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Lincoln (2012)

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As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director:

Steven Spielberg

Writers:

Tony Kushner (screenplay by), Doris Kearns Goodwin (based in part on the book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by)
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Popularity
1,314 ( 10)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 108 wins & 245 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Day-Lewis ... Abraham Lincoln
Sally Field ... Mary Todd Lincoln
David Strathairn ... William Seward
Joseph Gordon-Levitt ... Robert Lincoln
James Spader ... W.N. Bilbo
Hal Holbrook ... Preston Blair
Tommy Lee Jones ... Thaddeus Stevens
John Hawkes ... Robert Latham
Jackie Earle Haley ... Alexander Stephens
Bruce McGill ... Edwin Stanton
Tim Blake Nelson ... Richard Schell
Joseph Cross ... John Hay
Jared Harris ... Ulysses S. Grant
Lee Pace ... Fernando Wood
Peter McRobbie ... George Pendleton
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Storyline

In 1865, as the American Civil War winds inexorably toward conclusion, U.S. president Abraham Lincoln endeavors to achieve passage of the landmark constitutional amendment which will forever ban slavery from the United States. However, his task is a race against time, for peace may come at any time, and if it comes before the amendment is passed, the returning southern states will stop it before it can become law. Lincoln must, by almost any means possible, obtain enough votes from a recalcitrant Congress before peace arrives and it is too late. Yet the president is torn, as an early peace would save thousands of lives. As the nation confronts its conscience over the freedom of its entire population, Lincoln faces his own crisis of conscience -- end slavery or end the war. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | India

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Steven Spielberg/Abraham Lincoln Project See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$944,308, 9 November 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$182,207,973

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$275,293,450
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Steven Spielberg, it was James Spader's idea to have his character seen as indulging in hand-carving a wooden duck, a preoccupation that Spader's personal research revealed to be one of the major hobbies of Civil War-era America. See more »

Goofs

When Thaddeus Stevens takes the original bill after the vote, he folds it in half vertically. When his housekeeper, Lydia Smith, reads it to him in bed, the document's crease is horizontal. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Private Harold Green: [speaking to Lincoln on the battlefield] Some of us was in the Second Kansas Colored. We fought the Rebs at Jenkins' Ferry last April just after they killed every Negro soldier they captured at Poison Springs. So at Jenkins' Ferry, we decided warn't takin' no Reb prisoners. And we didn't leave a one of 'em alive. The ones of us that didn't die that day, we joined up with the 116th US Colored, sir, from Camp Nelson, Kentucky.
See more »

Crazy Credits

No opening credits except for the main title. See more »

Alternate Versions

For international releases, an additional prologue about the Civil War was added prior to the start of the film. It mostly shows archive photos with the prologue text included in it. This was decided by the studio's marketing department in its research which realized that while many non-American audiences know of the titular character, most of them are not familiar with the war itself. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Face Off: Frightful Fiction (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

They Swung John Brown to a Sour Apple Tree
Performed and Arranged by Jim Taylor
Courtesy of Gourd Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I walked out of the theater wanting to go back in and see it again.
30 October 2012 | by kentuckybobSee all my reviews

It's seldom that I leave a movie knowing that I absolutely will go back to a theater to see that movie again rather than wait for distribution. As I walked out, I absolutely knew that I would be back. There are so many amazing actors in this movie that I need to go back to fully appreciate the story.

In my estimation, Spielberg's Lincoln will become the definitive movie on Abraham Lincoln. Daniel Day Lewis absolutely disappeared into this character and out gallumped Honest Abe - country lawyer, gifted orator and a man born more fully suited to the desperate needs of a nation than possibly any other man in history. This movie is not the shiny myth, but a portrait of an amazing man who inspired, cajoled and even bribed the Representatives of the People into representing ALL of the people.

If you go, and I hope that you do, go with ears ready to hear voices speaking out to us from our violent past, telling us that we can be better than we are, that some things should be done because they must be done and that we can sometimes accomplish the impossible.


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