I really loved the book, and so I was looking forward to the movie version of this classic. And I wasn't disappointed. I loved this one, even though it wasn't strictly accurate. I thought of several things that were left out without much effort: for example Aunt Alexandria, who plays a large role in the book, Jem smashing the old lady's flowers and then reading to her, and some smaller details, such as Mr. Underwood covering Atticus when the mob came.
However, if you disregard the book and just look at this as its own thing, this movie is wonderful. It's so moving and has a great cast. I particularly liked Atticus, I think. He's calm, cool and collected, as well as being as sharp as a whip. Scout was good too.
My favorite scene was definitely the trial scene. It's so moving, and felt so real. It's also gripping. Even though you know what the verdict is going to be, you can't help hoping that the jury will decide differently, what with all the evidence before them. But no.
There are many movies that leave out large parts of the books, and are less good because of it. This one does leave out a lot of parts, but somehow, it doesn't suffer all that much. It's still a marvelous film, and to me, it seemed to capture the book well. Counter-intuitive, I know, but maybe some of those parts weren't necessary to the movie.
The setting seemed realistic and felt authentic. I would highly recommend this 1961 film to everyone. The film is in black and white; it was a good choice, I think.