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Tuesday October 16th 2018

To Kill A Mockingbird | 1962

To Kill A Mockingbird location: Monroeville, Alabama
To Kill A Mockingbird: Monroe County Heritage Museum and Courthouse, Monroeville, Alabama | Photograph: Monroe County Heritage Museum

Gregory Peck takes home Best Actor Oscar as Deep South lawyer Atticus Finch, who has his work cut out defending Tom Robinson (Brock Peters), a black man accused of rape.

Harper Lee, author of the original novel, based the fictitious setting of ‘Maycomb’ on hometown of Monroeville in Alabama, which seemed the obvious place to film. But the town had undergone too many changes and in the end, was recreated on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot in Hollywood. So well, in fact, that many people believe the film was made on location (Art Director Henry Bumstead won an Oscar, too).

The real Monroeville is in southwest Alabama on Highway 84 – the historically important El Camino East/West Corridor, linking the state with Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia.

Apart from Harper Lee, the city has also produced writers Truman Capote, journalist Cynthia Tucker and Mark Childress (author of Crazy In Alabama), earning it the title Literary Capital of Alabama.

The Monroe County Heritage Museum and Courthouse, 31 North Alabama Avenue, contains exhibits about Harper Lee and her childhood friend Capote and also the famous courtroom, restored as it was in the 1930s.