Film of the book: ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ (1962)

Directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Gregory Peck, this adaptation of Harper Lee’s 1960 novel is a classic in its own right. It has a wonderful soundtrack by Elmer Bernstein. The film captures the essence of the book, while compressing the plot into a shorter time span and shedding minor characters. Much of the narration and dialogue is taken straight from the book. The language is a little toned down.

The film is very well-crafted, with an excellent cast. If I have any criticism, it’s that we don’t get familiar with the black community of Maycomb. For example, in the book, Jem and Scout go to their housekeeper Calpurnia’s church, which would have been a good scene to have in the film.

I feel that if you haven’t read the book, then the film is a very good substitute if you want the basic story and a sense of place. However, for more background on the characters, a closer look at the town and a fuller hit of nostalgia, you have to read the book.

It’s interesting to consider that at the time of the book’s publication and the film’s release, the American civil rights movement was gaining momentum. The issues raised in Harper Lee’s 1930s-set story may have helped to bring awareness of racism in the South to a wider audience.


12 thoughts on “Film of the book: ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ (1962)”

    1. I’m sure a lot of people have watched the film without having read the book 🙂 I can’t remember which way round I did it. I would say it’s a must-read, though, if you want to know why it’s so popular.

    1. I’m glad you love both the book and film too! I hope they will always be classics. Thanks 🙂

  1. I love both the film and the book! I agree that the book definitely has more details and background, but the film is a rare adaptation which captures the main story of the book completely. I’ve read the book twice, and watched the movie at least half a dozen times. It is definitely a story I think everyone should either read or watch!

    1. I agree it is a must-read/watch! Probably one of the best adaptations of a book ever. I’ve read the book more times than I’ve seen the film, however. Thanks, I’m glad I featured one of your favourites 🙂

  2. Great post! I loved the book and felt that the film didn’t do it justice though maybe I am being too harsh.

    1. Thanks! I think there were limitations really on how the book could translate to the film, not just because of the time frame of the story and the intricacies of the characters but also sensitivities about racism.

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