Today is Gregory Peck's birthday -- he would have been 90 years old, had he not died in 2003. He had more than 50 film credits, but the one most people remember best is the role for which he won an Oscar: Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. I figured everyone's seen stills from that movie many times, so I picked a promo photo from 15 years earlier: The Paradine Case, an Alfred Hitchcock film in which Peck plays a lawyer who becomes smitten with his client (Alida Valli). Many reviewers seem to feel that Peck was miscast; Hitchcock may have been forced into the casting by producer David O. Selznick. The film was Hitchcock's last (and least) collaborative effort with Selznick, who is also credited with the screenplay. I've never seen The Paradine Case myself, and in fact the DVD is currently out of print in the U.S. right now.

Peck's filmography is not only impressive, it's downright amusing when you notice that among his many roles, he played Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Josef Mengele, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and author Ambrose Bierce. And I haven't even mentioned Roman Holiday, Cape Fear (both versions), The Yearling, Spellbound, and The Omen. If you want to celebrate Peck's birthday by watching one of his movies, you've got any number of excellent choices.
categories Features, Cinematical