What Can Whoopi Goldberg Watch A Million Times?

All summer long, fellow NPR program Weekends on All Things Considered is asking directors, actors and producers what movie they could watch over and over again. To Kill A Mockingbird is an all-time favorite for Whoopi Goldberg, the actor, comedian and talk show host.

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MARIA HINOJOSA, HOST:

Let me ask you this: Is there a movie that you've watched a million times? You know, that one that you just can't stop watching? All summer long, our fellow NPR program, Weekend ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, has been asking filmmakers, actors and writers about the movies they never get tired of watching.

Today, we bring you this one from a comedian and actress turned talk show host.

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.

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 this movie. It was called - and she said, yes. I've seen that. Did you like it? I said, oh, my God, it was really great and Boo Radley - I wanted him to be my friend. I was an odd child, you know.

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

PHILIP ALFORD: (as Jem) Boo only comes out at night when you're asleep 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 knock 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 see him.

(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")

ALFORD: (as Jem) 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) But there he is, Mr. Tate.

GOLDBERG: He's behind the door and the door moves 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")

ROBERT DUVALL: (as Boo Radley) Miss Jean Louise. Mr. Arthur Radley.

GOLDBERG: It just is beyond...

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

GREGORY PECK: 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.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GOLDBERG: 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, sir.

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 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 effect that I shouldn't do much about defending this man.

BADHAM: (as Scout) 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 Scout) I was to think of these days many times, of Jem and Dill and Boo Radley and Tom Robinson and Atticus.

HINOJOSA: That's Whoopi Goldberg talking about the movie that she could watch a million times, "To Kill a Mockingbird."

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