“Why is life worth living?” Isaac Davis (Woody Allen) asks into a tape recorder in Allen's 1979 film Manhattan. His answers—random yet specific—include the crabs at Sam Wo’s, the second movement of the Jupiter symphony, Sentimental Education by Flaubert, Louis Armstrong’s recording of “Potato Head Blues” and “those incredible apples and pears by Cezanne.” Here’s our version of that, certain elements of cinema that make our lives worth living, or at least make movies worth watching. They seem to come to us from out of nowhere, little pockets of breathtaking beauty, expert craftmanship and happy accidents. Here are ten such moments—random yet specific—that make us stick around for one more day.
Entries in to kill a mockingbird (5)
To celebrate the Day of the Father, we could take a journey through movie history and salute the most memorable dads on film, good and bad. Certainly Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) ranks as one of the greater paters on screen. Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) in Bicycle Thieves (1948) might be another. Representing the opposite end of the spectrum would be Noah Cross (John Huston) in Chinatown (1974) or Dr. Sloper (Ralph Richardson) in The Heiress (1949).
But this year, we don’t care about any of that. Instead, here’s Marilyn Monroe singing a song. Enjoy!
Alan J. Pakula dies in a freak road accident in Melville, New York, 1998. On the Long Island Expressway, he was following a car that struck a metal pipe and sent it airborne through Pakula’s windshield, striking him in the head and causing him to veer off the road and hit a fence. He was killed instantly.
The acclaimed director of Klute (1971), The Parallax View (1974), All the President’s Men (1975) and Sophie’s Choice (1982) was a producer first, attaching his name to such films as To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) and Inside Daisy Clover (1965). His first film as a director came in 1969 with a picture starring Liza Minnelli about a mismatched couple of college kids. “One of the happiest times in my life was during The Sterile Cuckoo, mostly because of Liza.” Pakula said. “I've never seen anybody get more joy out of working, and it's contagious.”
It’s a natural progression for freak successes of the publishing world to become fodder for motion picture audiences. (The Catcher in the Rye remains a stubborn holdout.) Many of these surprise bestsellers, like Peyton Place, are potboilers; a few, like To Kill a Mockingbird, are great literature. Whatever their merits, these works captured the public’s imagination and spurred many a casual conversation. Here are 12 books that became the talk of the town and, occasionally, a hit movie.
Actress Kim Stanley dies of uterine cancer in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2001. Primarily a stage actress, Stanley made strong impressions in The Goddess (1958)—her first film role—and two films that earned her Oscar nods: Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) and Frances (1982). Her voice-over narration as the adult Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) added profoundly to the tone of the film.