• Mary Badham and Gregory Peck as Scout and Atticus Finch

My favorite moment of To Kill a Mockingbird, which screened at the Film Center on Wednesday night from a beautiful new 35-millimeter print, is a brief cutaway shot to Scout in an early scene. Atticus Finch is tucking her into bed and telling her of the jewelry she’ll inherit when she’s old enough to take responsibility for it. Gregory Peck’s performance as Atticus is justly revered; it’s authoritative but warm, and above all conveys great deliberation. So director Robert Mulligan creates a subtle shock when he breaks up Peck’s monologue, which had been going on in a single take, with an insert of Mary Badham folding her hands behind her head with the graceless spontaneity of a real ten-year-old child. Badham, it’s well known, was an Alabama kid with no acting experience prior to Mockingbird, and Mulligan dotes on her amateurishness with a mix of paternal and ethnographic fascination.