Top positive review
165 people found this helpful
on 23 August 2006
To those who judge a book by its cover, Gregory Peck in spectacles looks like too serious a film to dig up - but this film is not about serious old Gregory Peck. It is quite a simple story from the vantage of two motherless children who play around and are intrigued by an unknown fearful character in their neighbourhood reputed to be mad, and the events surrounding Gregory Peck, their father defending a black worker unjustly accused of raping a woman - during the 1930s when segregation was the norm in the south.
Gregory Peck comes across as a very dignified, handsome, moral character - who abounds in justice and strong paternal qualities. The true star of the show is Gregory Peck's daughter and her tomboy antics along with her brother and their friend. Peck's character is a admirable lawyer defending a case which in all probability he will lose. But the unfairness meted to the black defendant though forming a core aspect to this film is not centre stage. What is centre stage is the children and their vision of the proceedings and the danger they are placed in from those who hate Peck's advocacy of a black man's justice.
The music and overall atmosphere of the film describing quiet southern town life evokes a bygone age of innocence, friendliness and charm - along with the grosser aspects of intolerance at the time. The music if very special.
This film got several oscars including best actor for Gregory Peck.
This DVD comes with one version of the film with a producer/director commentary and a 90 minute documentary about the whole project with critical exploration of what the film and book convey.
Truly an American classic and the best aspects of humanity from a south US heartland.