President Obama to Introduce "To Kill a Mockingbird" on USA Network
A courtroom scene from the 1962 classic film "To Kill a Mockingbird" featuring Gregory Peck (left) as Atticus Finch, a southern lawyer who defends Tom Robinson - played by Brock Peters - in a racially charged trial.
April 4th, 2012
11:00 AM ET

President Obama to Introduce "To Kill a Mockingbird" on USA Network

Boo Radley and Atticus Finch will soon be returning to a television near you, but this time they’ll come with a presidential introduction. On Tuesday, USA Network announced that it will be premiering a “digitally remastered and fully restored” version of the 1962 classic film “To Kill a Mockingbird” with a new introduction from President Barack Obama. The presentation will honor the 50th anniversary of the film's release.

This fresh version of the film based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel will air on Saturday, April 7th at 8 PM eastern time. In the book, Lee deals with issues of race relations and discrimination through the story of a white southern lawyer named Atticus Finch – played in the movie by Gregory Peck – appointed to defend a black man named Tom Robinson – played in the movie by Brock Peters – who's been wrongfully accused of rape.

“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,” Harper Lee said in a statement released by USA, Universal Pictures and the American Film Institute. “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.”

Topics: President Obama

soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. HJA

    That is a great classic movie. I'll be watching.

    April 4, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  2. True Democrat

    Great news! It is nice that the President wants to highlight the wrongs of the right wing party! Hatred can be defeated if we stand up against it!!

    April 4, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Timmothy

      Amen my Good Friend

      April 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Merry Prankster

      As a liberal myself I think you need to watch the right wing finger pointing rhetoric, hatred and prejudice knows no boundaries!

      April 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
      • Biotechdev

        Actually, Obama has shown more racism in the past three years than anyone I know of in the GOP

        April 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Biotechdev

      Anything for publicity to distract voters from his failures on Obamacare and the economy. And the bonus is s racial component to keep the Trayvon momentum going

      April 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
      • mike

        people like you in this racist Country need to be sitting in front of your TV to watch this great show and maybe you will understand why this Country have a long way to go to understand the other person problems living in a racist Country.

        April 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Sponge-Bob

      Lay off the kool-aid pal

      April 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
      • Name*Liz Carter

        Can't handle the truth Sponge-Bob? You all are actually hoping we're drinking more than kool-aid; you hope we're still spaced out on the alcohol and drugs that this nation has allowed to addict a whole race of people...but some of us have come back from our comas! And have started thinking again.

        April 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Paul

      Hey "True Democrat" your party was originally started as The Party in favor of slavery !! It is the Southern Democrats portrayal in this film you knucklehead :-p When will the idiots of this country realize....its ALL the politicians.....not yours against someone else s......Dems vs Reps......or Red vs Blue....its us against them and Yes....even you, True Democrat don't realize it ?

      April 8, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • Anne

      Funny it was a democrat who who instituted segregation. That would be Woodrow Wilson.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  3. Anthony

    Should I work on gas prices, the economy, or intro a 50 year old movie on basic cable today?

    April 4, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Biotechdev

      Hey, be fair – he probably had to give up a round of golf for this!!!

      April 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  4. george of the jungle

    great movie great book Great president Obama 2012

    April 4, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Howard


      April 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
      • MTATL67

        GREAT MOVIE, GREAT BOOK and GREAT President.

        April 4, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
      • Biotechdev

        Agree – not only a bad president, a slimy opportunistic one

        April 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
      • jean2009

        Great book, great movie and an intelligent and great president.

        April 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
      • fukoffrepubprick

        OBAMA 2012!!!!!!!!!! GREATEST PRESIDENT EVER!!!!

        April 4, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
      • chris

        Well get use to 4 more years of a black man in the whitehouse...gets you all worked un American for this to be happening. If George W Bush got 8 then Obama more than qualifies for 4 more .

        April 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • sonny phillips

      Great book, great movie and a socialist, shre the wealth,clueless dunce that has not been totally vetted EVER! It is apparent that you do not understand or know what Obummer is all about so here is a link to the ongoing process of letting everyone see what a fraud we have in the WH. This man has played the race card his entire life and never has a job. Wanna know Obama – look at the shape the country is in and you will see Obama everywhere. Check out the link – vote against Obummer and America can thrive again.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  5. sonny chapman

    Human decency in the face of fear & hate should always be honored in this Country. Even if it's fiction. However, there were thousands of Atticus Finch's in the South during those times, including my parents.

    April 4, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • MTATL67

      A big thank you to your parents for making America a better place to live.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Habeeb

      There are thousands of Atticus Finch in every generation, without them there will not be any humanity. In fact every person has little or more of Atticus Finch and that is our Conscious, which guides us to the right way. A great book and a great movie with great actors.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  6. Marry

    The President shows again that he feels with people and supports reflecting on what the situations where, what might have changed and still needs to change in American society! Sadly there is still today a segment in the population that will not see the point or the need…and want others to fail...

    April 4, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Biotechdev

      The President only cares about his re-election. Anything for publicity to distract voters from his failures on Obamacare and the economy. And the bonus is s racial component to keep the Trayvon mementum going

      April 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
      • Sean

        Blah Blah Blah, quit trolling

        April 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
      • scoopy

        I don't see Obamacare as a failure. What is negative or detrimental about requiring all of us Americas to have health insurance?We all end up paying far more when those in poverty, or between jobs, etc. don't have proper health care coverage, access to preventive care, etc. How do you not realize that?

        Just as we all are required to have car insurance if we drive a car, we citizens all need reliable and accessible health care coverage–it's in the best interest of all to have such coverage. Don't you want your loved ones to have access to and make use of a healthcare program? What is so wrong about wanting everyone to be entered into a healthcare system? We all need access to a regular GP and preventive care.Better for all if we ALL are educated and get appropriate care early and regularly. I just don't see how that is a negative.

        If you're not in favor of healthcare for all, do you believe that we should we not have compulsory public schooling for all children? I believe it's to our benefit that we all have a minimum standard of healthcare and education. Okay, here's a bit of levity: As the great philosopher Mr. Spock of Star Trek noted, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few–or the one...."

        April 4, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  7. Bob

    This is a compelling, brilliantly acted life changing movie. So glad that President Obama is honoring it's 50th anniversary.

    April 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  8. dreucalypt

    President Obama has the coolness under fire and the self-possession of Atticus Finch.

    April 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  9. MTATL67

    What a great movie and even better book. I cannot wait to watch again. Very poignant lesson and very good time to be reminded to stand up to hate, bigotry and intolerance.

    April 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  10. Guess What

    more race monger by obama, he is a true racist

    April 4, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Former republican

      You have some serious brain problems,I suggest you get it checked out,ignorance can cause a number of issues that can be dangerous to your health.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • evelyn2

      Same old one note Guess What? All ABO all the time. You're totally classless and totally racist. Have you even bothered to read the book to see the over-riding theme of decency and integrity?

      April 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Merry Prankster

      Speak for yourself

      April 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
      • Andress

        I don't believe, and I could be wrong, that BP has just been sintitg on its hands. I truly do believe they have been sintitg in their boardrooms for their 5 hour workday trying to figure out a way to capture the oil coming out. They built a structure that WOULD capture it, one the size of the Moorhead Center Mall building. 5 stories high. That must have taken 2 weeks of around the clock construction to make. It didn't work. It was driven not by the desire to stop the environmental catastrophe it was, but by the desire to make the money they would lose by capping it.You know, there are charges against Obama for not doing anything, and to tell the truth I think he has culpability for it just as Bush had culpability for Katrina. The government HAS had tremendous success in keeping the oil from hitting the shoreline, and I believe its still been limited to less than 60 miles of shore thats been impacted. To me thats pretty impressive and it has been predominantly driven by the government. The responsability of stopping the oil though falls on BP. They caused it, and they have the equipment to stop it. Frankly they COULD have stopped it in less than a week, but they had a lot of money tied up in drilling and tapping that oil and had no intention of losing that investment. The ocean is no mans land and no mans land has no accountability Henry even shows the blatant disregard of this in his posts.

        September 8, 2012 at 5:29 am |
    • Biotechdev

      I agree. This president is the most divisive, racist presiendt of my lifetime, He will do anything for publicity to distract voters from his failures on Obamacare and the economy. And the bonus here is a racial component to keep the Trayvon mementum going

      April 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  11. honeybe

    As usual, Obama is pulling out all the stops to get the black vote. Why "To Kill a Mockingbird?" Because it will rally up all the indignant blacks and make them vow to support Obama against the big bad white man. He is by far the most devisive president in history.

    April 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • evelyn2

      Again, have you even bothered to read the book? The over-riding theme is decency and integrity and doing the right thing.

      PS. A lot of Whites have bought and cherished the book since it first came out 50 years ago. It is considered a classic of American literature. I guess that makes no difference to you. You simply see race and make an absurdly disparaging comment about the President.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • kimmiev

      Really! How many "indignant blacks" will be sitting at home on a Saturday night watching "To Kill a Mockingbird". This is an important reflection on American History and we could all learn from it!

      April 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • VLK

      You are absolutely right. Obama is doing nothing but courting the black vote. Obama is one of the scariest persons in power in modern day. Hate, bigotry and intolerance will always be in society. Obama is just doing his part to ensure it continues to exist. And those who think he's great are even scarier.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
      • mike

        No!!! it shows how many ignorant people like you who still wants to live in the past instead of coming into the 21th century. Now do everyone see why this President push so hard for a better education programs in this Country. We do not need our children to grow up to be as stupid as their mothers and fathers in reference to a person race,faith or sexual orientation. GET OVER IT!!!!

        April 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Robert

      How about...Just becasue it is the right thing to do.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Gloria

      Perhaps you should focus on the lesson to be learned in the movie, instead of you hate for OUR president, Mr. Obama, who happens to be black.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Biotechdev

      Presdient Obama can use some lessons on decency and integrity

      April 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • sonny chapman

      There were parts in the movie where Atticus tried to show his kids the need to treat white, underprivileged kids with dignity & respect. Funny how hatred blinds one to truth.

      April 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • jean2009

      Actually the most divisive was Lincoln. He may be revered now, but during his presidency he was considered very divisive southern states actually seceded in protest over Lincoln's election. For divisiveness George W. Bush would be a close second to Lincoln.

      Of course high on the list of divisive presidents is George W. Bush.
      Some of his poll numbers were in the 20% range.

      April 4, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  12. Patriot Awesome

    honybe you need to watch the movie and pay attention to what it's about.

    April 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • honeybe

      Patriot, I have seen it many times andalso read the book. It's a great story, but it does focus on the horrible prejudice of whites against blacks. Which feeds into exactly what my comments were about.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
      • Biotechdev

        whcih is why Obama is involved. Let;s forget UE above 8% and the debnt over GDP. Instead, let's energize the voting base over race issues.

        April 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  13. Tim

    They should also show 'INHERIT THE WIND' before we roll the science in our schools back to the Monkey Trail of 1925.

    April 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  14. vancouveral

    This is an American classic movie, brilliantly written and acted. Never having lived in the South or even in the US it shows how hatred can be so deeply ingrained in any nation, but that there are people who are truly courageous and brave who will aways do the right thing. Well done America, taking a critical look at a time that was very unpleasant. Kudos to President Obama for leading the way forward.

    April 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  15. LA

    Honeybe, "indignant blacks"? Anything like "angry white males"?

    April 4, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  16. Lookidat

    Maybe three times is the charm. Twice now, I have tried to post, only to have my post zapped by the moderators. Why? Because I am critical of Obama. Now, why MY criticism is more offensive than others, I don't know, but this obvious censorship by CNN is the primary reason that your credibility as a news service is even worse than that of Fox!

    April 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Biotechdev

      hapoens to me all the time. espeically on Souind Off. Take screen caotures and send to alternate websites ti show the censorship

      April 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Bob

      You're incorrect. Nobody could be more left or more Pro Obama and I get kicked out all the time.

      April 4, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • jean2009

      Happens all the time to me .... they probably think I'm going to hurt some right-wing reapotty racist's little ole feelings.

      April 4, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  17. Lookidat

    Guess what, Obama can't be a racist, he is black (or half black). Everyone knows that only white, southern males can be racists! Obama produced and put out a video, specifically targeting blacks, that basically said, "rally the troops, we (blacks) gotta beat the white republicans!" Now where was the uproar over obvious racial baiting? Of course, if one of the republicans were to put out a video, calling for white people to rally together to beat Obama, the uproar from the liberal media would be earth shattering! And you can bet that CNN would be leading the lynch mob.

    April 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  18. Biotechdev

    Anything for publicity to distract voters from his failures on Obamacare and the economy. And the bonus is s racial component to keep the Trayvon mementum going

    April 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  19. Lookidat

    I had to call them out on it. Then I tried to moderate my post enough to give them a little comfort zone. For entertainment value during the day, I will read a story here on CNN, and then go to Fox and read about the same story. The different slants from both sides get pretty interesting. Believe me, Fox is just as badly distorted in the other direction. One thing I have noticed is that a lot of stories on Fox, never even get picked up here, or if they do, they get buried, in particular, if they are critical of Obama or democrats. For instance, try and locate an article about the 4 democrats charged with voter fraud on behalf of Obama in the last election. I found it here, but it was buried, and very brief. Of course, on Fox, it is headlines. The main reason I come to this site is, while I am an independent, I lean to the right. And I like being the underdog, so coming here to CNN is like stepping into the lions den! I am constantly amazed at the cool-aid guzzling Pelosites who refuse to see ANY defects with this administration!

    April 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • jerry

      I have to use the british press for information. If the press handled obama like they did the Bushes and Regan...obama would never have made it to the primaries... The democratic party is in shambles...the current power brokers have pushed that party so far left it no longer has ANY validity...even for some of europes taste. Romney is center right...about where the democratic party used to be... When the GOP turns to running against obama it will be interesting to see how long the usual press will be able to stay out of it... even obamas birth cert and selective service card is still popping up and there is much more information coming out about obama...and the dam will break sooner or later.

      April 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  20. jerry

    THIS IS OBAMA USING THE RACE CARD... we need a president who will bring us all together and represent us all...not a radical racist who continues to dived us for personal gain. No one should stand for this or white.

    April 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Sean

      No we need a president who will attack women over birth control and abortions... thats the american way!

      April 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Amanda

      Why do you need to turn this into a political issue? Can't it just be about a really good book and movie being honored?

      April 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  21. jon

    Israel is a proven terrorist state, that has carried out aggressive actions against their own allies, not to mention innocent civillians.

    White phosphorous...

    Bomblets in lebannon..

    And AIPACS enourmous influence in American politics.

    That is the face of true terrorism.


    April 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • jerry

      and you ignore the thousands of rocket attacks they have endured..and terrorists bombings...and and and... hummmmm.

      April 4, 2012 at 8:26 pm |

    One of the great timeless American films. Gregory Peck's performance was sensitive and profound.
    Thank you.

    April 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  23. Lookidat

    Hey jon, I will be the first to admit that I don't know as much about the middle east as I should, but I gotta say, between the Israelis, and the "peace-loving" Muslims in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, I gotta side with the Israelis! At least Israel has never flown airplanes into our buildings! If anything, the Israelis should be pretty pissed at us, it's long time friends, because our president has spent the last 3 years stabbing them in the back! Now, they are pretty much saddled with the title of being America's puppet in a world of Muslims, so when (Notice I said when, not if) Obama lets Iran build a nuke, who do you think is going to be on the receiving end of it? Yet, even as they try to put contingency plans in place, OUR PRESIDENT leaks information to Iran to short-stop any plans by Israel. Some friend huh? I cannot imagine ANYONE of Jewish faith supporting Obama. So I guess it will be up to all the Muslims, left wing extremists, and dumb-ass college kids to see to it he gets re-elected.

    April 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  24. Lookidat

    jerry, I gotta tell you, I ain't real thrilled with Romney as a candidate, but it looks like that's what we are gonna be stuck with. I really wish that Herman Cain had stuck it out. Of course, Obama's Chicago cronies saw to it that he got covered in mud tight away. And Why? Because they knew that he represented a serious threat to them. I believe he would have beaten Obama. Ya know, the media has been doing an excellent job of digging dirt on ANY Republican candidate that started to gain strength, but anytime something sleazy or questionable about Obama comes up, they (the media) immediately attacks it accusing the "teabaggers" and "wacko conspiracy nuts" of everything possible. All I'm sayin is, if ya'll want to throw mud, spread it around to ALL of the candidates, and quit trying to suck up to Obama.

    April 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • jerry

      well lets see what they dig up on Romney...besides the fact he made money, which I believe he can easily explain that many people benefited from all of that. Howard Hughes surrounded himself with Mormons because he knew how they functioned morally and he felt he could trust them...and Hughes was a genius in people matters, he could read people and he had an incredible mind for remembering people and their relationships and etc.. So, being a history buff I will find it interesting just how this mobster obama and his team will smear Romney and just what dirty tricks they will use against him... I put obama in the LBJ class...and LBJ was a real piece of work truly a sociopath. We really have not seen this class of politician since the LBJ/Nixon years..interesting to watch the fools drink the cool they did with clinton...could you imagine if we had put Perot in? Perot was on it as far as debt, health care, and the rest was concerned. A big American fumble...we have it coming in spades and we got it with obama.

      April 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  25. george of the jungle

    I don't think the president has to do anything to get the minority vote the repos have done enough to trash minorities and women all by them selves. Most fox stories are not true or unsubstantiated thats why tthe other net works don't pick them up. They are like the repo morons who post here with crazy stories and ideas that are not based on truth. Obama 2012 Lets move forward .

    April 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • jerry

      just what has obama done for minorities? And, who are the minorities? You numb skull.

      April 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  26. Sponge-Bob

    A great book and movie, many books don't translate well to movies but this one did. As for Obama, this is for optics and political purposes, it is after all an election year.

    April 4, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  27. AgrippaMT

    It's a wonderful classic movie, and President Obama is a genius for agreeing to introduce it. It reveals the racists in all their ugliness, although they are all now Republicans and tea baggers rather than Democrats as back in the days when the movie was made. I'm going to record it and share it with friends.

    April 4, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Steveo

      You need to get a grippa! So, are you telling me there are NO racists and bigots in the Dem/liberal party? Really? Is that what you are telling me?

      April 5, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Ted

      Genius? No way, I will agree to the fact that he is a liar... that is FACT!

      April 13, 2012 at 12:09 am |
  28. Republicans are Neanderthals

    Where is the mor mon bi got and his magic underwear when we need him?

    April 4, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Steveo

      Harry Reid is a Mormon. Are you referring to him? Or is GOP Mormon any different from a Dem Mormon?

      April 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  29. joe

    In light of the Trayvon killing, Obama’s purpose is to race bate, fan hatred and instigate race riots. The film is about a fictional black man (one who is a complete liberal fantasy) who WILL NOT have sex with a white woman (AKA: The Black Man’s Kryptonite) who repeatedly throws herself at him, so she falsely accuses the innocent black simpleton mockingbird (who only wants to sing) of rape. The indoctrinated, ignorant, simple minded masses will eat this form of racism up, and make the led-by–their-noses connection to Zimmerman (where white = racist), without understanding the violent implications of the propaganda.

    Obama’s intends to capitalize on the unfortunate killing of the poor kid to provoke racial hatred and divisiveness in order to further his hate-filled class-warfare based Marxist agenda. Race riots, Marxist revolution, martial law, and expanding State power are his aims. Choosing this movie Right Now, proves beyond rational doubt that Obama is evil.

    April 5, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • jean2009

      @joe that is the most ignorant post I think I have ever seen. Bet your klan brothers are proud of you.

      April 7, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  30. All of them Devils

    The nations number one race baiter making an introduction regarding this movie, really...

    April 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  31. MJW

    I just wonder where President Obama was in the 1950 and 60s. Some of these people would like to forget that era but it is as relevant today as it was then. Great classic movie to watch. I applaud the President foer his excellent job performance and his ability to rise above the hate. Jackie Robinson suffered the same fate.

    April 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
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    April 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  33. Ted

    Damn, that idiot has to get his plug in even on a movie,... I'll bet obama says that it was "Bush's fault" that that guy got killed inb the movie...

    April 13, 2012 at 12:07 am |