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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 <email@example.com>
In Lincoln's death scene, he is shown lying somewhat on his side, on top of the covers on a bed at the Petersen House (across from Ford's Theatre). In reality, Abraham Lincoln lingered nearly ten hours and had been put into bed under the covers to keep him warm, and diagonally, because he was so tall he wouldn't have fit otherwise. See more »
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.
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No opening credits except for the main title. See more »
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 »
I walked out of the theater wanting to go back in and see it again.
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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