Lincoln@Gettysburg (TV Movie 2013) Poster

(2013 TV Movie)

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planktonrules20 August 2014
I liked this documentary for many reasons but the biggest one is that it imparts so much information so efficiently you COULD consider skipping some of the epic films that talk about these events. For example, the TBS-produced film "Gettysburg" is 19230234034820895 hours long (so it seemed--it's actually only 271 minutes--which is STILL way too long)-- and yet you can get a lot more out of "Lincoln@Gettysburg" and it's under an hour...and you learn an awful lot of what was in the big-budget "Lincoln" now that I think about it!

The documentary does a great job of humanizing the president. It is it correct in presenting Lincoln as VERY politically and tech savvy for the 1860s. His image as a backwoods rail-splitter and teller of folksy stories was only partially true--much of it was carefully created to make him approachable to voters. No, he was actually extremely bright and able--not some hillbilly who made good! Additionally, he made great use of his speeches, telegraph systems and was very much the Commander in Chief--all while battling huge family problems.

Additionally, it does a wonderful job of SUCCINCTLY summing up the battle (producers of "Gettysburg" take note!). You get a great feel for what occurred, the mistakes and the successes. All this, of course, is a prelude to the show talking about Lincoln's famed Gettysburg Address and its impact on American history.

Considering that I am a retired American history teacher and LOVE history, it says a lot when I give this a 10. I can be VERY picky and often spot serious errors--but this one just seemed perfect in about every way.
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Why do excellent reviews disappear?
gwmasse16 July 2019
This was a very good documentary about the civil war. BUT excellent reviews have been removed that commented that the film was wrong in saying the war was initiated because of slavery, when in fact Lincoln's decision to fight rather than to let the Southern states secede was not based on his feelings towards slavery. Rather, he felt it was his sacred duty as President of the United States to preserve the Union at all costs.

Reviews that held this opinion have been removed. You see them one day and a few weeks later, they are gone!

This film has an agenda and by removal of certain reviews it would seem Amazon (or the individual responsible for approving reviews) is in step with that agenda.
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Defining Equality.
rmax30482320 July 2015
Everett Horton spoke before the president at the dedication of Gettysburg National Cemetery. Horton spoke for two hours, describing the battle and praising the union. The Gettysburg address that most of us are familiar with is 272 word long. (There are several versions.) It only took a few minutes for the president to read it. And in the speech, Lincoln's carefully crafted words make clear exactly what was at stake in the Civil War.

But you have to dig a little to clarify the message. The speech begins with "Four score and seven years ago . . ." Well, that doesn't take the audience back to 1780, when the Constitution was written. It takes them back to 1776 and the Declaration of Independence. And why does it make a difference? Because the Civil War, cloaked as it was in states' rights, was all about slavery. The Constitution was a compromise between the north and the slave-owning south, and slavery is never mentioned. But the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence begins with the phrase "We take these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal."

The program briefly covers a number of elements of Lincoln's presidency, ably assisted by David Strathairn's narration and the contribution of several expert talking heads ranging from Colin Powell to Michael Shaara, author of "Killer Angels." In a way, this exceptional program is as much about the process of communication in all its forms as it is about the climactic moment at the Gettysburg dedication. Technologically, Lincoln used the telegraph to communicate with his generals, which speeded things up, including arguments. And Horton's two-hour prologue was the performance expected of an orator before the age of mass media. There were no blogs, except that newspapers served as sources of opinions. The brevity of Lincoln's statement was startling.

Breezing through the president's address, a reader might at first see little but airy platitudes about liberty and whatnot. But imagine how precisely these generalizations applied to the entire country. Lincoln didn't condemn the Confederacy. He painted the Civil War as a trial to see whether a nation built on American values and charter documents could ever succeed -- not just here but anywhere on earth. There is nothing about the battle itself, no mention of "glory" or "victory," or even "slavery." "A new birth of freedom" takes care of slavery, but again a little decoding is in order.

In the end it's not only a powerful political and ethical statement but a magnificently designed piece of literature, full of effective rhetorical flourishes. And -- can you imagine any modern president writing such a document today -- on his own?

It must also have been a grueling experience for everyone involved. The battle at Gettysburg had not been fought that long ago and the scent of cadaverine was still in the air.

It's a fine program, and anyone interested in knowing more about it might consider reading Garry Wills' "Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America." Will's compares the speech to Pericles' eulogy and the book won a Pulitzer Prize.
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Good documentary on one of history's greatest pieces of oratory
grantss30 May 2017
A documentary on Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Covers not only the speech and the writing of it, but the effects of it, and the broader communications revolution that Lincoln was involved in - the use of the telegraph to control armies.

The Gettysburg Address is a piece of oratory well worth a documentary.

It was a 3-minute 272-word speech that encapsulated the Civil War and it's purpose. Seemingly low-key at the time, it is stunning in its clever use of language and in its effect.

This documentary captures well Lincolns's preparation for the speech, the speech itself and its effect.

However, the rest of the documentary is largely unnecessary and feels like padding. The segment on the telegraph is often filled with empty hyperbole by the narrator and experts, and basically feels overstated and unconnected to the Gettysburg Address.
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Good movie -- lot's of interesting stuff about the telegraph
n8vz4 November 2019
This is overall a very good TV movie. Covers a lot of interesting stuff about how high-tech old Abe was in his use of the telegraph, a relatively new invention at the time of the Late Rebellion. As an amateur radio operator (ham), I found this particularly interesting.

In response to gwmasse, I don't know about removed reviews, but in answer to your basic question: The war was about slavery, primarily. It's true, as you state, that initially Lincoln did not make the ending of slavery a war aim. That changed after the Emancipation Proclamation. However, at the very beginning of the war all the leaders of the Confederacy made it perfectly clear that they were leaving the Union mainly over the fear that the "Black Republicans" and the Lincoln administration were about to put into place policies that would lead to the eventual dismantling of the "peculiar institution." Read CSA VP Stephens now infamous "cornerstone" speech .

I hope that helps put this issue in perspective.
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Warning: Flashes
adventurefilmmaker25 June 2020
Gimmicky editing effects and flashing strobes at virtually every shot transition make this interesting subject virtually unwatchable for some of us.
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