That’s one of my favorite quotes from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  Spoken by Mayella Violet Ewell to Atticus Finch as he questions her about Tom Robinson allegedly raping her, it is, in my opinion, one of the most riveting scenes in the book and the movie.

Collin Wilcox, the actress who played Mayella in the movie, passed away of brain cancer earlier this week at her home here in North Carolina.  Although she was never one of Hollywood’s elite, I think her performance in Mockingbird was one of the best ever given in a movie.

And now, “I got somethin’ to say” of my own.  Those of you who click on the above link should know that the quote in the article, which is credited only to “Popeater Staff,” is wrong.  It has been shortened and sanitized, leaving out quite a few words, including a highly offensive one at the beginning of Mayella’s speech.  I don’t know why they shortened it, but I can understand why they left out that word.  Still, changing Harper Lee’s words without letting the reader know is almost as offensive to me as hearing the word they left out.  Also, the quote is “if you fine fancy gentlemen…” not “if you fine, fancy, damn…”  Huh?  Beyond being wrong, that just flat-out doesn’t make any sense!  I don’t read many Popeater articles, and judging by this one, I can see why.  They are in serious need of an editor.

One more thing and “then I ain’t gonna say no more.”  Rest in peace, Ms. Wilcox and thank you for gracing us with your exemplary performance of Mayella in the movie version of my favorite book.

ETA–New York Times article is not only better written, it’s much more informative!

Advertisements