By Adam B. Vary
Updated April 03, 2012 at 08:44 PM EDT
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TO KILL MOCKINGBIRD

There are few films that stir the heart and soul more than the 1962 classic To Kill A Mockingbird. To commemorate the Oscar-winning film’s 50th anniversary, President Barack Obama will introduce a special broadcast of a restored and digitally remastered print of the film on USA at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Saturday, April 7.

Starring Gregory Peck as the heroically decent Alabama lawyer Atticus Finch, and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee, the film will air with limited commercial interruption.

In a rare public statement, Lee said she was “deeply honored” that President Obama would be participating in celebrating the film. “I believe it remains the best translation of a book to film ever made,” she said, “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.”

The event is part of the centennial celebration of Universal Pictures, which is resorting 13 classic titles from its past, including All Quiet on the Western Front, The Birds, Buck Privates, Dracula (1931), Dracula Spanish (1931), Frankenstein, Jaws, Schindler’s List, Out of Africa, Pillow Talk, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Sting. The remastered edition of To Kill a Mockingbird was released on Blu-ray in January.

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