Tall, well-built and handsome, Gregory Peck had a presence which added much weight to his films.
During his long and illustrious career, Peck won a lot of accolades for his wide repertoire of roles. He could do action, drama or comedy with ease and often did many of his own stunts due to his good physique.
He did try a few villainous roles but it not go with his overall personality. He was nominated for many awards during his career.
Here are some of his works which prove his versatility:
The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)
Cast: Gregory Peck, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, Roddy McDowall, Sir Cedric Hardwicke
Director: John M Stahl
Adapted from the novel with the same name by A J Cronin, the film recounts the life and times of Father Francis (Gregory Peck) and how his somewhat unorthodox methods causes ire among his flock and the higher ups. The story is told from his diary which has been found by Monsignor Sleeth (Sir Cedric Hardwicke) who meets the father with a missive from the Bishop.
Father Francis has faced a lot of tragedy in his early life after being left an orphan. He falls in love with a woman but she has a child out of wedlock. He then goes to China to rebuild a mission which has been plundered by locals. He has mixed success at the start because of his methods. The Monsignor now knows that Father Francis is a rare individual.
The Yearling (1946)
Cast: Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, Claude Jarman Jr,
Director: Clarence Brown
A former soldier Penny Baxter (Gregory Peck) and his wife Ora (Jane Wyman) are pioneer farmers in Florida. They have a son Jody (Claude Jarman Jr) who is their only surviving child and Ora is still haunted by the deaths of three others. Ora is strict with Jody and does not allow him a pet to play with.
Penny is more sympathetic and finally Jody has a pet fawn called Flag. But once Flag grows up, there are many problems as he eats up the crops. Jody is ordered to replant the crops but Flag again destroys them. There is no option but to abandon Flag. Will Jody do it?
The Guns of Navarone (1961)
Cast: Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Irene Pappas, Stanley Baker, Anthony Quale
Director: J Lee Thompson
The island of Kieros and the 2,000 British soldiers stranded there is the focus of this Second World War film. A team consisting of experts and led by Captain Keith Mallory (Gregory Peck) is sent to silence two guns on the nearby island of Navarone which has been blocking a sea rescue.
The team has to go through many hardships including a storm in the Aegean Sea and slippery mountains to reach their target. There are injuries, bad blood and a spy among the team who are constantly followed by Germans. Will they succeed?
To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
Cast: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford, John Megna, Robert Duvall
Director: Robert Mulligan
A principled lawyer Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) is central to a plot involving his two children Scout Finch (Mary Badham) and Jem Finch (Phillip Alford) in the fictional town of Maycomb, Arizona. The film deals with their growing years and how they change with the times.
Their father faces problems after he takes up the case of a black man who is accused of molesting a young white girl. Atticus knows that the black man is innocent but the racial prejudice in the town won’t allow him to do much. Peck won a Best Actor Oscar for this film.
The Boys From Brazil (1978)
Cast: Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier, James Mason, Lilli Palmer, Denholm Elliot, Steve Guttenberg
Director: Franklin J Schaffner
A young man discovers a secret Nazi group who are operating from Paraguay where Dr Josef Mengele (Gregory Peck), the infamous Auschwitz doctor, is also present. He tells this to Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman (Laurence Olivier) who pursues the matter.
During his mission, Lieberman finds many children looking exactly the same in different locations. He finally corners the doctor and an evil plot is discovered where Hitler’s DNA is being used for cloning new Hitlers. Lieberman has to stop this somehow.