"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Book vs. Movie Review: To Kill A Mockingbird

Hello, everyone!

Today is a very big day. It is the day that I am doing a review with my older sister, Em.

"Why?" you might ask. I have wanted to review the Pulitzer prize winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird - by Harper Lee ever since I read it in December of 2016. 2016 was a while ago, and since Em just read it this year she will be helping me out with details that I don't remember.

"Why haven't you done it sooner?" you ask. I love to compare books to movies on this blog and I wasn't able to watch the movie until last year when I was in a blogging rut so that didn't happen. That is why today is a very big day! My comments will be in black like usual, and Em's will be in maroon. Say hello, Em!


Perfect! If you want to check out something that Em and I did in the past, click here. Let's get started!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning.

To Kill a Mockingbird - by Harper Lee:
“Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” 
This book starts in the summer of 1932, in the life of Scout Finch, a girl in a small southern town with a love for reading, even though she hasn't been to school yet. She and her big brother Jem have a lot to learn as big changes take place as they grow older, and especially when their father, Atticus (a lawyer), takes on a case defending Tom Robinson, a local worker. Will the people of their small town be able to overcome their prejudices and see what's right?
“You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don't you let 'em get your goat. Try fightin' with your head for a change."
Genre: Fiction.
Characters: 10! There is so much depth to each and every one of them!
Our favorites: 
Atticus Finch: He is like, the best character of all time. "Stand up, Scout, your father's passing."
Jean Louise "Scout" Finch: Her innocence is so sweet, and she is just amazing. That's all I can say.
Jem Finch: He gets into a lot of trouble, but he is such a good big brother to Scout.
Calpurnia: She's a good anchor throughout the book for the Finches.
Miss Maudie Atkinson: She is the best! She is solid and open minded. Also provides comic relief.
Words: 8, there is some mild swearing. Points for writing in dialect. As I point out later, there is some name calling in a bad word, but it's shown as bad and a character is told not to say that. It's what was said around that time. It's somewhat necessary for the setting.
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” 
Quotes: 8, there are some really, really, really amazing lines in here, but we decided to rate it 8 because when I talk about quotes I mean things that you can just say on a regular basis, out of context. All of the quotes we have here are the really famous ones, but they're famous for a reason!
“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
Awards: Won the Pulitzer prize in 1961. It also was voted the 2018 PBS "The Great American Read".
Content: 9, there is attempted murder, death, racism, drinking, mention of abuse, violence, and in the trial that we mentioned Atticus defends a man against accusations of rape.
Because of this you are wondering, "Why are you rating it 9, then?" Because all the things that I mentioned are shown as wrong. That's right, it is all shown that these are bad things that shouldn't happen. It is rare when you come across a book that shows them in a bad light. I have mentioned them for anyone who might be extremely disturbed by any of it.
“I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.”
Originality: 10, It's really pretty original, but it's also realistic.
Good For: Everyone needs to read this!!
Age Range: Story time. My mom has never been one for "banning books". She always let my sisters and me read whatever books we wanted to. When I was eight we were in the library and I came up to her holding this book. I said, "I want to read this!"
She looked at me and said, "I definitely think that you should read that. It's an amazing book, but you should wait until you're older." That was the only she said that to me and I was offended. I thought, "Shouldn't people be able to read any books that they want?" when I finally did read it I didn't really understand it because I kept thinking, "Why couldn't I have read this earlier?"
But, do you know what? I wouldn't have appreciated it at all. This book goes through some heavy subjects, and I would've been bored because I wouldn't have understood what was going on. In fact, I want to reread it because I think that I'll be able to understand a lot more. Because of that, I would say that the age range is anyone 15 and up.
Overall Score: 9!
Bonus thoughts:
“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.”
This book has everything, it makes you laugh, cry, inspires you, and gives you something to think about. The details in it are amazing and how everything is woven in. It deals with my favorite subjects, having perspective and learning not to judge. Go read it right now if you haven't already.
This is a classic for a reason. Classics tend to pose the big questions, question the big questions, and put us on a path towards the answers. "What is the difference between right and wrong?" is something we often ask ourselves, and there are so many different ways to answer that. This book takes a good, long look at the human condition on an individual, and an overall level, and tells us that to understand it we have to look not only at ourselves and those we know, but look through other people's points of view, in circumstances we don't even know exist. What you don't know about someone can be the best thing you ever learn.


To Kill a Mockingbird (1962):
Based on: To Kill a Mockingbird -by Harper Lee.
Scout and Jem think that their father is boring. When he is assigned to defend a man in a trial a lot of people in the town turn against him. The siblings learn about life and how to treat people as they go through school and witness the trials. They start to find that maybe their father is a man worth admiring. Will the rest of the town follow suit and do what is right?
"There are some men in this world who are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them."
Genre: Drama.
Length: approx. 129 minutes.
Costumes: 8. Nothing bad, nothing spectacular. Just accurate.
Script: 9, there is no swearing, but like we said above there is name calling using a certain bad word, but it's shown as something that you shouldn't use.
"There's a lot of ugly things in this world, son, and I wish that I could keep 'em all away from you."
Directed by: Robert Mulligan.
Written by: Horton Foote & Harper Lee.
Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.
Mary Badham as Scout.
Phillip Alford as Jem.
John Megna as Charles Baker "Dill" Harris.
Brock Peters as Tom Robinson.
Frank Overton as Sheriff Heck Tate.
Rosemary Murphy as Miss Maudie Atkinson.
James Anderson as Bob Ewell.
Estelle Evans as Calpurnia.
Paul Fix as Judge Taylor.
Collin Wilcox as Mayella Ewell.
Robert Duvall as Arthur Radley.
Crahan Denton as Walter Cunningham.
Ruth White as Mrs. Dubose.
Kim Stanley as the narrator.
Kim Hamilton as Helen Robinson.
William Walker as Reverend Sykes.
Cinematography: 10, I love black and white movies! It was really interesting. The opening credits shot had an amazing feel, and shadows throughout were done really well in the suspenseful moments.
Cinematography by: Russell Harlan.
Music: 8, I thought it was good, I mean, sometimes it was a little over the top in moments where I would've liked quiet, but overall it matched the mood very well.
Music by: Elmer Bernstein.
My favorite part, now we compare! As I said above, this is spoiler free, but I am just going to point out some of the differences between the book.
1. In the book we see everything from Scout's point of view, and we do for the majority here, but in this we also see from Jem's eyes which I thought was a cool addition.
2. Many of the everyday aspects were cut from the movie for timing reasons as well as several special events and characters that I thought were important in the book.
3. Some of those are that in the book we go deeper into the characters of Miss Maudie Atkinson, Mrs. Dubose, and Calpurnia.
Anything else? Just little details that would be spoilers, so nope.
Quotes: 7, Less quotable than the book because there are fewer quotes! Some of the really great quotes from the book were cut because some of the elements were cut. As mentioned before. There still are some really great ones, but also as we said before not really ones that you can use on a day to day basis. More inspiring than anything else.
"'Do you know what a compromise is?'
'Breaking the law?'"
Oscars won: 3: Best Actor (Gregory Peck), Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, & Best Art Direction, Black-and-White.
Content: 9, We've talked about this before, same deal as in the book. I don't want us to repeat ourselves too many times, so let me sum up. There is racism, attempted murder, death, and there is lawsuit that deals with a man accused of rape. With that comes descriptions of violence.
Originality: 10, same as the book.
Good For: People who are fans of black and white movies, everyone anywhere.
Age Range: Same as book (read the book review first and don't just skip to this one). 15 and up to be able to understand the depth of it.
"You never really understand a person unless you see from their point of view."
Overall Score: 8!
Bonus thoughts:
Oh man, this movie. Gregory Peck deserved his Oscar 100%. As much as I love the book, I feel like watching the movie helped me understand the whole idea better, I think that this is mostly because I was so young when I read the book and it was just last year that I saw this. The book is still my favorite, but this is the perfect film to accompany it. Even though some of the actors don't look exactly like I imagined them, they did brilliant jobs! If you have read the book and haven't seen this, go! And if you haven't read the book, then do that then see this!
The movie version of any book usually follows the same basic storyline, but loses the depth and meaning, replacing it with drama. This is a complete exception to that. It cuts much of the storyline from the book, focusing on one main element, but the meaning is amplified by the amazing performances of the actors and the cinematography. The book still has more depth, but the general feeling was captured very well in the movie. I agree, read the book, then watch this.

Em and I had a terrific time watching and reviewing this. Have you seen this? Do you agree with our thoughts? Well, thank you so much for reading!


  1. I love how the movie version is a streamlined version of the book, if that makes sense. You're right -- they didn't take out the depth, they preserved it while trimming away other parts of the story. I love both book and movie so much, and I really dug your comparison review!

    1. Exactly! When I watched it for the first time I only remembered one thing that they took out, and then this time my sister pointed out several more things. They made good choices and it is shorter but still has that deep meaning. Thanks, Hamlette! I'm glad to hear that you liked it!

  2. I think both are very good. I haven't seen the movie in a while... I just read the book a year ago. It can be a bit hard to understand.


    1. Oh yeah, when I finished the book I thought, "What in the world was that?" and I had to really think about it to understand it, but once I did I loved it!

  3. I have yet to see this move but it's on my TBwatched list for sure and certain!

    1. Oh, Kara, you would love this!! The raw honesty and innocence from Scout makes me cry. It is so beautiful! Let me know what you think when you see it!

  4. Reading and watching movies are fun. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Replies
    1. Yes, you do! Let me know what you think once you do!

  6. Very detailed and thorough review! I have read the book and seen the movie, where I prefer the movie over the book. In my opinion, I think the film did a better job delivering the story than the novel did. I'll include my review in this comment section. By the way, I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Here's the link:



    1. Thanks, Sally! After seeing the movie a couple of times now I want to reread the book because I know that I didn't understand a lot of it, but I agree, I think I'll still like the movie a little bit better. The movie is a clear cut version that is wonderful!

      Hey, thanks for the nomination! I'll go check both of those posts out now.


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"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles