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Still shot from the movie: To Kill A Mockingbird.

To Kill A Mockingbird

Hollywood shines in this adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning book about an idealistic Alabama lawyer (Gregory Peck) who is asked to defend a black man (Brock Peters) accused of assaulting a white woman (Collin Wilcox). Told through the eyes of his children (Phillip Alford and Mary Badham), the movie shares lessons about prejudice and tolerance. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: A
Violence: B
Sexual Content: B+
Language: A-
Drugs/Alcohol: A-
Run Time: 127
Theater Release: 25 Dec 1962
Video Release: 30 Jan 2012
MPAA Rating: PG
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Why Is To Kill A Mockingbird Rated PG?


Overall: A

When an idealistic lawyer is asked to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman, his own children learn lessons about prejudice and tolerance.

Violence: B

Siblings squabble. Young boy complains that his father won’t allow him to have a gun. Gossip about a mentally ill neighbor includes tales of eating raw squirrels, stabbing a family member with scissors and allegations that his father chains him to a bed. Children believe an elderly woman carries a pistol, and they are afraid she may shoot them. Death threats and concerns for mob violence accompany plans for a black man’s trial. There are several suspenseful moments when children fear for their lives—sometimes these fears are imaginary, sometimes not. An angry neighbor scares away an intruder with a shotgun blast. Young girl wrestles with other schoolmates after they verbally taunt her. Man shoots and kills a rabid dog. Characters describe the murder of other characters: one by gunshot, the other by stabbing. A character spits on another. A stranger stalks children, and one of them is beaten.

Sexual Content: B+

A young girl is shown in her an undershirt and later in a slip. A young boy has to remove his trousers when they get stuck on a wire fence — he is seen in boxer shorts. A white woman accuses a black man of rape; descriptions of crime are not explicit and include mentions of being beaten, having bruises and an attempt of chocking.

Language: A-

At least: Four term of deity used as expletives, as well as racial name-calling and derogatory terms for the mentally ill.

Alcohol / Drug Use: A-

A man is depicted as a drunkard, and is seen occasionally with a bottle in his hand.

Miscellaneous Concerns:

The young children who are the main characters in the story discuss the death of their mother. Children choose to ignore the council of adults and sneak out of their home at night. Attitudes about racial differences are expressed. 

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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