gregory Peck's widow. The film will be shown on the USA cable network on Saturday, with an introduction by President Obama.

Today would have been Gregory Peck's 96th birthday.  He was a thoroughly admirable man playing an thoroughly admirable man, which was part of the excitement of seeing this movie when it came out.  He was the adult actor I most admired in my adolescence.  It's not coincidence that he became the link for many of the people connected with this film.  He had a lifelong friendship with Mary Badham and the novel's author Harper Lee. 

I've written in detail on all versions of To Kill A Mockingbird, both on this site and on Stage Matters.  Judging from the hits on both these sites, this story remains alive.  That's a truly wonderful thing about books, plays and films.  No matter how old, they can always become present to new readers and audiences, to new generations, like the school children who also attended the White House screening this afternoon.  

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