Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the film adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic, Pulitzer Prize winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Universal Studios Home Entertainment will mark the occasion by releasing a commemorative Limited Edition Collector’s Series Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD, which hits the streets at the end of January.
Based on Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird takes place during the Depression and stars Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, a single father and southern lawyer who defends a black man who’s accused of the rape of a white woman. The story not only comments on the time period as told in part through the eyes of Finch's children, it's also a tale of innocence and right and wrong. The movie is as much a classic as the novel, thanks in large part to Peck’s outstanding performance.
While this is the first time the film will be available on blu-ray, the movie has received the DVD treatment numerous times already, including back in 2005 when Universal released the “Legacy Series” special edition, which came with two discs and a number of special features, all of which are included in the new blu-ray, set to be released next January. This includes the “Conversation with Gregory Peck” documentary. The blu-ray includes additional features, including the digital copy and the "Fearful Symmetry" documentary.
The blu-ray is listed as “digitally remastered and fully restored from high resolution 35MM original film elements,” however the 2005 edition was also listed as digitally remastered. Whether or not any additional improvements have been made to the picture quality of this black and white film from the previous edition to this one isn’t specified, though it might be safe to expect some enhancements to the picture from DVD to blu-ray.
In addition to the blu-ray and the digital copy, the 50th Anniversary Edition comes with a hardcover book featuring memorabilia from the film, including poster art, story boards, script pages and other things. It sounds like it’ll be a great collectors item for fans of the film.
The To Kill a Mockingbird Limited Edition Collector’s Series Blu-ray™ Combo Pack will be available for purchase on January 31, 2012.
Below's a photo of the cover and further down is the list of the bonus materials. I could do without the blue strip at the top and bottom of the cover and the unnecessary "Open for More" label on the right, but Peck's looking fittingly pensive, which works.
Blu-ray™ and DVD Bonus Features:Fearful Symmetry— A feature-length documentary on the making of To Kill a Mockingbird with cast and crew interviews and a visit to author Harper Lee's home town. A Conversation with Gregory Peck— An intimate feature-length documentary on one of the most beloved actors in film history with interviews, film clips, home movies and more. 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics— An in-depth look at the film restoration process. Academy Award® Best Actor Acceptance Speech— Gregory Peck's speech after winning the Academy Award® for his performance as Atticus Finch. American Film Institute Life Achievement Award— Gregory Peck's memorable remarks upon receiving the AFI Life Achievement Award. Excerpt from “Tribute To Gregory Peck”— Cecilia Peck's heartwarming farewell to her father given at the Academy in celebration of his life. Scout Remembers— Actress Mary Badham shares her experiences working with Gregory Peck. Feature Commentary with Director Robert Mulligan and Producer Alan Pakula
Original Theatrical Trailer
Bonus Features Exclusively on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack: DIGITAL COPY: Owners of the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack can also download a digital version of the full-length movie from participating digital retailers to enjoy on a choice of popular electronic and portable devices. U-CONTROL: SCENE COMPANION: Available on To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition for the first time, viewers can watch interviews, see photos and more during key scenes with this picture-in-picture companion featuring narration by Gregory Peck’s Family. BD-LIVE™: Access the BD-Live™ Center through your Internet-connected player to watch the latest trailers and more! pocket BLU™ app: The groundbreaking pocket BLU™ app uses iPad®, iPhone®, iPod® touch, Android™, PC and Mac® to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray™ player. Plus iPad® and Android™ tablet owners can enjoy a new, enhanced edition of pocket BLU™ made especially to take advantage of the tablets’ larger screen and high resolution display. Consumers will be able to browse through a library of Blu-ray™ content and watch entertaining extras on-the-go in a way that’s bigger and better than ever before. pocket BLU™ offers advanced features such as: ADVANCED REMOTE CONTROL: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray™ player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live™ functions with ease. VIDEO TIMELINE: Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film. MOBILE-TO-GO: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray™ discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere. BROWSE TITLES: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU™-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray™. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device. KEYBOARD: Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard. uHEAR™: Never miss another line of dialogue with this innovative feature that instantly skips back a few seconds on your Blu-ray™ disc and turns on the subtitles to highlight what you missed.