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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
1,013 ( 301)
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

Although some viewers were surprised by the usage of the word "fuck" in the movie, the Oxford English Dictionary dates the word back to (at least) the early 1500s, around 350 years before the American Civil War and Abraham Lincoln's presidency. In the movie, the word is used only twice, both times by the vulgar and rough Bilbo character as a way of demonstrating his uncouthness. Viewers who thought they also heard Lincoln using the term to describe "Tammany Hall hucksters" during a monologue actually misheard the then-common word "pettifogging," which means arguing endlessly over small legal details. See more »

Goofs

William Bilbo mentions that Lincoln's face is on the 50-cent piece. Abraham Lincoln appeared on fractional currency pieces, that is paper currency that was issued instead of silver coins during the Civil War, but the 50-cent denomination was not one of the ones he was on, until the fourth series, starting 1869. 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

Featured in The Oscars Red Carpet Live (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Cry of Freedom
Music by George Frederick Root
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Introspective, monumental and mythical..."
16 June 2013 | by SindreKaspersenSee all my reviews

American screenwriter, producer and director Steven Spielberg's twenty-eight feature film which he co-produced and which was written by American screenwriter and playwright Tony Kushner, is partly based on a book from 2005 called "Team of Rivals : The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by American author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. It premiered in USA, was shot on locations in the Commonwealth of Virginia, USA and is a US production which was produced by American producer Kathleen Kennedy. It tells the story about the president of the United States of America named Abraham Lincoln who in January, 1865 whilst living with his wife named Molly and son named Bob in the White House in the capital city of USA and as the American Civil War is in its fourth year, does everything in his power to find a peaceful solution regarding the war and encourages his cabinet members to get people from the Democratic Party to vote for the abolishment of slavery.

Distinctly and precisely directed by North American filmmaker Steven Spielberg, this quietly paced and biographical tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints though mostly from the main character's point of view, draws a humane and heartrending portrayal of middle-aged lawyer, politician, father, husband and philanthropist from the American South who despite opposing ideas from his colleagues insists on indorsing the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. While notable for it's distinct and naturalistic milieu depictions, sterling cinematography by Polish cinematographer and director Janusz Kaminski, production design by American production designer and art director Rick Carter and costume design by English costume designer Joanna Johnston, this dialog-driven and narrative-driven story about the first president of the Republican Party and his relationship with his spouse and his oldest son named Robert depicts a reverent and nuanced study of character and contains a timely score by American composer John Williams.

This conversational, political and at times humorous period piece which is set mostly in Washington, D.C. in America during the mid-1860s and where a radical republican and Congressman named Thaddeus Stevens is debating the opponents of the amendment of slavery and the head of state is in a dedicated strive for peace and equality whilst thinking about the future of his family, his nation and his fellow citizens, is impelled and reinforced by it's cogent narrative structure, subtle character development and continuity, the untouchable acting performance by English actor Daniel Day-Lewis and the remarkable acting performances by American actress Sally Field, American actor Tommy Lee Jones and American actor David Strathairn. An introspective, monumental and mythical portrait of an historical figure which gained, among numerous other awards, the Academy Award for Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis and Best Production Design Rick Carter at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013.


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