To Kill a Mockingbird (film): Wikis


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To Kill a Mockingbird

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Mulligan
Produced by Alan J. Pakula
Written by Novel
Harper Lee
Horton Foote
Narrated by Kim Stanley
Starring Gregory Peck
Mary Badham
Phillip Alford
Robert Duvall
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography Russell Harlan
Editing by Aaron Stell
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) December 25, 1962
Running time 128 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2 million
Gross revenue $20,629,846

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film adaptation of Harper Lee's novel of the same name. It stars Mary Badham in the role of Scout and Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus Finch.

In 1995, the film was listed in the National Film Registry. It also ranks twenty-fifth on the American Film Institute's 10th anniversary list of the greatest American movies of all time, and #1 on AFI's list of best courtroom films. In 2003, AFI named Atticus Finch the greatest movie hero of the 20th century.

This film marks the film debut of Robert Duvall, William Windom, and Alice Ghostley.



To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel about growing up in the 1930s in the Southern United States. The story covers three years, during which the main characters undergo changes in their lives. Scout Finch lives with her brother Jem and their father Atticus in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama. Maycomb is a small town where each family's social life is based on where they live in the small town. The story takes place during The Great Depression.



Phillip Alford, who played the role of Jem, did not initially want to audition for the part. However, when his mother informed him that he would miss a half day of school, he quickly changed his mind. Additionally, he became upset during the filming of the scene at the breakfast table, when Mary Badham, who played Scout, had trouble performing the scene properly. By way of retaliating, during the scene where Jem rolls Scout in a tire, he intentionally rolled the tire toward an equipment truck.[1]

According to Kim Hamilton, who played the part of Helen Robinson in the movie, Gregory Peck was the consummate gentleman. She recalled a scene where her character collapses after hearing the news of her husband's death, and Peck, as Atticus, picks her up and carries her into the house. "He was such a gentleman," she says. "I never forgot that."


To Kill a Mockingbird
Soundtrack by Elmer Bernstein
Released 1997
Recorded August 1-2, 1996, City Halls, Glasgow
Label Varese Sarabande

All music composed by Elmer Bernstein; A re-recording has been performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by the composer.

  1. "Main Title" 3:21
  2. "Remember Mama" 1:08
  3. "Atticus Accepts The Case - Roll in the Tire" 2:06
  4. "Creepy Caper - Peek-A-Boo" 4:10
  5. "Ewell's Hatred" 3:33
  6. "Jem's Discovery" 3:47
  7. "Tree Treasure" 4:23
  8. "Lynch Mob" 3:04
  9. "Guilty Verdict" 3:10
  10. "Ewell Regret It" 2:11
  11. "Footsteps in the Dark" 2:07
  12. "Assault in the Shadows" 2:28
  13. "Boo Who" 3:00
  14. "End Title" 3:25

Critical response

Gregory Peck's performance became synonymous with the role and character of Atticus Finch. Alan J. Pakula remembered hearing from Peck when he was first approached with the role: "He called back immediately. No maybes. The fit was among the most natural things about a most natural film. I must say the man and the character he played were not unalike."[2] Peck later said in an interview that he was drawn to the role because the book reminded him of growing up in La Jolla, California.[3] "Hardly a day passes that I don't think how lucky I was to be cast in that film," Peck said in a 1997 interview. "I recently sat at a dinner next to a woman who saw it when she was 14 years old, and she said it changed her life. I hear things like that all the time."[4]

The 1962 softcover edition of the novel opens with the following: "The Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama reminds me of the California town I grew up in. The characters of the novel are like people I knew as a boy. I think perhaps the great appeal of the novel is that it reminds readers everywhere of a person or a town they have known. It is to me a universal story -- moving, passionate and told with great humor and tenderness. Gregory Peck"

Upon Peck's death in 2003 Brock Peters, who played Tom Robinson in the film version, quoted Harper Lee at Peck's eulogy, saying, "Atticus Finch gave him an opportunity to play himself". Peters concluded his eulogy stating, "To my friend Gregory Peck, to my friend Atticus Finch, vaya con Dios."[5] Peters remembered the role of Tom Robinson when he recalled, "It certainly is one of my proudest achievements in life, one of the happiest participations in film or theater I have experienced."[6] Peters remained friends not only with Peck but with Mary Badham throughout his life.

Awards and honors

In 1995, To Kill a Mockingbird was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The character of Atticus in this movie has been deemed the #1 greatest hero of American film, as rated by the American Film Institute. This movie also ranked #1 on the AFI's 10 Top 10 list of courtroom dramas.[7] It is also Robert Duvall's big-screen debut, as the misunderstood recluse Boo Radley. Duvall was cast on the recommendation of screenwriter Horton Foote, who met him at Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City where Duvall starred in a 1957 production of Foote's play, The Midnight Caller.[8]

The American Film Institute named Atticus Finch the greatest movie hero of the 20th century. Additionally, the AFI ranked the movie second on their 100 Cheers list, behind It's a Wonderful Life, and twenty-fifth on the list of greatest American films of all time.[1] In June 2008, the AFI revealed its "Ten top Ten"—the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. To Kill a Mockingbird was acknowledged as the best film in the courtroom drama genre.[9]

In 2007, Hamilton was honored by the Harlem community for her part in the movie. She is the last surviving African-American adult who had a speaking part in the movie. When told of the award, she said, "I think it is terrific. I'm very pleased and very surprised."[10]


Academy Awards

The Film won 3 Academy Awards out of the 8 that it was nominated for:[11]

Golden Globe Awards

  • Golden Globe Award for Best Film Promoting International Understanding — To Kill a Mockingbird


The film won an award at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival.[12] In 1995, To Kill a Mockingbird was entered into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, deemed as "culturally, aesthetically and historically" significant.

Differences from the novel

The film generally focuses on the mystery surrounding Boo Radley and the trial of Tom Robinson, whereas the novel features these as episodes in Scout's childhood development. In addition, several smaller details were changed:

  • The film shows Jem finding a medal in the hollow of the tree in front of the Radley house. In the novel, Scout found the first treasure.
  • Also in the plot with Jem and the tree, in the novel, he and Scout do not see Mr. Nathan Radley cement the tree, whereas in the film, they do.
  • The subplot where Jem goes to Mrs. Dubose's home to read to her is omitted.
  • In the novel, Jem goes back to the Radley house to get his pants later that night. In the movie, he goes back immediately after he loses them. Also, in the novel, Mr. Nathan Radley comes out with the shotgun when he finds them in the yard. In the film, he comes out with it when Jem goes back.
  • Aunt Alexandra, Uncle Jack, and several other member of the Finch family are either omitted or unmentioned.
  • The scene where it snows in Maycomb and Miss. Maudie's house burns down is omitted.
  • In the novel, Calpurnia makes an appearance at the trial of Tom Robinson. In the film, she doesn't.
  • In the novel, Tom was said to have been shot, "about seventeen times". In the film, he was apparently only shot once, as Atticus doesn't mention this fact. However, he may not have wished to mention this rumor to his children.
  • In the novel Tom was shot by prison guards as he ran toward the fence. In the film he was shot by deputies taking him to prison. The prison guards shot to kill; the deputies shot to stop him.
  • In the novel, the trial is held in summer when Dill is still in town. In the film, it's held in fall after Dill goes back to Meridian.
  • In the novel, the Finch children go with Calpurnia to her church while their father is out of town. In the movie, this is omitted.
  • Miss Caroline is also omitted from the film, she is only mentioned by name. In the film, Scout's first day of school goes straight to her fight with Walter Cunningham and later to the reason why she doesn't want to go back to school, mentioning to Atticus that Miss Caroline forbade her from reading.
  • In the novel, Mrs. Dubose is the one who calls Atticus a "nigger-lover" in the presence of Scout and Jem. In the film, Bob Ewell is the one who calls him this and says it directly to his face. Jem is the one of the two children who hears Atticus called this. Scout is present, but she does not hear because she is asleep.
  • Mrs. Dubose's character only appears in one scene.
  • In the novel, Dill ran from Meridian to the Finches because he hates his new father. This is omitted in the film
  • In the novel, Dill is Mrs. Rachel's nephew, in the film he is Mrs. Stephanie Crawford's nephew. *Rachel is also absent from the movie, however the characters of Mrs. Rachel and Stephanie Crawford are combined into one character.
  • In the novel, Boo Radley's only line is "Will you take me home?" which he says to Scout in the final chapter. In the film, this line is left out.
  • In the film the role of Mr. Dolphus Raymond is completely left out.
  • In the film the significant and symbolic scene of Jem building the snowman with the black insides is left out.
  • In the film Atticus allows Jem to come with him to the Robinson home to inform them of Tom's death. In the novel, this job is given to Calpurnia, although Jem and Dill are with them due to the fact that Jem was teaching Dill to swim and were reluctantly picked up by Atticus on the way over to the Robinson home.
  • There are no fights between Jem and Scout in the film, whereas in the book there are quite a few.
  • Tom Robinson's father did not appear in the book.
  • The gum that is found in the knothole is not mentioned.
  • The night of Mayella's rape is August 21.

See also


  1. ^ a b To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) - Trivia
  2. ^ Nichols, Peter. "Time Can't Kill 'Mockingbird'; [Review]." New York Times: February 27, 1998. pg. E.1
  3. ^ King, Susan. "How the Finch Stole Christmas; Q & A WITH GREGORY PECK." Los Angeles Times: December 22, 1997. pg. 1
  4. ^ Bobbin, Jay. "Gregory Peck is Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird." Birmingham News (Alabama): December 21, 1997 Pg. 1F.
  5. ^ Hoffman, Allison, Rubin, H. "Peck Memorial Honors Beloved Actor and Man; The longtime star is remembered for his integrity and constancy." Los Angeles Times: June 17, 2003. pg. B.1.
  6. ^ Oliver, Myrna. "Obituaries; Brock Peters, 78; Stage, Screen, TV Actor Noted for Role in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'; " Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: August 24, 2005. pg. B.8.
  7. ^ AFI's 100 Years List
  8. ^ Robert Duvall (actor), Gary Hertz (director). (2002-04-16). Miracles & Mercies. [Documentary]. West Hollywood, California: Blue Underground. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  9. ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10". American Film Institute. 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  10. ^ "Harlem community honors 'Mockingbird' actress" from the USA Today.
  11. ^ "NY Times: To Kill a Mockingbird". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  12. ^ "Festival de Cannes: To Kill a Mockingbird". Retrieved 2009-02-27. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 film about Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, who defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge and his kids against prejudice.

Directed by Robert Mulligan. Written by Horton Foote, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee.
The most beloved and widely read Pulitzer Prize Winner now comes vividly alive on the screen! taglines


Atticus Finch

  • I remember when my daddy gave me that gun. He told me that I should never point it at anything in the house, and that he'd rather I'd shoot at tin cans in the backyard. But he said that sooner or later he supposed the temptation to go after birds would be too much, and that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted, if I could hit 'em, but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird... Well, I reckon because mockingbirds don't do anything but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat people's gardens, don't nest in the corncribs. They don't do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us.
  • If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.
  • She lied in an effort to get rid of her own guilt. Now I say guilt, gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her. She has committed no crime. She has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She must destroy the evidence of her offense. But what was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson — a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was, for her, a daily reminder of what she did. Now what did she do? She tempted a Negro. She was white, and she tempted a Negro. She did something that in our society is unspeakable. She kissed a black man. Not an old uncle, but a strong, young Negro man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards.
  • The witnesses for the State, with the exception of the Sheriff of Maycomb County, have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court, in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted. Confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption, the evil assumption, that all Negros lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women; an assumption that one associates with minds of their caliber, and which is in itself, gentlemen, a lie, which I do not need to point out to you. And so a quiet, humble, respectable Negro, who has had the unmitigated temerity to feel sorry for a white woman, has had to put his word against two white people.
  • Now gentlemen, in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system. That's no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality. Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this man to his family. In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe Tom Robinson.

Narrator (Scout as an adult)

  • Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it. Somehow it was hotter then. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum. The day was twenty-four hours long, but it seemed longer. There's no hurry, for there's nowhere to go and nothing to buy... and no money to buy it with. Although Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself... that summer, I was six years old.
  • Neighbors bring food with death... and flowers with sickness... and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a knife... and our lives. One time Atticus said... you never really knew a man until you stood in his shoes and walked around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough. The summer that had begun so long ago had ended, and another summer had taken its place. And a fall. And Boo Radley had come out. I was to think of these days many times, of Jem and Dill... and Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. And Atticus. He would be in Jem's room all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.


Atticus: Good afternoon, Miss Dubose... My, you look like a picture this afternoon.
Scout: [hiding behind Atticus whispering to Jem and Dill] He don't say a picture of what.

Atticus: Do you know what a compromise is?
Scout: Bendin' the law?
Atticus: Uh, no. It's an agreement reached by mutual consent. Now, here's the way it works. You concede the necessity of goin' to school, we'll keep right on readin' the same every night, just as we always have. Is that a bargain?
Narrator: There just didn't seem to be anyone or anything Atticus couldn't explain. Though it wasn't a talent that would arouse the admiration of any of our friends, Jem and I had to admit he was very good at that, but that was all he was good at, we thought.

Scout: Atticus, do you defend niggers?
Atticus: Don't say "nigger," Scout.
Scout: I didn't say it... Cecil Jacobs did. That's why I had to fight him.
Atticus: Scout, I don't want you fightin'!
Scout: I had to, Atticus, he—
Atticus: I don't care what the reasons are. I forbid you to fight. There are some things that you're not old enough to understand just yet. There's been some high talk around town to the effect that I shouldn't do much about defending this man.
Scout: If you shouldn't be defending him, then why are you doing it?
Atticus: 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 somethin' again. You're gonna hear some ugly talk about this in school. But I want you to promise me one thing... that you won't get into fights over it, no matter what they say to you.


  • The most beloved and widely read Pulitzer Prize Winner now comes vividly alive on the screen!
  • If you have read the novel, you will relive every treasured moment. . .If not, a deeply moving experience awaits you


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