The movie ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is based on a novel of the same name written by American author Harper Lee. The novel is one of the most celebrated books of its time. It was written in the year 1960 and won the Pulitzer Prize the following year. It was also made into a movie the next year i.e. 1962. That is the only book ever written by Harper Lee and is still counted among the best books ever written. The film is more than decent adaptation of the novel. It is directed by Robert Mulligan and stars Gregory Peck in the lead role of Atticus Finch who is the protagonist of the movie. Mary Badham, who played Scout, was nominated for the Academy Award for best supporting actress making her the youngest actor ever to be nominated for an Academy Award at that time.
The plot of the movie is completely based on the novel. The movie is set in the 1930s in a fictional town by the name of Maycomb in the state of Alabama. The inhabitants of the town are quite colorful and we get to see an array of characters. Jean Louise Finch who is nicknamed Scout is a six-year-old girl. Her older brother is Jeremy Atticus Finch and is often called as Jem. They live along with their widowed father Atticus Finch who is a lawyer and goes to work in his office at downtown. The kids stay at home and spend their time playing. The kids are taken care by their black caretaker Calpurnia. The kids are quite close to her. The plot primarily focuses on these three main characters, i.e. Scout, Jem, and their father Atticus.
The kids meet Dill Harris who is their neighbour’s son. They have fun playing together. The kids take quite a bit of interest in the secluded house where Boo (the name by which the kids call him) Radley leaves. It seems that Boo hasn’t left his home in years. Dill starts telling scary stuff about him. He tells Scout and Jem that Bob is mentally disabled and thus his father keeps him chained to the bed and beats him. He is around six feet tall and has yellow, rotten teeth. He catches squirrels and small birds and eats them.
Atticus Finch, the father of the kids, is a lawyer. He is quite an honest man who believes in equal justice for all. He is also quite kind-hearted and tries his best to help people get justice even if they don’t have any money to pay. This is quite evident from the fact when Scout sees her father accepting nuts as a payment for his services from a man named Mr. Cunnigham who didn’t have any money to pay. Atticus is also quite liberal in his attitude towards his kids. He lets them use his first name to address him. Though their dad is quite upright morally, the kids come to know of the horrors plaguing their social system through his work. They learn the harsh effects of racism. Through these experiences they learn and mature.
There easy going life is dealt a severe blow when the Town Judge asks Atticus to defend Tom Robinson who has been accused of raping a white girl named Mayella. Everything would have been normal but the problem is that Tom is a black man and any black man even accused of raping a white girl was not going to be taken lightly. But without thinking about what bystanders might say Atticus accepts the case. This makes everyone hostile towards him. But the repercussions of his decision doesn’t stop there. It affects his family too. The kids start getting bullied in the school, and the children start calling their dad names. When a kid calls Atticus a ‘ni***r lover’, Scout gets really angry and gets into a fight. But Atticus keeps a calm head and tells them that the reason he took the case was because he believes that everyone has the right to a fair trial. If he does not take the case of Tom then no one will and thus he will not get any justice that he deserves.