“To Kill a Mocking Bird” is one of the most beautifully written screenplays ever made. Written by Melville writer Gregory Peck and directed by Blake Edwards, the film stars Edward Bennett and Barbara Hershey. Edward Bennett plays Atticus Finch, a respected and widely loved attorney practicing in the southern United States. He is a passionate and die-hard fan of civil rights and is an outspoken advocate for the less fortunate and downtrodden. However, he secretly cares deeply for the unsolved death of a young black man, Amina Coleman, which prompts him to take on a personal case involving African American civil rights.

When Atticus gets a visit from former junior high school classmate and friend Mandy Coleman, he does not believe her story about being a slave in Africa. Mandy is a bold and courageous woman who claims that she escaped a white plantation only to find herself sold as a slave on a fishing boat in the Mississippi delta. She tells Atticus that she escaped by boarding a steamboat with some other black women and made her way to New Orleans. She married a white man, Richard Burton, and they had two children. But Atticus worries that if their story ever found its way onto television or the movies, it would tarnish the image of blacks in America.

Mandy, on the other hand, is determined to tell her story no matter what consequences it may bring. And so she goes to meet Atticus in New Orleans to discuss the details of her early escape. At first Atticus tries to discourage her, but she insists that she will tell him everything. And so he lets her go to meet her cousin, Virgil, who is by this time a good friend. Atticus immediately finds out that Virgill’s family owns the Cleopatra Club, an exclusive black entertainment club where members are invited to meetings featuring black top entertainers and celebrities.

While touring the Cleopatra Club with Mandy, Atticus finds out that they are having trouble deciding who should act as “Mister Macaca,” the comic strip tribute to their favorite black entertainer, so they assign him to be Bob Mulligan, a black musician who sings and plays the guitar. The two boys become close friends and spend a great deal of time together, although they are separated by race. On Saturdays, they both go to the jazz band Sugar Mountain. Atticus realizes that he has fallen in love with Mandy, so he decides to ask her to marry him. But before he can do that, though, he has to go back to Mississippi to help his cousin rescue his sister, Annette, who was kidnapped by whites working on a sugar plantation.

When Atticus and Mandy return to Mississippi, they run into Cleopatra, who greets them and offers them tea, which turns out to be poisoned. She then makes several demands on Bob Mulligan, including letting him marry her. To make matters worse, Atticus is captured while trying to steal Cleopatra’s jewelry, which is secretly given to her by her friend, Bathsheba. At first, Cleopatra wants to use Attius as a bargaining chip, but she quickly decides that Attius is better off as a free man. Mandy meanwhile is happy to live with Attius, because she loves him, but when Attius decides to run away from home to save his own life, Mandy pursues him relentlessly.

After several weeks of searching for Bob Mulligan, Atticus gets his chance to meet him when he sneaks into the lab where Doctor Beddie and his assistant, Honey Boy, are working. Once there, Atticus overhears a conversation between Dr. Beddie and Boo Radley, where both men admit to being in love with each other. The two men come to an agreement to help each other find Bob Mulligan, believing they may be able to help each other get back together. Once they track down Bob, however, they learn that he has been killed by a mugger.

Mockingbird and Boo Radley return to Bob’s hometown, which is controlled by General Thunderbolt Eastman, whom they want to arrest for murder. After taking over the newspaper stand, Mockingbird learns that they have the power to control the press, which allows her to finally confront Eastman. While she is speaking with Eastman, Boo arrives at the scene and sneaks up on her. Mockingbird tries to stop Boo, but she is knocked unconscious. However, Mockingbird is able to distract Eastman long enough for Bob to shoot him. However, before leaving, Eastman taunts Mockingbird, prompting her to shoot him as well, thus capturing the title “iest” of the two films.

Both films are extremely funny, and it’s easy to see why these two characters have become such popular film icons. Fans have always wondered how much further we could go with either character, especially when we found out they were super villains from the start. Saturday Night Fever gives us a great look into what could happen if these two characters wound up fighting each other, and whether or not either of them could actually kill each other!

 

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