I must say, of the many adaptations that I have seen this was by far one of the best. The casting was absolutely perfect. I am not much of a movie watcher, especially really old films, so I was not familiar with Gregory Peck. Regardless of that, I think he made a great Atticus Finch. His demeanor and speech were exactly as I had pictured he would be. While there were minor changes to some of the lines and when they were said, it did not take away from the original written work.
The two major things that I noticed that were different was that they made Bob Ewell more of a villain from the beginning and they seemed to dismiss Calpurnia and Atticus’s interaction and importance to the black community. In the book, Ewell’s threats and anger didn’t occur until the trial began, but in the movie it was right from the start. I didn’t think it took anything away from his character being that he was a jerk in the first place, but I think the decline in his character was a better fit for the story. It was in that way that I felt a understanding of him and what made him attempt to take the lives of Scout and Jem in the end.
In the book, Calpurnia was a major character. She essentially became the mother the children no longer had. They didn’t show her taking the kids to the black church. I thought this was important for the kids to understand that the nasty things people said about the blacks was untrue and seeing why Atticus stood up for the black community. Lastly, they took out Calpurnia going with Atticus to tell Helen that Tom Robinson was dead. This showed a level of trust Atticus had with her while also showing how much he valued her presence. In the movie she became a minor character.
I also noticed that they took out Link Deas standing up for Tom and Helen during the trial and after. To me, the movie made it seem like Atticus was the only one willing to stand up for them. I also wish they had left in when the blacks left all of the food on Atticus’s back porch to thank him for being an advocate for them. I know they had to cut some things, the movie was already over 2 hours long, but there were just some aspects such as the ones mentioned above that really summed up the people and communities. I wouldn’t have minded the additional length of the movie to incorporate them.
All in all it is a great movie. If you have read the book and haven’t seen the movie, I suggest you watch it. I found it on Netflix. If you have already seen the movie, what did you think of it? Did you like it? Did you not like it? I would love to know! 🙂