USA Network, the American Film Institute and Universal Pictures said today that President Barack Obama will introduce Saturday's airing of “To Kill A Mockingbird,“ the acclaimed adaptation of Harper Lee's acclaimed novel.
The tale of lawyer Atticus Finch's battle against racial injustice still resonates with many today -- particularly in light of the Trayvon Martin demonstrations -- and Lee's simple prose makes the novel appropriate for a wide range of readers. The movie, considered one of the best literary adaptations ever made, brings home her powerful message.
“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 said, according to a prepared statement from USA Network. “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.”
It's worth setting aside some time -- or firing up the DVR -- for the 8 p.m. ET/PT showing, the first national broadcast of the digitally remastered and restored classic. It will be presented with limited commercials, USA Network said.
For more on Lee -- who never published another novel -- check out the PBS American Masters show Harper Lee: Hey, Boo.