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« Judy by the Numbers: "It's A Great Day for the Irish" | Main | Top Ten: Current Stars Who Deserve a Great Role & Still Haven't Been Nominated »
Tuesday
Apr052016

Best Shot Peck Centennial: Roman Holiday & To Kill a Mockingbird

Gregory Peck was an instant sensation at the cinema. He was nominated for Best Actor in his very first year of the movies for The Keys of the Kingdom (1944) and the hits just kept on coming: The Yearling (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), Twelve O'Clock High (1949). The Academy became less interested in nominating him after that the 1940s but for his Oscar winning and most iconic role (To Kill a Mockingbird) but audiences never stopped loving him. He had key hit films for over 30 years in his big screen career.

Though he was a very politically active liberal he was never interested in running for office himself but he  proved to be an influential politician within the industry itself as a key AMPAS president. 

For this week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot, in honor of Peck's Centennial, we gave participants the choice between what are arguably his two greatest films, Roman Holiday (1953) or To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). Both films were Oscar nominated for Cinematography in their years (as well as Best Picture). Click on any of the images to be directed to the corresponding article.

ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953)
6 participants 

Both Princess Ann and Joe Bradley aren’t telling each other their true identities... 
-Cinema Cities *first time Best Shot participant*

a unique look mixing Hollywood romanticism with a strangely authentic sense of place and time.
-Magnificent Obsession 

 What makes the film great is the chemistry among Peck, Hepburn and Eddie Albert (who played the amusing third wheel in most of the film). 
-Sorta That Guy 

At each new adventure, the lovers are drawn closer and closer together in the frame...
-Film Mix Tape


And here is where she earns that Oscar. 
-I Want to Believe 

a flip flopped Cinderella story
-Wick's Picks 

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)
5 participants 

1962 was a damn solid year for film, wasn’t it? Almost makes the 35th Academy Awards basically the award equivalent of Sophie’s Choice
-Defiant Success 

We're never this far away from anyone at any point in the film...
-Dancin Dan on Film

Someone asked me if I could have lunch with a fictional character who would it be?  My answer is Atticus Finch. 
-Rachel's Reviews

 

the early scenes of the movie are my favorites. They remind me of The Wizard of Oz’s Kansas scenes, a place that you simultaneously want to get away from and could totally see being someone’s home where the heart is.
-Scopophiliac at the Cinema

a movie that works well for almost all ages. 
-Allison Tooey

 

P.S. I apologize for my own absence in this roundup but there is some cat drama offscreen chez moi. We're going to the vet in the morning so hopefully normal blogging shall resume shortly.

NEXT TUESDAY NIGHT: Witness (1985). 

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Reader Comments (16)

Disappointed that I didn't have time to play along this week, but those are some great choices everybody! Particular props to I Want to Believe for selecting the shot I would have selected for mostly the same reasons.

April 5, 2016 | Registered CommenterTim Brayton

https://scopophiliacatthecinema.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/hmwybs-605-gregory-peck/

April 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAR

Both films had so many great shots, I love that almost everyone picked a different one! I also picked a best shot for To Kill a Mockingbird if you want to add that to the post. :)

Can't wait to see what everyone chooses for Star Wars: The Force Awakens next week.

April 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKeisha

My (late) entry here: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/133558.html. Hopefully the pictures are sized better this time around!

Also, I'm going to be out of town throughout April and will miss directly participating in these challenges. However, I watched almost all the movies you announced (other than The Force Awakens, which I don't have access to) and wrote up something for them. Is there some way I could send them to you so you could have them available on the appropriate day, or do you just want to wait and check my journal on the day in question (I'm scheduling a backlog of reviews for while I'm gone)?

April 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Tooey

My late entry:

http://thewickspicks.tumblr.com/post/142334508885/hit-me-with-your-best-shot-roman-holiday-1953

I've been so busy, but I wanted to participate. Plus, I had never seen Roman Holiday and I remedied that.

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Here is entry, Nat:
http://theexpertnewbie.tumblr.com/post/142341011219/the-film-experiences-hit-me-with-your-best-shot

Sorry for the tardiness and hope you can put it in the list. Thanks.
Only for TKaM though. I currently don't have any access to Roman Holiday, but its ending would have ruined me so much that I could not write a post. So it's all good.

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercraver

*that one is MY entry, Nat* lol

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercraver

Will you be covering Macarthur from 1977.

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermark

I liked the way Gregory Peck insisted that Audrey Hepburn have equal billing for Roman Holiday (instead of "and introducing Audrey Hepburn as..."). He said she was wonderful in the part, was going to be a big star, deserved top billing, and they would look stupid later on if they didn't give it to her.

Part of what makes Audrey believable as a princess is Peck's performance. The way he graciously directs focus on her, his obvious appreciation of her uniqueness.

It's kind of an actor's lesson. That you don't "look bad" if you're not constantly fighting to keep the centre of attention on yourself. That whole heartedly giving your energy and support to your fellow actor, with a generosity of spirit, makes the whole movie suddenly work, everybody looks good, and there's a timeless quality to it.

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Not sure if you got my email. Here's my entry for To Kill a Mockingbird: http://www.film-actually.com/2016/04/hit-me-with-your-best-shot-to-kill.html

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

Not sure if you saw my email. Here's my entry for To Kill a Mockingbird: http://www.film-actually.com/2016/04/hit-me-with-your-best-shot-to-kill.html

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

To Kill a Mockingbird is a beautiful black and white movie….one of the best ever shot and had it ALL over the Oscar winner, The Longest Day. These are excellent choices that embrace the heart of the film.
I know this blogpost is called HMWYBS, but the music was unique. Elmer Bernstein capture the innocence of Scout’s world and the dark underside of the town, all in one unconventional score.

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie19

It's so crazy to realize TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was the same year as LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. I don't envy having to go down the line with those two films against one another (plus THE MIRACLE WORKER).

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

I love these movies. They don't really age, either. I suspected there wouldn't be much overlap in choices for best shot, particularly in HTKAM, and I was right!

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercash

Digging into these tonight. Very excited.

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Zitzelman

I love both of these films so much it was tough to decide. I love how the picture in Roman Holiday of the press lined up Gregory Peck is taller than everyone else. It makes him really stand out. That movie makes you believe in love at first sight.
To Kill a Mockingbird is perfection. I love everything about the novel and book but mostly that it is about an honorable man who enters a fight he knows he is going to lose but does it anyway. That is honor.

April 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRachel Wagner

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