HEY, BOO: HARPER LEE AND TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Opens In NY & LA May 13
Opens at New York’s Quad Cinema & Los Angeles’ Laemmle Theatres on May 13
First Run Features will release Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird fifty years after the novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction on May 4, 1961.This documentary film by Mary McDonagh Murphy explores the phenomenon To Kill a Mockingbird became and unravels some of the mysteries around the novelist’s life, including why she never published again.
Harper Lee’s first and only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird was instantly a beloved classic. The film version, starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, won a trio of Academy Awards. Luminaries like Tom Brokaw list the novel among their all-time favorite books, and Oprah Winfrey calls it “our national novel.” It is still required reading in most classrooms and sells nearly a million copies every year—many more than The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby or Of Mice and Men.
This month President Obama presented the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence, to ten recipients for their outstanding achievements and support of the arts. Among those honored was author Harper Lee. In characteristic fashion, Lee did not attend the ceremony.
On April 28th, 2011, the US Postal Service will issue a stamp in the ‘Legends of Hollywood’ series honoring Gregory Peck. At the request of Peck’s family, he is being depicted wearing glasses, as Atticus Finch.
Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird chronicles how Lee was able to write such a work, the context and history of the Deep South where it is set, Lee’s family background and the social change the novel inspired after its publication.
Anna Quindlen, Tom Brokaw, James McBride, James Patterson, Wally Lamb, Oprah Winfrey, and others interviewed by Murphy reflect on the novel’s power, influence, and popularity and the many ways it has shaped their lives and careers.
Although Lee has not given an interview since 1964, Murphy’s reporting, research and rare interviews with the author’s friends and 99-year-old sister, Alice, add new details and never-before-seen documents and photos to the remarkable story of the Mockingbird phenomenon. Many speak on the record for the first time ever, sharing intimate recollections, anecdotes, and biographical details, including new information about Lee’s tumultuous friendship with Truman Capote.
Mary McDonagh Murphy is an independent filmmaker and the author of Scout, Atticus & Boo: A Celebration of To Kill a Mockingbird, published by Harper Collins. Murphy was a producer for CBS News for twenty years where she won six Emmy Awards. Her other documentaries include Cry for Help, about adolescent suicide and depression, which aired nationally on PBS in 2009 and Digital Days, narrated by Tom Brokaw, about the Internet’s impact on the newspaper industry for the Associated Press.