Fifty years after “To Kill a Mockingbird” hit the big screen, the Oscar-winning classic is returning to television with the help of President Obama, who will introduce the tale of lawyer Atticus Finch and his battle against racial injustice.
Obama is hosting actors from the movie and D.C. students at the White House today for a special screening of the film, which will air Saturday evening on the USA Network with an introductory message from the president.
“It’s a fantastic movie,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters. “It’s a classic movie that elucidates the need to do the right thing, even when it’s hard.”
While the movie, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee, is set in a small Alabama town in the 1930′s, its message of tolerance and fairness still resonates with audiences today.
“I’m deeply honored that President Obama will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by introducing it to a national audience,” Lee, who is rarely seen or heard from in public, said in a written statement. “I believe it remains the best translation of a book to film ever made, and I’m proud to know that Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Atticus Finch lives on – in a world that needs him now more than ever.”