Harper Lee's nostalgic novel, a junior-high-school favorite, about growing up in smalltown Alabama, and about the lessons learned along the way, gets a slick and overstressed treatment from Robert Mulligan. The episodic narrative, which takes its time and varies its moods, has a serialized quality, and some of the installments, notably the last one, on a stormy Halloween night, with Robert Duvall putting in an appearance as the mysterious recluse Bo Radley, command attention better than others. The movie's most lasting effect may have been that Mulligan got strapped with an unshakable reputation as a patient and painstaking coach of child actors. With Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Philip Alford, and John Megna. (1962) — Duncan Shepherd
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