To Kill a Mockingbird (film)
- Directed by Robert Mulligan. Written by Horton Foote, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee.
- If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.
- To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. The State has not produced one iota of medical evidence that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place. It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses whose evidence has not only been called into serious question on cross examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant. Now there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led, almost exclusively, with his left [hand]. And Tom Robinson now sits before you, having taken 'The Oath' with the only good hand he possesses - his right. I have nothing but pity in my heart for the chief witness for the State. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance, but my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man's life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt. Now I say guilt, gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her. She has committed no crime. She has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She must destroy the evidence of her offense.
But what was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson - a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was to her a daily reminder of what she did. Now what did she do? She tempted a Negro. She was white and she tempted a Negro. She did something that in our society is unspeakable. She kissed a black man. Not an old uncle, but a strong, young Negro man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards. The witnesses for the State, with the exception of the sheriff of Lincoln County, have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court, in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption - the evil assumption - that all Negroes lie. All Negroes are basically immoral beings. All Negro men are not to be trusted around our women, an assumption that one associates with minds of their caliber, and which is in itself, gentlemen, a lie - which I do not need to point out to you.
And so, a quiet, humble, respectable Negro, who has had the unmitigated temerity to feel sorry for a white woman, has had to put his word against two white peoples. The defendant is not guilty. But somebody in this courtroom is. Now gentlemen, in this country, our courts are the great levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system. That's no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality. Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review - without passion - the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this man to his family. In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe Tom Robinson.
Narrator (Jean Louise)
- Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it. Somehow it was hotter then. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum. The day was twenty-four hours long, but it seemed longer. There's no hurry, for there's nowhere to go and nothing to buy... and no money to buy it with. Although Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself... that summer, I was six years old.
- There just didn't seem to be anyone or anything Atticus couldn't explain. Though it wasn't a talent that would arouse the admiration of any of our friends, Jem and I had to admit he was very good at that, but that was all he was good at...we thought.
- Neighbors bring food with death... and flowers with sickness... and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a knife... and our lives. One time Atticus said... you never really knew a man until you stood in his shoes and walked around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough. The summer that had begun so long ago had ended, and another summer had taken its place. And a fall. And Boo Radley had come out. I was to think of these days many times, of Jem and Dill... and Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. And Atticus. He would be in Jem's room all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.
- Atticus: Good afternoon, Miss Dubose... My, you look like a picture this afternoon.
- Scout: [hiding behind Atticus whispering to Jem and Dill] He don't say a picture of what.
- Atticus: Do you know what a compromise is?
- Scout: Bendin' the law?
- Atticus: Uh, no. It's an agreement reached by mutual consent. Now, here's the way it works. You concede the necessity of goin' to school, we'll keep right on readin' the same every night, just as we always have. Is that a bargain?
- Atticus: I remember when my daddy gave me that gun. He told me that I should never point it at anything in the house, and that he'd rather I'd shoot at tin cans in the backyard. But he said that sooner or later he supposed the temptation to go after birds would be too much, and that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted, if I could hit 'em, but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird.
- Jem: Why?
- Atticus: Well, I reckon because mockingbirds don't do anything but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat people's gardens, don't nest in the corncribs. They don't do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us.
- Scout: Atticus, do you defend niggers?
- Atticus: Don't say "nigger," Scout.
- Scout: I didn't say it... Cecil Jacobs did. That's why I had to fight him.
- Atticus: Scout, I don't want you fightin'!
- Scout: I had to, Atticus, he—
- Atticus: I don't care what the reasons are. I forbid you to fight. There are some things that you're not old enough to understand just yet. There's been some high talk around town to the effect that I shouldn't do much about defending this man.
- Scout: If you shouldn't be defending him, then why are you doing it?
- Atticus: For a number of reasons. The main one is that if I didn't, I couldn't hold my head up in town. I couldn't even tell you or Jem not to do somethin' again. You're gonna hear some ugly talk about this in school. But I want you to promise me one thing... that you won't get into fights over it, no matter what they say to you.
- Atticus: I must be losing my memory. I can't remember whether Jem is twelve or thirteen. Anyway, it'll have to come before the county court. Of course, it's a clear-cut case of self defense. I'll ahh, well I'll run down to the office...
- Sheriff Heck Tate: Mr. Finch, do you think Jem stabbed Bob Ewell? Is that what you think? Your boy never killed anyone.
- [Atticus and Sheriff Tate look at Boo]
- Sheriff Heck Tate: Bob Ewell fell on his knife — he killed himself. There's a black man dead for no reason; now the man responsible for it is dead. Let the dead bury the dead this time, Mr. Finch. I never heard tell it was against the law for any citizen to do his utmost to prevent a crime from being committed, which is exactly what he did. But maybe you'll tell me it's my duty to tell the town all about it and not to hush it up? Well, you know what'll happen then? All the ladies in Maycomb, including my wife, will be knocking on his door bringing angel food cakes. To my way of thinking, taking the one man who's done you and this town a big service and dragging him with his shy ways into the limelight — to me that's a sin... it's a sin. And I'm not about to have it on my head. I may not be much, Mr. Finch, but I'm still Sheriff of Maycomb County, and Bob Ewell fell on his knife. Good night, sir.
- The most beloved and widely read Pulitzer Prize Winner now comes vividly alive on the screen!
- If you have read the novel, you will relive every treasured moment. . .If not, a deeply moving experience awaits you
- Gregory Peck - Atticus Finch
- Mary Badham - Jean Louise 'Scout' Finch
- Phillip Alford - Jeremy 'Jem' Finch
- Robert Duvall - Arthur 'Boo' Radley
- John Megna - Charles Baker 'Dill' Harris
- Frank Overton - Sheriff Heck Tate
- Rosemary Murphy - Maudie Atkinson
- Ruth White - Mrs. Dubose
- Brock Peters - Tom Robinson
- Estelle Evans - Calpurnia
- Alice Ghostley - Aunt Stephanie Crawford
- Paul Fix - Judge Taylor
- Collin Wilcox Paxton - Mayella Violet Ewell
- James Anderson - Robert E. Lee 'Bob' Ewell
- William Windom - Mr. Gilmer, Prosecutor
- Kim Stanley - Narrator (Scout as an adult)