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Obama to Introduce TV Showing of Classic Film

A 2008 file photo of Gregory Peck as attorney Atticus Finch, a small-town Southern lawyer who defends a black man accused of rape, in a scene from the 1962 movie "To Kill a Mockingbird"

U.S. President Barack Obama will make a special introduction to an upcoming broadcast of the classic U.S. motion picture To Kill a Mockingbird.

Cable television's USA Network is airing a fully restored version of the film Saturday to mark the 50th anniversary of the film's release.

The film is based on the best-selling novel of the same name published two years earlier. The novel's reclusive author, Harper Lee, issued a statement saying she is deeply honored the president is introducing the film to a national audience.

The story, set in a small town in the southern U.S. state of Alabama during the Great Depression, tells the story of Atticus Finch, a white lawyer defending a black man unjustly accused of raping a white woman.

The novel earned Lee a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961, while the film earned three Academy Awards, including the Best Actor award for Gregory Peck, who played Atticus Finch.

Lee, who based the character on her father, says she is "proud to know that Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Atticus Finch lives on - in a world that needs him now more than ever.”

Some information for this report was provided by AP.