Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:01 pm
Sun June 17, 2012

The Movie Whoopi Goldberg's 'Seen A Million Times'

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 11:59 am

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen a Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

For comedian and actress Whoopi Goldberg, whose credits include The Color Purple, Ghost, and ABC's daytime talk show The View, the movie she can't get enough of is Robert Mulligan's To Kill a Mockingbird. "[The] performances are spectacular," says Goldberg, "It's what I strive for, it's what I want as an actor: I want to be that good."




INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS

On when she saw the movie for the first time

"I think the first time I saw it I was probably 10. I was by myself, but I told my mother about it. And I said, 'I just saw this movie, it was called...' And she said, 'Yes, I've seen it. Did you like it?' I said, 'Oh my God, it was really great ... and Boo Radley, I want him to be my friend.' I was an odd child, you know."

On what she learned from To Kill a Mockingbird

"For one little kid, watching this movie, you sort of get the sense that it is all right to be around people who stand up for what is right and how difficult it can get."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

All summer long, we're asking filmmakers, actors and writers about the movies that they never get tired of watching, including this one from a comedian and actress turned talk show host.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD")

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Hey. I'm Whoopi Goldberg. And the movie that I could see a billion, zillion, gazillion times, and have, is "To Kill A Mockingbird" directed by Robert Mulligan. And, of course, Gregory Peck is in it, Brock Peters and just amazing people.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD")

GOLDBERG: I think the first time I saw it I was probably 10. I was by myself. But I told my mother about it. And I said, I just saw this movie. It was called - and she said, yes, I've seen it. Did you like it? I said, oh, my God. It was really great. And Boo Radley, I want him to be my friend. I was an odd child, you know.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD")

PHILLIP ALFORD: (as Jem) Boo only comes out at night when you're sleeping and it's pitch dark. When you wake up at night, you can hear him.

GOLDBERG: There are a couple of scenes in it that kind of knocked me out. But the very first one that sticks with me is the scene when we first meet Boo Radley. We feel him throughout the film, but we don't actually...

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD")

GOLDBERG: Boo Radley saves the kids on Halloween night from being hurt by Mr. Ewell.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD")

ROBERT DUVALL: (as Boo Radley) Run, Scout. Run, Scout. Run, run.

GOLDBERG: When you get a character like this, who you're waiting for and you can't imagine what he looks like, and suddenly...

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD")

MARY BADHAM: (as Scout) Well, there he is, Mr. Tate.

GOLDBERG: ...he's behind the door. And the door move, and it's Robert Duvall. And Scout looks at him, and she says...

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD")

BADHAM: (as Scout) Hey, Boo.

GOLDBERG: Hey, Boo.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, 'TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD")

GREGORY PECK: (as Atticus Finch) Miss Jean Louise, Mr. Arthur Radley.

GOLDBERG: It just is beyond.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD")

PECK: (as Atticus Finch) I believe he already knows you.

GOLDBERG: And those performances are spectacular. It's what I strive for. It's what I want as an actor. I want to be that good. In the midst of all of that, a trial is held that Atticus takes on.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Atticus, you heard about Tom Robinson.

PECK: (as Atticus Finch) Yes.

GOLDBERG: It's a black man who's being accused of hitting and coming on to a white woman. And it is very clear, because the black man has only this one arm, that there's more to this story than is out there.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD")

PECK: (as Atticus Finch) There's been some high talk around town to the affect that I shouldn't do much about defending this man.

BADHAM: (as Scout) Well, if you shouldn't be defending him, then why are you doing it?

PECK: (as Atticus Finch) For a number of reasons. The main one is that if I didn't, I couldn't hold my head up in town. I couldn't even tell you or Jem not to do something again.

GOLDBERG: For one little kid watching this movie you sort of get this sense that it is all right to be around people who stand up for what is right and how difficult it can get.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD")

KIM STANLEY: (as adult Scout) I think of these days many times, of Jem and Bill and Boo Radley and Tom Robinson and Atticus.

LYDEN: That's Whoopi Goldberg talking about the movie that she could watch a million times: "To Kill A Mockingbird." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Related program: