To Kill A Mockingbird – Movie review and book comparisons

Last week I read and reviewed To Kill A Mockingbird, easily naming this as one of my now all time favorite reads.  The book was so well written, so smart, so engaging…. I just fell in love with it and I am so impressed with Harper Lee’s writing style and the story that she tells.

After finishing the book, I knew I wanted to see the movie and was lucky enough to find it at one of our few remaining video rental stores (uhhh yeah… whats with all the Red Boxes anyway?).  I brought the movie with us camping this weekend and watched it with my husband as well as with our company which included two young girls ages 9 and 12.  It is fair to say that i was actually a little jealous that they were able to experience this show at the ages they are where I am currently in my 40’s and seeing it for the first time.

The movie was… well, wonderful.  Gregory Peck made an incredible Aticus and listening to him was just as I had pictured he would be, evenly tempered, wise in his speech, and gentle in his manner.  It was wonderful to watch the book come alive before my eyes, and having just finished the book I enjoyed watching how it all played out on the screen.

As in all movies, parts of the book are lost.  One of my favorite parts in the book was the end when Scout is walking home in the turkey costume and while that is in the movie, they cut out a lot of the story behind that part of the book, which I missed.

Over all I would highly recommend that everyone first read the book – you will not be sorry, and secondly, watch the movie, both are worth your time and you will forever have this wonderful piece of culture known as To Kill A Mockingbird.

Did you know that To Kill A Mockingbird was a banned book?

Fact:   Challenged in Eden Valley, Minn. (1977) and temporarily banned due to words “damn” and “whore lady” used in the novel. Challenged in the Vernon Verona Sherill, N.Y School District (1980) as a “filthy, trashy novel:” Challenged at the Warren, Ind.Township schools (1981) because the book does “psychological damage to the positive integration process ” and “represents institutionalized racism under the guise of good literature:” After unsuccessfully banning Lee’s novel, three black parents resigned from the township human relations advisory council. Challenged in the Waukegan, III. School District (1984) because the novel uses the word “nigger.” Challenged in the Kansas City, Mo. junior high schools (1985). Challenged at the Park Hill, Mo. Junior High School (1985) because the novel “contains profanity and racial slurs:” Retained on a supplemental eighth grade reading list in the Casa Grande, Ariz. Elementary School District (1985), despite the protests by black parents and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who charged the book was unfit for junior high use. Challenged at the Santa Cruz, Calif. Schools (1995) because of its racial themes. Removed from the Southwood High School Library in Caddo Parish, La. (1995) because the book’s language and content were objectionable. Challenged at the Moss Point, Miss. School District (1996) because the novel contains a racial epithet. Banned from the Lindale,Tex. advanced placement English reading list (1996) because the book “conflicted with the values of the community.” Challenged by a Glynn County, Ga. (2001) school board member because of profanity. The novel was retained. Returned to the freshman reading list at Muskogee, Okla. High School (2001) despite complaints over the years from black students and parents about racial slurs in the text. Challenged in the Normal, ILL Community High Schools sophomore literature class (2003) as being degrading to African Americans. Challenged at the Stanford Middle School in Durham, N.C. (2004) because the 1961 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel uses the word “nigger.”

40 thoughts on “To Kill A Mockingbird – Movie review and book comparisons

    1. It wasn’t Hannah – I was impressed with it for the most part. Although it really bugged me when the movie said during the trial “Where were you on the night of November 21?” In the book it was August 21. Why oh why do books to movies do that?

      1. LOL – I had the book with me at the cabin and I pulled it open and read it aloud to everyone – I am thinking November 21, wouldn’t there have been snow on the ground? Or is that just the Minnesotan thinking in me? 😛

  1. Yay for movie-book comparisons! I’ve never seen the film, but I’ve heard good things about it. I really need to get on top of things and get to this book. And Yay for Challenged Books!

  2. I am glad that you enjoyed the movie, it really is terrific, in some of the same ways that the book is. I personally have found that most of the books that have been banned or challenged in the past or currently are the ones that really speak to humanity and the struggles that people have or are still currently enduring. I think that they also shed light on times that many of us were not around to experience, or were too young to remember and in some cases introduce situations for the first time when generations have swept them under the rug. I have also found that if these books have struck a cord with certain groups of people than more then likely there are shreds of truth or reality in the situations or conditions that are being described, no matter how terrible and inhumane they may be. Thank you for posting such terrific reviews of To Kill A Mockingbird. After reading some of the other comments on this blog I have a feeling you have introduced a whole new group of people to a terrific piece of literature. Thanks for all that you do! Your blog has become a daily ritual and treat for me!!

    1. I am always shocked to see what is considered a banned book Sarah – and I had to do a bit of an eye roll when I seen the top listed ban came from my home state of Minnesota….. 🙄

  3. Whenever I have to list my favorite books of all time To Kill a Mockingbird always makes my favorite list. And I remember loving the movie too. I think it’s time for me to reread this story and remind myself why it’s been on my favorite list for so long.

  4. Glad you enjoyed the movie. Next you will have to listen to Sissy Spacek read the novel, she does such a great job. This book is on my all time favorite list. It was awesome to read and discuss it with my kids when they had to read it for HS English (at a Christian School even). No banning there. Although, as a volunteer at the school working with the books, I did find a couple books with “those” words blacked out!

    1. Nise I hears that Sissy does do an amazing job – I will have to do that! 😀

      That is so crazy – the words blackened out…. oh what people will do to a banned book…. I will have to see when the banned book week is this year, I really am in the mood to participate 😀

  5. I’m glad I finally got to read the book, but haven’t yet gotten hold of the movie.

    I’m wondering if it’s on Amazon….

    I know that I’ve seen parts of the movie on TV in the past, but got interrupted, and this was before I had a DVR.

  6. Gee….I think I should pick up the book and join the club lol. I have heard a lot about To Kill A Mockingbird but have yet read or watch it. Your enjoying it so much that it may end up at the top of my TBR pile!

  7. Send me your email address, and I’ll make you a co-author with about a dozen of us who post reviews of banned or challenged books on my blog “Banned Books.” Here’s the link to the blog, if you want to look it over.

    You are welcome to copy what you posted here. Banned Books Week is coming up — September 25 to October 2 — and we have hundreds of people visiting the blog during that time. I’d really like your review to appear there as well as here. You’ve done a great job by comparing the book and the movie and also listing places it has been challenged.

    You have my email address, but here it is for others who may want to join us in posting about banned books:
    emerging DOT paradigm AT yahoo DOT com

  8. I found my copy of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Yeah! I’ll see if I can get my husband to read it while I am finishing up several other books, then I’ll read it. I look forward to seeing the movie. Never have seen more than clips.
    It was always one of the first books I pulled for my banned book display. Looking at the reasons you referenced for it being banned or challenged, I think the Lindale, TX reason (conflicting with community values) was the real reason it had trouble in many places. The Inquisition conflicts with my values, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t read about it. It happened, just like events depicted in this book happened (too often). There was a similar event in the town where the library where I worked is located. Unfortunately an innocent man was lynched and all blacks were given 24 hours to move out of town. This was in the 1950s. It is sort of an ignored chapter in thew town’s history. These are the same people that will tell you what a wonderful family organization the KKK was (is). Family picnics, moral values, and they never did anything wrong. All the people – black, jewish, indian and catholic – who were run or forced out of town may not agree with that. Unfortunately, attitudes haven’t changed much since then. McDonalds had to take down a billboard because it had a picture of a black boy on it. It went up one day and came down the next. It is hard to believe things like this are still happening.

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