Few lawyers have received a more admiring portrayal than that of the character Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's 1960 novel "To Kill a Mockingbird." Despite how Finch was cast in a less-flattering light in Lee's posthumously published novel "Go Set a Watchman," the Finch in "Mockingbird" is a decent man, intent on seeing that justice be done — no matter the cost.
Lee's novel, which won the Pulitzer Prize, is probably best known because of the 1962 film directed by Robert Mulligan, adapted for the screen by Horton Foote. Nominated for eight Academy Awards, Mulligan's film won three, including Best Adapted Screenplay for Foote and Best Actor for Gregory Peck.
It's Peck most of us tend to see when we think of Finch. And it is his innate sense of dignity that comes off the screen when Reverend Sykes (played by Bill Walker) tells young Scout (Mary Badham), "Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passing."
Mulligan's movie returns to the big screen on two dates, at 1 p.m. on Sunday and at noon and at 7 p.m. March 27, at two Regal Cinemas' theaters: Northtown Mall and Coeur d'Alene's Riverstone Stadium.
In a time of racial and cultural polarization, seeing "To Kill a Mockingbird" just might give us some hope that things can get better.