🎥 To Kill A Mocking Bird – 1962

The Story …

The narration is by the adult Jean Louise “Scout” Finch. Young Scout and her older brother Jem live in Maycomb, Alabama, during the early 1930s.

Despite the family’s modest means, the children enjoy a happy childhood with their widowed father, Atticus Finch, and their African-American housekeeper, Calpurnia.

Over the summer, Jem, Scout, and their friend Dill play games and often search for Arthur “Boo” Radley, an odd, reclusive neighbour who lives with his brother Nathan.

The children have never seen Boo, who rarely leaves the house. Occasionally, Jem has found small objects left inside a tree knothole on the Radley property. These include a broken pocket watch, an old spelling bee medal, a pocket knife, and two carved soap dolls resembling Jem and Scout …

Atticus, a lawyer, strongly believes “all people deserve fair treatment, in turning the other cheek, and in defending what you believe”.

‘Many of Atticus’ clients are poor farmers who pay for his legal services in trade, often leaving him fresh produce, firewood, and so on. Atticus’ work as a lawyer often exposes Scout and Jem to the town’s racism, aggravated by poverty. As a result, the children mature more quickly.

The local judge asks Atticus to defend Tom Robinson, an African-American accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell and Atticus agrees.

This heightens tension in the town and causes Jem and Scout to experience schoolyard taunts.

One evening before the trial, Atticus sits out front to safeguard Robinson, where a lynch mob arrives. Scout, Jem, and Dill unexpectedly interrupt the confrontation. Scout, unaware of the mob’s purpose, recognizes Mr  Cunningham and asks him to say hello to his son Walter, her classmate.

He becomes embarrassed, and the mob disperses.

At the trial, it is alleged that Tom entered the Ewell property at Mayella’s request to chop up a chifforobe and that Mayella showed signs of having been beaten around that time.

One of Atticus’ defensive arguments is that Tom’s left arm is disabled due to a farming accident years ago, yet the supposed rapist would have had to mostly assault Mayella with his left hand before raping her.

Atticus shows that Mayella’s father, Bob Ewell, is left-handed, implying that he beat Mayella because he caught her seducing the young African-American defendant. He also states that Mayella was never examined by a doctor after the alleged rape.

Taking the stand, Tom denies he attacked Mayella, but states that she kissed him against his will. He testifies that he had previously assisted Mayella with various chores at her request because he “felt sorry for her” – words that incite a swift, negative reaction from the prosecutor, and a gasp from the white audience.

In his closing argument, Atticus asks the all-white male jury to cast aside their prejudices and focus on Tom’s obvious innocence.

However, Tom is found guilty.

As Atticus exits the courtroom, the African-American spectators in the balcony rise to show their respect and appreciation.

When Atticus arrives home, Sheriff Tate tells him Tom was killed during his transfer to prison, supposedly while attempting to escape. Atticus goes to the Robinsons to inform them of Tom’s death, accompanied by Jem. Bob Ewell appears and spits in his face.

Autumn arrives, and Scout and Jem attend an evening school pageant in which Scout portrays a ham. After the pageant, Scout is unable to find her dress and shoes, forcing her to walk home with Jem while wearing the large, hard-shelled costume.

While cutting through the woods, Scout and Jem are attacked. Scout’s cumbersome costume protects her but restricts her vision. The attacker knocks Jem unconscious but is himself attacked (and killed) by a second man, unseen by Scout.

Scout escapes her costume and sees the second man carrying Jem towards their house. Scout follows them and runs into the arms of a frantic Atticus. Still unconscious, Jem has his broken arm treated by Doc Reynolds.

Scout tells Sheriff Tate and her father what happened, then notices a strange man behind Jem’s bedroom door. Atticus introduces Scout to Arthur Radley, whom she knows as Boo.

It was Boo who rescued Jem and Scout, overpowering Bob Ewell and carrying Jem home. The sheriff reports that Ewell, apparently seeking revenge for Atticus humiliating him in court, is dead at the scene of the attack.

Atticus mistakenly assumes Jem killed Ewell in self-defence, but Sheriff Tate realizes the truth – Boo killed Ewell defending the children. His official report will state that Ewell died falling on his knife.

Tate refuses to drag the painfully shy, introverted, likely autistic Boo into the spotlight for his heroism, insisting it would be a sin.

As Scout escorts Boo home, she draws a startlingly precocious analogy: comparing the unwelcome public attention that would have been heaped on Boo, with the killing of a mockingbird that does nothing but sing.

Credits :

  • Directed by Robert Mulligan
  • Screenplay by Horton Foote
  • Based on To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Produced by Alan J. Pakula
  • Narrated by Kim Stanley
  • Cinematography : Russell Harlan, A.S.C.
  • Edited by Aaron Stell, A.C.E.
  • Music by Elmer Bernstein
  • Production Company :
    Brentwood Productions
  • Distributed by Universal Pictures
  • Release Date : December 25, 1962

Cast :

  • Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch
  • Mary Badham as Scout
  • Phillip Alford as Jem
  • John Megna as Charles Baker “Dill” Harris
  • Frank Overton as Sheriff Heck Tate
  • Rosemary Murphy as Miss Maudie Atkinson
  • Ruth White as Mrs  Dubose
  • Brock Peters as Tom Robinson
  • Estelle Evans as Calpurnia
  • Paul Fix as Judge John Taylor
  • Collin Wilcox as Mayella Violet Ewell
  • James Anderson as Robert E. Lee “Bob” Ewell
  • Alice Ghostley as Miss Stephanie Crawford
  • Robert Duvall as Arthur “Boo” Radley
  • William Windom as Horace Gilmer, District Attorney
  • Crahan Denton as Walter Cunningham
  • Richard Hale as Nathan Radley
  • Kim Stanley as the narrator; the voice of adult Scout – “Maycomb was a tired old town – even in 1932 when I first knew it – that summer I was six years old.”
  • Paulene Myers as Jessie, Mrs. Dubose’s servant, sitting close to her on the Dubose porch.
  • Jamie Forster as Mr. Townsend, sitting on a bench, with three men, near the courthouse: “If you’re lookin’ for your daddy, he’s inside the courthouse.”
  • Steve Condit as Walter Cunningham Jr., Mr. Cunningham’s son, at dinner with the Finch family: “Yes, sir. I don’t know when I had roast. We been havin’ squirrels and rabbits lately.”
  • David Crawford as David, Tom Robinson’s son, sitting on the steps to the Robinsons’ shack: “Good evening.”
  • Kim Hamilton as Helen, Tom Robinson’s wife, inside the Robinsons’ shack: “Good evening, Mr. Finch.”
  • Dan White as the mob leader approaching as Atticus Finch sits in front of the jailhouse: “He in there, Mr. Finch

Film Information Source :


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