The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013 Film)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013 Film) Literary Elements


Ben Stiller

Leading Actors/Actresses

Ben Stiller

Supporting Actors/Actresses

Shirley MacLaine, Sean Penn, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn


Comedy, Adventure




New York Film Festival 2013: Best Film

Date of Release

October 5th, 2013


Samuel Goldwyn Jr, John Goldwyn, Stuart Cornfeld

Setting and Context

New York, Greenland, Iceland, Los Angeles, early 2000s

Narrator and Point of View

The movie is told from Walter Mitty's point of view.

Tone and Mood

Optimistic and hopeful, adventurous, heartfelt, inspiring, humorous

Protagonist and Antagonist

Walter Mitty is the protagonist, Ted Hendricks the antagonist.

Major Conflict

The major conflict is between Walter and Ted. Ted wants the negative that Sean O'Connell has chosen to be the final cover of the magazine, and Walter cannot find it.


Walter sees the cover of Life that features a photo of him, and realizes that he has been vital to the magazine's production and success.


Walter throwing out his wallet at his mother's apartment foreshadows the fact that she will be the one to reunite him with it. The backpack he finds in his mother's house foreshadows the fact that he will be traveling soon.


When Walter makes reference to all the risky things he's done, he understates them. The altercation with the shark, the climbing of the Himalayas, the skateboarding towards a volcano, are all exceedingly dangerous and impressive, but he treats them pretty casually.

Innovations in Filming or Lighting or Camera Techniques


Allusions to Life Magazine, Benjamin Button, The Strokes.



There is a parallel between the way in which Walter gives Ted a dressing down in front of his new staff, and the way in which Ted dressed down the older tenured staff members in front of each other.