NYT: Obama to Note Anniversary of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

6 04 2012

By BILL CARTER 5:05 p.m. | Updated

President Obama will deliver a special introduction to the first presentation of a restored print of the classic 1962 movie “To Kill a Mockingbird” on the USA cable network Saturday night.The inclusion of the president came at the request of the American Film Institute. The institute collaborated with the film’s owner, Universal Pictures, on the restoration of the film, which is timed to the 50th anniversary of its release.

The president agreed to offer his thoughts on the film in early March, and taped his remarks last Friday, said Cory Shields, the corporate spokesman for USA Network.

The White House has not yet released a copy of his remarks, which are expected to last about one minute.

The release of the film is also tied to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Universal film studio.The studio and USA Network are both owned by NBC Universal.

Mr. Shields said that discussions among Universal, USA and A.F.I. about how best to introduce the anniversary version of “To Kill a Mockingbird” led to the suggestion that the White House be asked whether the president would participate. Representatives of A.F.I. approached the White House in January with the request.

Harper Lee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” her only book, issued a statement about the celebration of the film.

“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,” Ms. Lee said. “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.”

(Full Story)





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