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Lincoln (2012)

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As the 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.

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(screenplay), (book)
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1,290 ( 228)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 108 wins & 242 nominations. See more awards »

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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 »

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Release Date:

16 November 2012 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$944,308 (USA) (9 November 2012)

Gross:

$182,204,440 (USA) (19 April 2013)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sally Field was so determined to play Mary Todd Lincoln, she begged Steven Spielberg for the chance to screen test alongside Daniel Day-Lewis. Spielberg believed she was too old to play the part, but Field was adamant. She recalled, "I'm ten years older than Daniel and twenty years older than Abraham Lincoln's wife was and Steven told me he didn't see me in the role. But I knew I was right for this part and begged him to let me audition for it. He was kind enough to do that and Daniel is such a sweetheart that he flew over from his home in Ireland to screen test with me. I'll love him forever for that." See more »

Goofs

In the scenes where the cameras are facing the rear of the house of representatives (away from the speaker) you can see flush-mounted speakers for the modern PA system as well as sprinkler heads of the fire suppression system in the ceiling under the upstairs visitors gallery. See more »

Quotes

Abraham Lincoln: Don't spend too much money on the flub dubs.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.60 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

They Swung John Brown to a Sour Apple Tree
Performed and Arranged by Jim Taylor
Courtesy of Gourd Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
History written by Steven Spielberg
9 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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