So, here’s a question for you. I asked my wife this same question last night over dinner:
If you had to choose ONE film to watch, let’s say, once a week for the rest of your life, what film would you choose.
Easy for me. Any movie that tells a story of growing up in a small Southern town, where race is the force that, paradoxically, both binds the town together and threatens to destroy it utterly. In which Gregory Peck becomes Atticus Finch. Written by Horton Foote. In which Foote and Robert Duvall begin a wonderful partnership. Which features pitch-perfect acting in minor roles, e.g., Brock Peters as Tom Robinson, Estelle Evans as Calpurnia, Frank Overton as Sheriff Heck Tate, Rosemary Murphy as Maudie Atkinson, Paul Fix as Judge Taylor, et al. In which two important characters are thinly veiled versions of well-known and famously intimate friends, viz., the writers Harper Lee and Truman Capote.
Oh, I could go on. So many lovely moments, so many classic lines. And so sweet, so hopeful. When Scout (Mary Badham) is standing on the Radleys’ porch at the end of the movie, looking out at the world from their perspective, oh, so well done. Plus, it has the best opening sequence of any film ever. No, no, I won’t hear different. Elmer Bernstein wrote this music and it’s really impossible to imagine anything better for this little movie, wearing its heart on its sleeve, so earnest:
Anyway, what film would you choose, I wonder?