To Kill a Mockingbird

left trailing in the dust behind

A Time to Kill


Some people believe that movies that are based or modeled after books are cut up to

fit the most important scenes in therefore making the viewer lose some its intensity, But

undoubtedly to anyone the movie A Time to Kill is much more intense than Harper Lee’s

To Kill a Mockingbird. This movie has a lot of violent content which penetrates whoever

is watching. Also the topic of racism is expressed more openly and taken to a whole new

level. Most importantly we are touched deeper by the family relations within the movie

than we are to the book. To summarize shortly the movie A Time to Kill is much more

intense than To Kill a Mockingbird.

Violence seems to catch everyone’s eye and create a tenser atmosphere for everyone

and the director of the movie A Time to Kill truly outdid Harper Lee in this department.

From the very get go of the movie we witness a scene which is extremely disturbing, the

rape of young Tonya this without argument is the single most violent portrayal in the

movie where within the To Kill a Mockingbird the most violent scene in the movie is

where Mr. Ewell attempts to murder Atticus’ children and even here as we are informed

by Dr. Reynolds Scout had escaped with only a bump on her head and Jem with a broken

arm. The movie and book are very similar in the themes and most events that occur but

the movie elaborates on these in a much more violent way as shown in one example the

theme of what goes around comes around in the book is portrayed by the death of the

innocent Tom Robinson who was if everything is taken into account killed because of

Bob Ewell who later died himself. In the movie this kind of issue was encountered when

two white men raped little Tanya, these men later suffered when Carl Lee shot them both.


This was much more intense than the book as we actually saw the murder of two men,

although Bob was killed by Boo we cannot visualize all the blood and anger that was

shown in the movie. The increasing violence of A Time to Kill makes the book To Kill a

Mockingbird look like a children’s story showing how much more intense it really is.

Racism is relevant in the book but it is not taken to the same extent as it is in the

movie. The “N” word is used in a bad way extensively within the movie while in the

book it is used a lot but more so as a descriptive word not as an insult for example one

phrase in the movie is said by one of the jury members where he says “That niggers

dead” in the movie even as some folks use the word with no intent to insult Atticus

makes sure his kids treat the black people within the community the same as the way they

would like to be treated. Also the level of racism is raised significantly in the movie

where the Ku Kluk Klan (KKK) gets involved in the case and brings danger and fear to

black people and those who support them by such actions as terrorizing them by

repeatedly throwing flaming crosses on lawns and then attempting to kill Jakes family

because he was defending a black man. Racism is also elaborated in the conditions the

black people live in. In the movie they show there hoses as little shacks and there

community as dirty and run down in the book we are also informed how the black people

had lesser housing and living standards but we are not told exactly the conditions we do

not see the broken homes and total segregation of that we do in A Time to Kill. Thus the

relevant views of racism create an overall environment of greater intensity compared to

that of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Lastly the bond and sympathy which we feel for the characters in A Time to Kill are

much more emotional. In the movie we actually visualize the rape of Tanya which from


the beginning makes us