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Thursday, November 15, 2012

To Kill a Mockingbird Adaptation Turns 50

Written by Kyle Slagley

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the film adaptation of the Harper Lee classic To Kill a Mockingbird, a book that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and is a staple of nearly every high school curriculum in the country.

We all know the story of Scout, Atticus, Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson and probably have since 10th grade. When producer Alan Pakula was asked by Paramount Studios what story he intended to tell with the screenplay, he responded, “Have you read the book? That’s the story.” The story needed no embellishment and no artistic license.

Harper Lee herself sat in on the first three weeks of filming before realizing that “everything would be fine without her.” Lee was correct and the film went on to win three Academy Awards out of its eight nominations. Lee was so impressed with Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Atticus Finch that she gave him a pocket watch that belonged to her father, who was the basis for the character. Peck would have the watch with him the night he accepted his Oscar for Best Actor.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary, a newly restored version of the film is playing today only in select theaters across the U.S. You can see the full list of participating theaters here.

No participating theaters in your area? You can still pick up the DVD or Blu-ray of the newly restored version on our website, as well as the unabridged audiobook.

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