Thursday, March 22, 2012
I recently wrote about how dismayed I am to see that racism is alive and well, even in this day and age. Despite everything this country has been through, old habits die hard and it is discouraging to realize how difficult it is to eradicate such deep-set beliefs and prejudices. It's a daunting task, but the only way to move forward is to educate the next generation, open their eyes, get them to try and know the people they profess to hate, so they can realize that they are not so different from one another.
This is one of the key messages of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books that I can read again and again; it's such a heartwrenching story that I'm surprised I can bring myself to go back to it, but I do. I feel the same way with the movie; Gregory Peck's performance as Atticus Finch always leaves me in tears. If you haven't read the book or seen the movie, I highly recommend that you do. It's amazing.
Incredibly, the movie is now celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Universal Studios has released a 50th Anniversary edition Blu-Ray and DVD. They sent me a copy to review, so I can enjoy time and time again. In the movie, Gregory Peck plays lawyer Atticus Finch, who is the defense lawyer of a black man wrongfully accused of raping a white woman in a small Alabama town. The evidence overwhelmingly acquits the black man, but the jurors refuse to see past their prejudices.
What makes this movie so memorable is the parallel story of how Atticus' teaches his own children, Jem and Scout, about the realities of prejudice, and how they can overcome it in their own lives. It's amazing to realize that this story is so relevant, even today. This book and movie should be required reading and viewing in every school in the US, and if it isn't, parents should take the initiative. The book might be too meaty or verbose for younger kids, in which case I definitely recommend the movie (and Commonsense Media agrees with me). It may be a courtroom drama, but Jem and Scout's storyline makes it interesting for kids, and no parent should pass up the opportunity for such an important teaching moment.
About the movie
Screen legend Gregory Peck stars as courageous Southern lawyer Atticus Finch - the Academy Award®-winning performance hailed by the American Film Institute as the Greatest Movie Hero of All Time. Based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel about innocence, strength and conviction and nominated for eight Academy Awards®, this beloved classic is now digitally remastered and fully restored for optimum picture and sound quality and boasts hours of unforgettable bonus features. Watch it and remember why “it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
About the 50th Anniversary Edition
Universal City, Calif. (November 28, 2011) – To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the screen’s most beloved and critically acclaimed films, celebrates its 50th anniversary with a commemorative Limited Edition Collector’s Series Blu-ray™ Combo Pack as well as on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD from Universal Studios Home Entertainment on January 31, 2012. The powerful and poignant adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel hits the half-century mark, digitally remastered and fully restored from high resolution 35MM original film elements, plus more than three-and-a-half hours of bonus features chronicling the making of the cinematic masterpiece.
The Limited Edition Collector’s Series Combo Pack of To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition will include a Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy of the film, packaged in a hardcover book featuring exclusive movie memorabilia including script pages with Gregory Peck’s handwritten notes, storyboards, poster art and much more.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of the movie to facilitate my review. Product information is provided by ThinkJam Publicity and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.