BrianRxm Coins in Movies 96/110
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
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The 1962 Universal Pictures film "To Kill a Mockingbird" has a title sequence which shows some
United States early 1900's Indian Head pennies and 1960's Lincoln cents.
 
The film is based on the novel by Harper Lee which was published in 1960.
The film stars Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, a small town lawyer in 1933 who is raising two children alone.
He becomes the defense attorney for a black man accused of assaulting a white woman.
 
The film titles show a cigar box with souvenirs including Indian Head pennies and Lincoln cents.
To Kill a Mockingbird
1. Title
 
The title scenes are narrated by the girl as an adult woman remembering her childhood.
A pair of hands open a cigar box displaying a number of objects.
 
To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Box of memories
 
This scene shows some of the items including carved soap dolls, a watch, some crayons,
and some early 1900's Indian Head pennies and 1960's Lincoln cents.
 
The 1960 cents and the film's setting in the 1930's is sometimes considered a film "goof" but the
adult woman narrating the titles makes it clear that the events in the film occurred a long time ago.
 
To Kill a Mockingbird
3. Indian Head pennies and Lincoln cents
 
A closer look at the items shows an Indian Head penny with the date 1907.
 
An Indian Head penny:
 
United States cent 1906
4. Indian Head penny 1906
 
Indian Head pennies are mentioned in the book but their significance was left out of the film.
 
Scout and Jem find a pair of such pennies and discuss them.
Scout is narrating.
 
Inside were two scrubbed and polished pennies, one on top of the other.
Jem examined them.
"Indian-heads," he said. "Nineteen-six and Scout, one of 'em's nineteen-hundred.
These are real old."
"Nineteen-hundred," I echoed. "Say---"
 
"I don't know, Scout. But these are important to somebody..."
"How's that, Jem...?"
"Well, Indian-heads --- well, they come from the Indians.
They're real strong magic, they make you have good luck.
Not like fried chicken when you're not lookin' for it,
but things like long life 'n' good health, 'n' passin' six-weeks test...
these are real valuable to somebody. I'm gonna put 'em in my trunk."
 
Maycomb, Alabama is a small rural town in 1933.
Attorney Atticus Finch is a widower with two small children, a boy Jem and a girl Scout.
Another boy Dill arrives to stay with his aunt and meets the pair.
 
To Kill a Mockingbird
5. Children Jem, Dill, Scout
 
Jem and Scout take Dill on a tour of the town and warn him about a local man known as "Boo" Radley
who is insane and comes out out night.
 
Well... judging from his tracks, he's about six and a half feet tall.
He eats raw squirrels and all the cats he can catch.
There's a long, jaggeg scar that runs across his face.
His teeth are yellow and rotten.
His eyes are popped, and he drools most of the time.
 
To Kill a Mockingbird
6. Father Atticus Finch
 
The local judge asks Atticus to defend a black man, Tom Robinson, who is accused of assaulting
a local white girl, Mayella Ewell. Mayella's father Bob Ewell claims to have witnessed the assault.
 
The children spend time wandering around the area.
 
To Kill a Mockingbird
7. Children in the town square
 
Tom Robinson is lodged in the local jail, Atticus is seated outside, and a small mob arrives.
 
To Kill a Mockingbird
8. Lynch mob
 
Atticus' children manage to embarrass one of the mob members and they leave.
 
To Kill a Mockingbird
9. Atticus in court
 
Atticus cross-examines the girl and her father, Bob Ewell, and manages to discredit their stories.
The jury convicts Tom anyway, and he is soon killed by sheriffs, supposedly while trying to escape.
 
Bob Ewell, who has been made a fool by Atticus, wants revenge and keeps approaching the children.
 
To Kill a Mockingbird
10. Bob Ewell
 
For some reason, he is seen a lot in the black community.
 
It is now Halloween and the children attend a school pageant where Scout, the girl, is costumed
as an agricultural product, a "ham".
 
To Kill a Mockingbird
11. Jem accompanies Scout who is costumed as a "ham"
 
After the pageant, the two children walk home through the woods.
They are accosted by Bob Ewell, who breaks the boy's arm.
Someone else grabs Bob, the girl sees a man carrying her brother, and she runs home.
 
Atticus calls a doctor to treat Jem and calls the sheriff.
A strange man is in the house and Scout realizes that he is the mysterious Boo Radley.
 
To Kill a Mockingbird
12. Arthur "Boo" Radley
 
The sheriff tells everyone that Bob Ewell is dead with his knife in him and that there won't be any
legal proceedings.
 
Atticus thanks Boo for saving his children and goes to see his daughter.
 
To Kill a Mockingbird
13. Father and daughter
 
Notes:
 
Cast:
Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch
Mary Badham as Scout
Phillip Alford as Jem
John Megna as Dill Harris
James Anderson as Bob Ewell
Robert Duvall as Arthur "Boo" Radley
 
Director: Robert Mulligan
Writers: Harper Lee (novel), Horton Foote
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