The epitome of dignity

by Budge Burgess

‘Mockingbird’ – book and film – remain amongst my all time favourites. Mr.Peck brought to the role a compelling dignity, elegance and presence in a performance which emphasises that acting is not about histrionics and an overly precious need to deliver the actor as ‘celebrity’ or ‘star’. The essence of his performance was in capturing the validity of the role and the story and not one of simply projecting his own ‘star appeal’. Combined with what was possibly the finest ever performance in a film by a child, ‘Mockingbird’ embraced universal human qualities which remain timeless.

Mr.Peck always – certainly usually – brought that calm dignity to his work. I cherish both his voice and his physical presence on screen – I can’t escape the word ‘dignity’, it seems, to this film goer, an essential feature of his persona and his style, and I only wish the same were true of the vast majority of actors we see on the big screen.