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.
During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives forever.
In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.
An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
Richard E. Grant
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There was no dramatic voice vote for the 13th Amendment; it was done by paper ballots. See more »
After the vote, Thaddeus Stevens obtains the document to take it home for the night and folds it vertically. When he gets home his housekeeper opens it horizontally. 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 »
Steven Spielberg visuals are excellent in movies and this one is no exception. He does a wonderful job recreating the time period that Lincoln was a part of. The difficulty I have is in believing some of the dialogue and the revisionist history that takes place in this movie. The opening scene is a bloody battle and it appears realistic. Unfortunately the following scene has two black soldiers chatting with Lincoln outside in a makeshift camp. He's sitting at a table while they discuss their observations with him. Listening to them you'd think they all grew up on the same block together. One soldier lectures Lincoln and interrupts him during their conversation, while the other is Lincolns best buddy. A soldier wouldn't ever talk to a president in 2012 in this manner. In 1865 if two black soldiers acted this way they would have been immediately been put in irons. Blacks had to be extremely deferential interacting with whites during that century because the law looked the other way when they were murdered by whites. The scene is ridiculous.
Throughout the movie Spielberg emphasizes slavery as Lincolns motivation for engaging with the South. Fact check: Lincoln goal was to preserve the union. He did not remotely believe in equality of the races. Like most whites at that time, he considered blacks inferior. He stated that he would free some of the slaves, or all of the slaves, or none of the slaves if it would preserve the union. The movie is sort of a Disney version of Lincoln and loose on the facts.
This movie is over rated (probably because Spielberg is so powerful in Hollywood) and if you know any civil war history you will be disappointed. Lincoln, like all presidents, was a mixed bag. He believed in that it was acceptable to pay $300 to buy your way out of the war (the Irish didn't like that idea). Lincoln seriously considered deporting blacks to central America or Africa after the war. There was a great deal of corruption during his administration. Like most elites he believed the war should be fought by others(he wouldn't allow his son to put on a uniform until the war was over). Spielberg paints Lincoln as a saint and it would have been better (and far more realistic) if he had been portrayed a man with faults. The movie is a disappointment, if you want real history, read a book. This movie is a fable for children.
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