Friday, April 12, 2024

CIFF Classic Film Screening February: “To Kill a Mockingbird” – Feb. 28

Back by popular demand, Coronado Island Film Festival will present the enduring 1962 masterpiece “To Kill a Mockingbird” on Wednesday, February 28, as part of its 2024 Classic Film Series at Coronado’s Village Theatre. The film was a complete sellout when CIFF first screened it in 2017, with the ticket line rounding the corner of Orange Avenue and 8th Street.

There is no superlative that hasn’t already been used to describe this film – it is widely considered to be one of the best and most inspiring movies of all time. To paraphrase one reviewer: “It’s a story riven with themes: of prejudice, hate, broken dreams, of courage and caring, of taunting and daring, of growing up and finding out what life means. And at its heart you’ll find Atticus Finch…”

In 2003, The American Film Institute named Atticus Finch as the #1 screen hero of the last 100 years. Played by Gregory Peck, he’s an attorney in a small southern town, defending Tom Robinson, a black man on trial for the rape of a white woman.

Anyone who has not seen Peck’s searing performance on the big screen is in for a movie night to remember. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won three, including Best Actor for Peck. Tickets are $15 and are on sale now at coronadofilmfest.com. They may also be purchased at the CIFF table at the theatre, if any are still available. Doors will open at 5 pm for complimentary refreshments, followed by a vintage cartoon and the feature presentation at 5:30. Early arrival is recommended for optimal seat selection.

Based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, Horton Foot earned the Oscar for his adapted screenplay of the book. Lee claimed the character of Atticus was inspired by her late father.

The film’s third Oscar was for Art Direction, awarded to legendary Hollywood art director Alexander Golitzen, one of the first “name” art directors in the film industry. He and his team built from scratch the fictional 1930s town of Maycomb, Alabama on the back lot of Universal Studios for the film, authentic to the last detail.

And there is a Coronado connection

The film will be introduced by Golitzen’s grandson, CIFF Board President Phil Garn, who inherited his grandfather’s collection of Hollywood memorabilia, including site plans, photos, original drawings and Oscar statuettes. Phil will have the actual Mockingbird Oscar on hand at the Village Theatre.

Born in 1908 into an aristocratic family with roots to the ruling Romanoffs, Golitzen was a Russian prince who escaped with his family during the Russian Revolution. Traveling via Siberia and China, the family ultimately settled in Seattle, where Alexander graduated from high school and later earned a degree in architecture from University of Washington. He worked part time at Boeing Aircraft, where he designed the company’s classic winged logo.

Drawn to Hollywood, he began working as an actor and a sketch artist for MGM, where his skills were soon recognized and and his career as a gifted Art Director soon took off.

Over the course of a long and prolific career at Universal Studios, Golitzen was nominated for 14 Academy Awards, winning three, including one for “Spartacus” in 1960. Golitzen was married to his wife Frances for 72 years, until his death in San Diego in 2005 at the age of 93.

Next month

Don’t miss Steve McQueen behind the wheel of his 1968 Mustang GT in the action/thriller “Bullitt” on Wednesday, March 28. Tickets are available now.

 



Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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