Gregory Peck won an Oscar for his brilliant performance as the southern lawyer who defends a black man accused for rape in this version of the Pulitzer prize winning novel. The way in which it captures a time, a place, and above all a mood, makes this film a masterpiece. The setting is dusty Southern town during the depression. A white woman accuses a black man of rape. Though he is obviously innocent, the outcome of his trial is such a forgone conclusion that no lawyer will step forward to defend him except Peck, the towns most distinguished citizen. His compassionate defence costs him many friendships but earns him the respect and admiration of his two motherless children.