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My only problem is its been done before. I've seen people play Lincoln and many other Presidents as well, they all did an excellent job. The thing is, they were probably low paid unknown actors, so they didn't win any awards or anything probably. But they were just as good. I've seen movies about Lincoln, read about him in History, watched small clips about him. I know what he's done, I know what he did. I know that this movie probably isn't entirely true, I know they probably leave a good handful of people out, it's just like. Why. Why do you make a movie about Lincoln when there are already so many others? I just don't get it. I do not get it. It's boring, because it's like an autobiography, we all already know what's going to happen. We learn about it in class. It's just, I just, I am so upset. Same with Les Mis, I rather buy the soundtrack than the movie, or even read the book. Why? becAUSE it's BEEN DONE. It's like their leeching off of things that have already been done and just trying to make it better. It may be ignorant of me to think this, but I don't care. Stop making movies off of books and history unless it has rarely or never been done before. Anyways, it will most likely turn into one of those films your History teachers show in class. But give it another 20 years maybe, another Lincoln film will come. And another.
Apr 10 - 12:57 PM
Juan de Paz
To me this was an excellent movie, well acted and with a good script based in a good book about a good subject.
Now, ask me if I think whether Spilberg made it to get some Oscars and thought it would be timely with a black president. Because that is what it felt like. To me it felt hurried, short and left me wanting more. I will buy the DVD and hope it is an expanded version.
But to me it still feels like something made to get Oscars.
Feb 24 - 09:36 PM
I hope that faggot critic that lowered the score get gang raped by angry Somali pirates, tasteless fuck!
Feb 24 - 09:03 PM
I actually agree XD
Mar 4 - 07:16 PM
This was ok, but a lot of hot air about passing the Amendment and stopping the war. Ok great. Maybe not hot air, cause it was good, but when Lincoln was going off on a tangent with one of his stories, half the time my mind drifted off. Heard a lot on these things but nothing really on why he wanted to end slavery
Feb 8 - 05:53 PM
I love history and I enjoy movies based on historical events. I don't expect them to be totally historically accurate, but this seemed so flat. The script, at least the first hour, seemed so contrived. I gave up after that.
Feb 7 - 01:34 PM
Well the duration of the film saved heating and lighting at home, for 2 plus hours in a dark, warm theatre perfect place to sleep thro the duration of this lack lustre film...fail to see how anyone outside of the US would remotely be interested in this long drawn out 'pat on the US back' film...obviously enough promotion to win Oscars but hardly going to be memorable! Zzzzzzzz all the way!
Feb 3 - 05:34 AM
As someone from outside the US (I live in Wellington, New Zealand) I have to respond to say that personally I found it rivetting. A moving portrayal of a great man whose influence still resonates today. I think it will be boring only for those who need constant stimulation of the typical Hollywood fare.
Feb 6 - 04:08 AM
Tony, I have been in hour and a half movies that seemed to last longer. If you are fascinated by the man and what he accomplished in such a difficult time, seeing details of what you have read brought to life on screen will hardly seem boring. Your last sentence rings true and leaves me wondering how many who speak out against it will comment favorably on "a good day to die hard" which I have nothing against. I'm sure I'll enjoy it months from now at home for free late at night...when I'm a little drunk.
Feb 15 - 01:52 AM
Dude! It wasn't that long!
May 4 - 11:40 PM
tony, you are spot on!
Feb 22 - 01:07 PM
I defy anyone who saw the film to explain, without having to look it up, exactly why the 13th amendment had such urgency attached to it in the film (nobody tells us); also, and this is my own small pet peeve---Lincoln was a very strong man physically--he could probably break your arm--he was not this pathetic weakling shown in the movie---that annoyed me.
Jan 29 - 06:39 PM
Easy. He had made the emancipation proclamation using the words "forever free" during a time of war, essentially using war powers even he wasnt quite sure of. The recent election gave hope that the better numbers could possibly gain it's success. He wanted to allow southern states back in to their previous standing for the most part, but if that happened, the representatives from those states who were NOT there during wartime would tip the balance back in favor of the prejudices of the time. It had to happen then if it could as the emancipation proclamation would be tattered in peacetime by politicians seeking oh pretty much any advantage they could.
Feb 15 - 01:46 AM
I have to say the movie was not a big hit outside the US. The subject matter is not really as interesting to the rest of the world. But if it wins an Oscar they might rerelease it, you never know.!
Jan 28 - 02:38 PM
Uuuuuuuugh. I'm sure if you could stay awake for the entire 32 hours of the movie you would totally enjoy it. Yes the acting was amazing but I just wanted Lincoln to get shot so the credits would roll.
Jan 11 - 09:15 PM
I agree with the original poster, this movie is not good. It is flat and boring and trite propaganda. The historical accuracy is astonishingly weak. Someone should have consulted a recognized expert like gore videl to get the facts straight.
Walked out after 15mins. I love how the lincoln meme with the freeing of the slaves can move people to overlook the facts surrounding that time.
America was the last country to outlaw slavery.
America was still doing it for almost 100 years since the other countries outlawed it.
(correct if wrong on the 100yrs but in and around there)
Dec 29 - 06:58 PM
wrong,Brazil was the last country to outlaw slavery.
Jan 5 - 03:23 PM
Actually Mauritania in 1971
Jan 20 - 09:53 AM
You're right. Walking out after 15 minutes clearly gives you the right to express your opinion on the quality of the film. Jesus, how can you formulate an opinion after 15 minutes of a two and a half hour movie? Let me ask you this: What the hell did you think this was going to be? Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 2.0?
Jan 19 - 08:06 PM
well said, I think people's attention span is getting shorter and shorter after being fed a diet of mindless formulaic Hollywood crap. This was a wonderful antidote.
Feb 6 - 04:24 AM
Mar 27 - 02:50 AM
I agree this movie falls flat. Dark roomed, boring politics and despite all the of the dramatic happenings in the film, almost no dramatic tension or surprises in this film. It really felt like they just went went through the motions of enacting a predictable screenplay. Given the amount of acting and production talent, in the end, the film has little emotional impact.
Dec 29 - 11:04 AM
as far as "dark roomed" is concerned, that was intentional on spielbergs part. he used only natural lighting, just as he used the actual ticking of lincolns actual pocketwatch. he wanted viewers to experience the exact things that lincoln experienced in 1865. there wern't going to be any surprises in the movie, we already had knowledge of what transpired, we just got to witness it with a certain amount of accuracy!
Feb 22 - 01:14 PM
This film is great! In parts it felt like a historical documentary, about the workings of the government. In others it made you understand the sacrifices made for emancipation - even though we all know there were many years after that... never mind. The way DDL did Lincoln's voice and persona was so amazing. I mean, this is no movie type big man with a deep voice. He seems so real and so capable, and yet full of doubt. But at the same time he is a wheeling and dealing politician who just wants to get sht done. Kudos to Tomy Lee Jones(spelling soz) as always he is so real and just holds it together. Just a really great film. I cannot get that voice out of my head, how can you make somebody sound like they say he sounded in the history books - high, shrill and regional, and yet he is every bit a leader and just a legend... kudos to all, such a great film.
Dec 28 - 07:22 PM
Uh.. I meant house members in the House of Representatives, not Senate before someone gleefully points out my error as an excuse to trash my entire point.
Dec 9 - 09:39 AM
I do agree the name of the film is absurd. That's the influence of Microsoft's style of the catchy practical one-word title (e.g. Word, Excel, Access, Money,... ad nauseum). Don't you watch the previews or read reviews so you at least know what to expect or rely solely on the title alone on your decision to see a movie?
This film was NOT attempting a comprehensive history of Lincoln. This LINCOLN was an examination of the real world politics of the time in getting the 13th amendment passed. I'm not enough of a historian to know how much is revisionist history and frankly don't care. Lincoln was clever enough to know he could never get it passed without the votes of lame duck senators who could vote their conscience since they had already lost their seats. The verbal jousting in the senate (see the quotes section)was particularly funny.
This film also dramatically portrayed how the most powerful man in the free world is still limited by his other roles as husband and father, the small minds of some Americans.
I understand, this is the thread for people who want to trash the film so knock yourselves out.
But if you're reading this thread keep in mind that 90% liked it so there must be SOMETHING good about it.
Dec 9 - 09:12 AM
I agree that the usage of the surname only for the title was extremely lack of creativity. However, it's good we got this the same year that the "vampire hunter" shit came to theaters.
Dec 28 - 12:17 PM
I expected to love this movie having read extensively of Lincoln's life and times. Alas, I was oddly disappointed, especially with the melodramatic quality of Lincoln's attitude toward slavery, which were ambiguous at best. The recounting of the Gettysburg address by the union (black and white) soldiers came early in the film and set a phony and amateurish prequel. DDL's performance was very good, but the film's historical inaccuracies caused irreparable harm.
Dec 9 - 07:10 AM
Timothy Brown Sr.
This movie is a terrible portrayal of Lincoln and Daniel Day Lewis was the most un-believable choice to portray him. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME!!!!!! Michael DeCourcy, and Sat Khalsa YOUR IDOTS!!!!
Dec 7 - 06:17 PM
I'm sorry, was that sarcasm?
Dec 8 - 12:09 PM
Feb 26 - 05:17 PM
I agree--this film is a big WHIFF
Dec 7 - 10:35 AM
I agree with all the whinging. There was so little of Lincoln's life in thi s film - we never get to hear about his father, his legal practice, his political rivals, his views on black people, his relationship with his wife, his sons, his grief, his famous humor, his famous compassion toward soldiers, his legal mind, his life on the Mississippi, his relationship with Grant, or his auto- didacticism. Oh, wait - we actually saw more personal aspects of Lincoln than any other Lincoln bio flick I can think of, but yeah, it was only 4 months and their weren't nearly enough battlefield decapitations, horse carriage chases, or brothel scenes. That title is so misleading.
Nov 28 - 08:54 PM
We didn't even get to see him get shot either! I agree, a total waste of cinema film...
Dec 7 - 07:41 PM
Haha, I liked the movie but yes it was falsely advertised by calling it "Lincoln". Re-name it and it's alright.
Dec 7 - 08:23 PM
i agree with this forum in general. the critical support this film is getting is way out of whack with reality. The film has two or three great acting performances, and great production, which serve to point out that the writing and focus of it are just terrible. The film presupposes that there is some kind of suspense as to whether the 13th amendment will pass, and spends more to two hours on the details of that debate. This small window into Lincoln is both insufficient and misleading as to his character. Rightly, the film should be called "The Thirteenth Amendment," and not "Lincoln," as it focuses almost entirely on that debate. Lincoln had multiple issues to deal with, and most of those are ignored. His trouble finding good generals, and even the formation of the confederacy are ignored. If you did a two and a half hour movie about the Affordable Care Act, and called it "Obama," it would be about the same result.
Nov 26 - 05:26 AM
Always blows me away when people review the movie that isn't made. What you're describing is not a movie, it is a 13-part miniseries. If someone wishes to make that, perhaps even Spielberg in the vein of Band of Brothers, I'll watch. To this point, what we have is this picture, which chose to address a complex man through one of his most complicated episodes. You're mad at the title? Really? Really?
Dec 4 - 05:05 AM
Thank you Mr. DeCourcy. Very well spoken. Agree!
Dec 7 - 01:22 PM
Well-said, Michael. Pure cinematic magic!
Feb 20 - 07:05 PM
With all due respect Mr. Grotke, you missed the point in my opinion. The entire reason Lincoln came to be was his destiny to right the ship of state. For a man with a total 1 year of formal education, a one time US congressman from Illinois, a failed attempt to be a US Senator, a gangly, homely man who would end us as probably the most outstanding president in US history. This was not because he would govern during the most chaotic time in our nation's history but because he was able to fulfill the Declaration of Independence by instigating and signing the 13th Amendment to Abolish Slavery in America. That is the point. This is his Legacy. Four years was all he was allowed. Two days after Lee surrendered at Appomattox, he was killed. We know not of his lineage, but we shall always remember his legacy.
The only thing that was wasted is the time I spent reading reviews from idiots and critics. Seriously, if you don't like history don't see it. If you fell asleep in class when the teacher goes over the 13th amendment don't go see this movie. If you love history go for it.
Nov 25 - 10:07 PM
Lincoln was very well done. Sets exceptional, material culture excellent. Story line historically very good. Historiography very good. Entertainment value below average.
However, anyone who sees it will know what the 13th amendment did.
This was a critique of a dear friend who is a historian, lives with her also Civil War historian husband in Gettysberg. These are her comments about Lincoln. I am in 100% agreement. One more thing, thank you John Williams for another award winning musical score.
Dec 7 - 01:30 PM
both the movie and commenters here spent too much time kissing Lincoln's butt. The acting of Day-Lewis was all that saved it.
Nov 25 - 06:31 PM
"What a wasted opportunity." Maybe Steven will do a pre-quel later? LOL!
Nov 25 - 06:16 PM
I think these reviews are very harsh, ok, maybe the title was slightly over zealous but the title is a stupid label that is only for getting the audience to say, "Hey, that sounds good!" it's simply a very cheap marketing attempt to get you to see it. In my opinion, this movie beautifully depicted Lincoln's intriguing life in a very emotionally and touching way. The writing was beautiful, the cinematography was breath taking, the story was intelligently portrayed in a heart-warming, well portrayed, and even funny way. Yes, part of this movie's superior score was its wonderful cast, but if you got rid of all those people, i would still love this movie just as much and would watch it another hundred times loving it just as much as the first. The flaws? I believe the flaw resides in the audience, it takes a colossal attention span and vast intelligence to comprehend and understand this movie. So for all you democrats and thrill seekers, go and watch taken 2 and totally ignore the stupidity of this guy's family. I adored this movie, and i'm not even 18, and this is Spielberg's best movie and my favorite of all time and I could watch this movie three times in the same day and wouldn't get bored.
Nov 25 - 06:00 PM
I loved the movie. It is a movie for all partys to enjoy. You know if Lincoln was a politician today his ideals would be considered democrat. I thought it was funny that the slaves states back then were all democrat and the north was republican. Today the north is democrat and the south is republican. Study some political history. The partys have changed drastically. You should look at this years presidential election map on realclearpolitics.com and then look at the map that shows which states were slave states. The maps look oddly similar.
Nov 25 - 10:30 PM
Thank you! I'm 13 and I loved "Lincoln"! I saw it today for an 8th grade school field trip. My eyes stayed glued to the screen for the entire duration of this movie. The acting was terrific, the settings were extremely realistic, the writing was brilliant, I could go on and on! I don't understand why people are b*tching about the title. Yeah, it's not about Lincoln's whole life, rather the last 4 months of it (mainly the month of January, though). But it's just a freaking TITLE. Like with last year's "Tintin", I see "THE OPENING CREDITS ARE TOO LONG! WAAH!" Grow up.
Nov 27 - 01:34 PM
I'm a democrat, big D, and I loved this movie. What it takes is a curiosity about history and patience to watch and listen to a film without car chases or gun fights. I learned more about American history watching this film than I did it the pitiful history class I had in high school. Anyone who complains that this film is not entertaining should realize that some films are made to challenge the audience to think. Anyone who read the preview summaries would have known that this film focused on passing the amendment.
Nov 28 - 05:34 PM
Mr. Buhler. your assessment is spot on. Personally, I rank this movie with Saving Private Ryan and Amistad for Spielberg. Acting, story line, writing, all that you wrote, is perfect. Anyone who didn't get this film must need their FOX fix and this movie reminded them of their own pain. Lincoln was brought to life by Lewis. Majestic! Awesome!
Dec 7 - 01:26 PM
It sucked. Walked out after 50 mins. Glorified TV movie.
Nov 25 - 01:26 PM
Dec 4 - 06:05 PM
Wow, didn't have the balls to put some heart into your own money.
Dec 6 - 05:47 PM
i feel it was a mixed bag. I would by lying if i said it captivated me. It was a let down for me, and sitting through it again would be an act of self torture, with that said many wonderful performers and some great lines..but this isn't a movie about Lincoln so much as it it about the 13th amendement...a small slice out of Lincoln's life on the planet. I would give it a B minus for its wonderful cast, but I truly believe there is a much better version waiting to be made.
Nov 24 - 09:46 AM
What, not enough vampires?
Nov 28 - 08:42 PM
Dec 6 - 05:48 PM
A few other ideas for Lincoln movies:
#Lincolnmania --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej5VtraZrVk
Nov 23 - 08:50 PM
I feel like many Americans, or people in general hold the mindset that if a film has an "all star cast" and is from a highly credible director it's an amazing film, and therefore everyone who opposes that opinion is unintelligent or an uninformed "child". However, I believe that one who speaks out against that opinion is more aware as they saw through the facades and superficial aspects of the film in question. I'm not a big fan of Speilburg myself, and I despise his cinematography Janusz (however you spell his last name). I respect both of them highly, but most of Speilburg's films have become visual appetizers about a powerful subject that everyone feels compelled to believe in. Speilburg's flaw with Lincoln is that it was mis-titled as a biopic, and advertised as one. For those who comment and say "hey dummy you obviously don't get it, because it's NOT about Lincoln its about...." you should have stopped there; not about Lincoln? But it's titled LINCOLN. The flaw doesn't stop there though; Speilburg seemed to go back and forth between making it about Lincoln's personal life and passing the 13th amendment which made the plot seem unfocused in parts; don't get me wrong, it did work at times but overall this strategy fell a little flat. Acting overall was amazing, especially from Day-Lewis which was my primary mode for seeing it.
Nov 22 - 09:38 AM
It's tough to track more than one idea at a time, 'em? The fools call them "subplots" and hacks have using them to confuse us since that pulp- scribbler Shakespeare.
Nov 28 - 08:45 PM
Actually, a subplot is more than an idea and is much harder to portray in film than in writing. For instance, here the "subplot" would be Lincoln's life. However, Speilburg was trying to conjoin it with the main plot, and in my opinion he failed in that endeavor. Just because people have objections to a multitude of assets compared to the one you perhaps enjoyed does not back us a bunch of ignoramus'
Dec 5 - 08:54 PM
The point was to focus on what is in the film, the story that was told. If it weren't for the title, Lincoln, I wouldn't have considered that to be a subplot at all. It focused more on the basic idea, which was executed well.
Dec 6 - 05:51 PM
I am tired of people complaining about the movie. The passing of the 13th amendment IS Lincoln's legacy. If you did not like the movie, it is because you are not intelligent enough to understand what they were saying, hence making you bored. I feel sorry for you if that happened. I personally thought that this was one of the best movies of all time. Minus a few historical inaccuracies, this movie was spot on, exactly what I wanted to see.
Nov 21 - 12:03 PM
Day-Lewis makes you think he's Lincoln, however the rest of the movie couldn't care less. This isn't a movie ABOUT Lincoln, this is a movie about the passing of the 13th Amendment, that just happens to have Lincoln in it because he was the President at that time in history. The movie is boring as hell, with the most suspenseful moment being if they get enough "Yes Votes" on a bill that was passed over 100 years ago...not exactly exciting stuff here. I nearly walked out on this one, 7 other people in the theater left early, if it wasn't for being there with a friend I didn't want to ditch, I would have been the 8th. I had to fight to stay awake in this snooze fest. It couldn't even do justice to the most interesting moment in the film, when Lincoln is killed...because no time is spent on it, they fool you into thinking its coming...end of the movie, theater...oh snap...nope, total tease, dude comes out "The Presidents been shot!"...kid screams, next scene. Seriously?! I'm amazed this movie is getting such praise and high scores, its terrible.
Nov 20 - 11:48 AM
Nov 20 - 08:18 PM
I completely agree with gavin.
Nov 20 - 08:54 PM
Helen O Kekai
to Gavin and Hannah You find history of the USA boring as hell? I guess if it doesn't contain blood, dismemberment, decapitation it is not worth your time? The film was based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and covers the final four months of Lincoln's life.
Americans in general are so terribly uneducated. How else to explain how some morons like Akins, and Tom Walsh or Tom Wilson are voted into congress.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" (from "Life of Reason I") by George Santayana.
Start reading good non-fiction. Beats the hell out of video games, spending your life in a darkened movie theater, or updating your status on Facebook.
**and Hannah? You ARE an unintelligent, uninformed child. You said it! I didn't.
Nov 23 - 07:41 AM
Strawman argument, not even worth a reply.
Nov 24 - 06:35 PM
Then why did you reply
Dec 8 - 03:24 PM
the history of Lincoln encompasses so many other details, and the focus on the 13th Amendment fails to give the film the broad sweep and scope that most people expected, especially from Spielberg. And how a director can pull his punch as to the shooting of Lincoln, is beyond me. It appeared to be purposefully obtuse and in love with itself. It may be historically accurate (almost) as to the story it tells, but the truth is that it is a failure in teaching history in that it makes history boring and uninteresting.
Nov 26 - 05:32 AM
Ms. O Kekai. excellent remarks. Wise!
Dec 7 - 01:32 PM
Well said Gavin. I never looked at my watch so much during a movie to anticipate its' ending. 3 minutes of action in the whole thing and they used 1 minute of that to make the trailer.
Nov 25 - 05:31 AM
that is a good point. The title AND the trailer were very misleading. If I hadn't been lied to I would have probably found this passably interesting.
Nov 26 - 05:33 AM
If you don't like history you shouldn't go see this movie. For people who like history and politics this movie would be for them. I'm not going to give any bs about me being a history teacher or I study this in college. I just love history and happen remember stuff about it. I can see why people are upset that the movie is called Lincoln but it does not show very much of his life. Lincoln's legacy is the 13 amendment and that is why it was titled that. The movie did not make Lincoln out to be a saint. He was human and it didn't continue the Lincoln myth. The movie would have had DDL screaming I am against slavery and I love black people in every scene in the movie.It felt like Lincoln was studying the blacks and trying to figure them out. He even says he knows little about them. They made him somewhat racist too which isaccurate. Gavin, Hanah, and Perry if history bores you then don't go see. Go see Twilight or a movie that doesn't require you to like history and talking.
Nov 25 - 09:54 PM
Thank you Amber.
Dec 7 - 01:33 PM
how was dustin putman's review even relevant? the movie was not a biopic nor was it intended to be. if the film is specifically focusing on the final four months of lincoln's life, then why are we judging it on what it's not??? putman is a moron and so are you, n z. as for the talk about lincoln's true stance on the race issue... the lack of perspective in understanding historical context is failing many of you. assessing lincoln's stance on civil rights by contemporary measures is inane. relative to his time, however, and given his place and position in society, he was about as progressive as you should have expected him to be.
Nov 19 - 10:43 AM
Good points you make, Waleed. However, the film has so little to do about Lincoln's life, covering only a few months, I'm wondering why Spielberg titled it LINCOLN. And you point about context has been stated by others. However, many understand the the real context is there were thousands of White activists fighting for racial justice. Lincoln was most certainly not among them. He was nearly 50 when he spoke about race during the Douglas debates. Why is that imporant for us to know. Because if Lincoln had a change of heart and mind as President, he would have written about it publicly. That never happened. As African American Americans, what are we to believe? When one looks at the statistics on Blacks in the United States, the facts are shocking, clearly pointing to genocide. It is precisely that point of a significant change in deeply held beliefs that could help us to better understand this plague of racism on African Americans. At $50Million I would have expected Spielberg to do some heavy lifting in creating the storyline. No such luck. As you watch the popularity of Spielberg's LINCOLN rise and fall, then rise again during the Academy Awards, be reminded of the public's opportunity lost, and Spielberg's opportunity gained. "LINCOLN" AND SLAVERY -- From a recent NEW YORK TIMES comes this great article by scholar Kate Masur, associate professor of history at Northwestern University. Onward and upward, ~ e
Nov 21 - 01:04 AM
There are thousands of books written about Lincoln. You could make 10 movies on his life up to age 23.
This film was based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and covers the final four months of Lincoln's life.
EVERYONE COMMENTING HERE..START READING! NOT ARTICLES WITH OTHER PEOPLE'S OPINIONS BUT FULL BOOKS OF NON-FICTION THAT DO NOT CONTAIN THE WORDS: HARRY POTTER OR GANDOLF!
Nov 23 - 07:46 AM
I agree Helen. Everyones like why isn't he killing Zombies duaahha. This is when I lose all hope in our education system. People do need to read non-fiction considering history rebeats itself way too many times.
Nov 25 - 09:59 PM
Helen, you are so right! More people need to start reading things other than Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, etc! I mean, they're great books but they aren't the only ones out there!
Nov 27 - 01:43 PM
This comment has been removed.
I think he silences her because his young son was in the room.
Nov 25 - 10:01 PM
Some things to ponder - MLK delivered his "I have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. If you read many of MLK's speeches and letters (from Birmingham jail for example) it is clear that our country's greatest civil rights leader had a deep and abiding respect for the man. Why? Because he judged Lincoln by the content of his character, in the context of his time.
Nov 18 - 02:29 AM
Mr. Seagar, thank you for your wise remarks. Excellent! Lincoln did have character, wit and integrity. He was a great Soul. We got to spend another 2 1/2 h hours with him thanks to a great actor and his research.
Dec 7 - 01:35 PM
The Movie was Great you twit
Nov 17 - 09:28 AM
Saw Lincoln last evening,this is the story af all the bureaucracy to pass the 13th amendment. Daniel Day Lewis lived the part!
Nov 17 - 08:36 AM
I am of the opinion that we are all racists, sexists, ---ists of one sort or another. I further see that Lincoln lived in a time and place different from my own, was an imperfect man, and a politician to boot saying things to achieve political compromise in a changing world shere no one can claim perfect knowledge of anything. That being true, at least from my perspective, what was did Lincoln do to address the overwhelming problems and responsibilities he faced. I read his words and see the results of his works. Talk is cheap, works (like the 13th Ammendment) are more impressive. That he was killed because of his works and words is a surprise to noone, least of all Lincoln himself. As an aside, my thanks to Daniel Day Lewis for reminding me that Lincoln was an imperfect human like me--or you
Nov 17 - 08:30 AM
Nz we were hoping that your own Lincoln movie would make it to the big screen first. Next time.
Nov 16 - 10:38 PM
Everyone at that time was racist on some level. This movie didn't even cover that up. Lincoln flat out says in one scene, "Maybe one day I'll get used to your people". This movie wasn't trying to make him out to be a saint.
Nov 16 - 06:41 PM
Nov 27 - 01:44 PM
simply giving the example, well put.
Dec 6 - 05:54 PM
Mr. Venture, I don't think was a Racists, though he may have had racist thoughts. He was as all of us prejudiced. He was willing to learn and his heart was in the right place. He was the right man for the time. A southerner who was willing to look at his own demons and exorcise them. God bless Abraham Lincoln!
Dec 7 - 01:38 PM
Mar 27 - 02:57 AM
This movie is about the 13th Amendment and how difficult it was to pass it. Much manipulating was necessary to get it through the House. Nothing is as easy as History paints it, and this movie exposes the behind the scenes deal making.
Nov 16 - 04:45 PM
I wonder sometimes if some of the reviewers have actually seen the movie. They obviously love to be the critical critic. It obviously makes them feel a sense of strength, something they lack.
Nov 15 - 10:31 PM
Agree. Dull, as a motion picture, and too much talk. Not for kids under 30. Day-Lewis okay.....nice make-up.
Nov 14 - 06:35 PM
unfortunately i was taught revisionist history regarding lincoln
when i got a little older, i fell in love with a black girl and we married
as part of our lives together we researched family trees and our history, and this included slavery (not just in america, but globally)
when actually read lincoln's speeches and quotes we were blown away
between the war between the states (which wasn't about slavery) and his other views i can honestly say that he (imho) was hands down the worst president we've ever had
Nov 10 - 05:36 AM
Von, you have made some good points. Lincoln had wanted to send the slaves back to Africa at one point. He did compromise on the personhood of black people. We have no idea how hard it was to pass this bill, and I am glad it did pass.
Nov 16 - 04:48 PM
Worst president we ever had? HAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!
Thanks I needed a good laugh.
Nov 16 - 06:42 PM
Nov 20 - 12:37 PM
Matt Williams Sr
Von, I suggest you do a little more research on our 16th president. There is good reason why most historians regard Lincoln as one of our greatest presidents. Literally hundreds of books have been written about the man, but I would encourage you to read Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, "A Team of Rivals." Goodwin is one of leading historians on American presidents. "Lincoln's Virtues" by Miller is also excellent. Finally, "Battle Cry of Freedom" by McPherson.
Nov 16 - 08:59 PM
Try Andrew Jackson on for size.
Nov 19 - 12:13 AM
Lincoln's main goal at the beginning of the war was to preserve the Union. He was willing to do anything to make it happen, even allowing slavery to continue, perhaps. However, towards the end of the war, he realized that simply wasn't the case. This does not make him "the worst president we've ever had" as you put it. Keep in mind American society in the 1860's was nothing like it is here in the 2010's. Many people, including President Lincoln, held views that we today would consider racist to a degree. Also, despite being a member of the Republican party, he was not a "Radical Republican" like many of his fellow party members. This group of Republicans, now, they wanted the slaves to have the same rights as white men, such as the right to vote. Us today, we would be thinking, "That's a great thing to be doing! Why would anybody oppose it?" However, many people were not ready to accept that.
Nov 27 - 02:01 PM
Lord, every other guy who reads that Lincoln wasn't Martin Luther King taken fresh from the modern era and put in the 1800s thinks they have the dramatic reveal of the century.
Was Lincoln the great exception of his racist time period, envisioning the era we've reached now? No. Was he an enthusiastic racist who happened to be in charge during political turmoil, only working against the South for political reasons? No. Did he take bold courses of action that earned the place in history he has achieved? Yes.
The real Lincoln was a modest, kind man and witty man who, for much of his presidency, had to face internal conflict. He was only given reasons to see African Americans as inferior, and made it clear to the public that he wasn't contradicting them, but he did not see that as justification to treat them as slaves. One of his quotes sums it up nicely; "there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects---certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, without leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man." For much of his life, the answer he tried to reach was through some form of balance, deciding in the end that slavery should be abolished but with social and political discrimination still maintained. However, the friendship he formed with black politician Frederick Douglass, whose advice he often sought, had a clear influence on his views. In his last speech he stated that he had decided to support black sufferage, stating that black's could be "very intelligent."
Lincoln was not born a Christ-like figure. He was a decent but conflicted man who had to discover the right path and was clearly succeeding at just when he died. In a way, it makes him all the more noble.
Nov 9 - 12:59 PM
Great post. You know Lincoln.
Nov 9 - 06:22 PM
Thanks Anthony, for sharing your thoughts and research. I wish you had been an advisor to Spielberg for his film. May I post your full comment on my Facebook post about this topic? I'm the only Ellison Horne on Facebook if you'd care to send a Friend Request. Onward and upward, ~ e
Nov 11 - 12:36 AM
Not that my permission is required for a public post, but sure, go ahead. I just hope the typos don't confuse anybody ("was clearly succeeding at just THAT when he died").
Nov 11 - 12:15 PM
Thank you Anthony. I always enjoy reading someone's posts who actually have done their research.
Nov 12 - 07:27 AM
Thank you Anthony. Lincoln was human, just like all of us.
Nov 16 - 04:51 PM
Except smarter, funnier and as close to a virtual saint that this world will ever know. Other than that, he was just a regular guy.
Nov 16 - 10:41 PM
Anthony Johns, well stated! I majored in history in college and have taken a keen interest in our Civil War and Lincoln over the years. From what I know of this era and of Lincoln, you are accurate and correct in your statements regarding this great president.
Nov 16 - 08:52 PM
Exactly on topic is the very good book "The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery" by Eric Foner, which describes Lincoln's struggle with the slavery question. He always said he abhorred slavery, and deduced from the Declaration of Independence that slaves had all "natural" rights (not by any means common in the Midwest at the time!). He was, however, in line with his time for most of his life in not regarding African-Americans as equal socially and culturally. The problem was of course that he did not know many (if any) African-Americans. Only at the end of his life did he modify that stance, and advocate suffrage for African-Americans. It was this announcement that made Booth decide on murdering him, in fact. - Foner shows how Lincoln's struggle with slavery and racism is another example for his singular capacity for growth.
Nov 17 - 06:25 AM
Thanks Christiane, wonderful commentary. I'll post that book on my Facebook page, which has gone viral with my posting on this topic. I wish Foner's book had been a source for Spielberg's film. Could have been a more helpful film for today. Onward and upward, ~ e
Nov 29 - 04:28 PM
Christiane, Ellison speaks wisely. Your comments are perfect! Thank you too!
Dec 7 - 01:40 PM
Lincoln was continually evolving his thinking on African-Americans. Pragmatically taking one step at a time, but that he was thinking about the future of the South and the North and African-Americans can clearly be glimpsed in his 2nd Inauguration Speech. That he was not able to serve his second term has always seemed to me one of the most tragic losses this country has ever suffered.
Nov 17 - 11:59 PM
Amazing post, Anthony!
Nov 27 - 02:03 PM
Oh sweet merciful crap. So we have some desperate southern neo confederate racists rushing in here to justify their love of a dead, worthless society in the antebellum south, by trying to tear down the greatest American ever. Oh look...there's Ellison talking about Lincolns ideas about moving the freed slaves back to Africa. Never mind that it was an idea he had completely abandoned by the time the events of the MOVIE are portrayed. Old whiny Ellison feels that since Spielberg did not bring it up in the movie, he is hiding something. Just shut up already...the confederacy was evil, but it does not make the MODERN south evil. Well thats until you try to rewrite history just to make yourself feel better about slavery and the goals of that region of the country 160 years ago. Its hilarious to see these idiots complaining about stuff in the film, when its obvious they have not seen the movie in the first place. Then genius Wayne up there would notice that AGAIN this movie takes place entirely in the last months of Lincolns life, so the Emancipation Proclamation is NOT PART OF THE STORY. Freaking racist revisionist jerks.
Nov 9 - 08:47 AM
I love you Barry! haha. I myself wouldn't call them "neo-confederate racists", but it's so frustrating when these people take Lincoln out of 1865 and plop him into 21st Century America. Context people, context!!
Nov 16 - 05:33 PM
Nov 16 - 06:44 PM
I wouldn't call the Confederacy "evil". The idea of putting all the responsibility of slavery (which has been around since the dawn of time) on one generation is flawed. They were born into the system as much as the slaves themselves. And if you want to brand them "evil" then throw in every single founding forefather while you'er at it. And think about this: If the whole purpose of the war was the "free the blacks" then passing the 13th amendment would not have been so difficult. Slavery was what the North used to justify the war but it wasn't the reason they were fighting. If the South had said "Ok, we'll get rid of slavery, but we still want to be separate", do you think that would have ended the war? The slavery issue is the same as us being told that the mid-east wars are about helping oppressed people and the spread of democracy when the real issue is oil.
Nov 22 - 10:51 AM
Wasted indeed, and it covers up the fact that Lincoln was a racist. He did not believe White people and Black people should live together as equals. All of his talk about equality is only about Whitle people. Before he was killed he was making plans to ship Blacks back to Africa and Centeral America. Here's what he said publicly when he was running for the Senate: "I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races--that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this, that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race." Spielberg could have made a truly great and historic film if he had shown us the real Lincoln rather than spending some $50Million to make a gritty and pretty Hallmark card of a movie. For me, the film loses power with its short shrift of slavery and its narrow, uninspired focus on Washington politics as usual.
Nov 9 - 12:35 AM
Those views do not make him a racist, as he lived in a time when many people, abolitionists or slavery advocates alike had their own ideas and stances on racial equality and the separation of the races. If Lincoln was a racist who just wanted to ship black people back to Africa, he sure wasted his time with the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil War and the amendments to the constitution. There are a few people who are under the opinion the Lincoln had racist leanings, but if Spielberg had added those ideas into the film he would have been lambasted by those who love and revere Lincoln, regardless of his social opinions.
Nov 9 - 06:47 AM
So, you prefer the Lincoln Myth, rather than the truth. Hmmm... just like most people that "can't handle the truth". The Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure meant to incite a servile insurrection in the South. Lincoln himself said so!! Wake up. If Lincoln was the "greatest" President he would not have had to destroy the Founders Republic, repeatedly violate the Constitution and his oath, kill nearly half a million soldiers and civilians in 11 Southern States and burn their cities to the ground. Was War the only way to end slavery? He could have compensated those that had a financial interest in the labor of their slaves 3 times over and still spent less money than it cost to violently overthrow an entrenched institution and sow the seeds of racial disharmony for generations to come. What a legacy! I'd laugh if it wasn't so tragic.
Nov 9 - 08:22 AM
The war may have been the only way to end slavery. It was the South that seceded from the US. Eventually slavery would've ended with a slave uprising but i bet slavery would've gone on for at least another 20-30 years.
Nov 9 - 08:34 AM
You should laugh. At your own idiocy. Lincoln didn't start the war. The Confederacy did. Read some history once. Fort Sumter ring any bells? Blaming the Civil War on Lincoln is about as accurate as blaming WWII on FDR. He honored his oath to defend ALL the country and its possessions. The Constitution affords the President special powers in wartime. So, his willful dismissal of habeas corpus, to name one, was actually within the frame of the Constitution.
Nov 9 - 04:02 PM
wow--Wayne--moronic post! The story of Lincoln is the story of continuous evolution of opinions -- had Lincoln lived through a 2nd term, he no doubt would have continued to evolve and change his views more to your liking. Frederick Douglass, about as strong an advocate for black civil rights as existed at the time, was a 100% supporter of Lincoln. It was his tact, flexibility, willingness to compromise, and ability for political growth and change,that made it possible for us to come out of the Civil War with the country intact. A lesser politician would have let slavery continue in a Confederacy permanently separated from the Union. 150 years later, the South would be an embarrassing 3rd-world country today if not for Lincoln's extraordinary efforts to keep the country together.
Nov 19 - 09:57 PM
And Kenny, you make the point so clearly; Spielberg would have ended up with a film for the ages had he covered what you've just shared. A conversation with Frederick Douglass by Lincoln could have added so much more to the film. As it is, Blacks and Whites are very divided over this film. It does not help to better understand the transformation from White Supremacy to Interracial Equality. ~ e
Nov 21 - 01:16 AM
Ellison Horne, if Lincoln was a racist then everyone in that time was a racist, and therefore the word has no meaning. In that statement, Lincoln was only regurgitating well-accepted social dogma, even among intellectuals or especially so. However, that statement was made well before Lincoln became President, and the man CHANGED a lot in just the 4 years he was President. Not only was he profoundly changed by the death of his son Willie, but he was also strongly affected by the valiance of black soldiers and his friendship with Frederick Douglas.
You are simply incorrect in stating that Lincoln was fighting for colonization as late as 1865, in the time the movie is set. That was a COMPROMISE that Lincoln had come up with to appease the Northern Democrats who were scared to death of freed slaves moving into the North. However, by the time of 1865, largely because of the effort of black soldiers who Lincoln credited with helping turn the tide of the war, Lincoln had dropped the colonization idea and was actually pushing Congress for black suffrage. So, since the movie is set in 1865, then it is accurate in depicting the Lincoln who had overcome his own ignorance and was now moving strongly towards not only the death of slavery but for civil equality.
Who knows? If Lincoln had lived, maybe Republicans would be the Civil Rights party. Its entirely possible.
Nov 9 - 06:19 PM
Shawn, thanks for your thoughts and research. Indeed, what you suggest would certainly make for a far better film. With all the magnificence of Lincolnā??s ability to speak eloquently and write profoundly, he never publicly reversed his statements about Negroes. The ripple effect of this monstrous oversight permeates racist conditions which continue to plague African Americans today. ~ e
Nov 10 - 10:32 PM
In Your Dreams
Do you honestly believe Lincoln publicly renouncing his own statements would have had any effect on the opinion of someone with racism in their hearts? Sorry he's not the perfect leader black folks needed, but few people if any ever are.
Nov 12 - 01:47 AM
I wonder, too, if the movie will reveal that the Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in the confederate states and not in union states where slavery still existed.
Lincoln's racism, and his selective 'freeing' of the slaves are a tarnish on his reputation that should be portrayed honestly if we are to get a clear picture of this man. Alas, this is generally not the case most of the time.
Also, in response to this: "If Lincoln had lived, maybe Republicans would be the Civil Rights party."
Well, they actually were the civil rights party to a large extent. Compared to Democrat politicians who voted on civil rights, Republicans had a far larger percentage of votes in favor: 80%+ compared to 60%-something among Dems.
Nov 15 - 11:23 AM
"If Lincoln was racist then everyone in that time was a racist."
No, that "everyone" includes millions of black people. And also white people that were out ahead of Lincoln. But yes, he was the president of a racist nation, where racism was policy and law, and so he was a reformer.
Nov 17 - 06:55 PM
Racism is taught - learned. Was Lincoln taught racism? Certainly the culture of the day instilled some warped sense of it, in him. Racism also evolves, and as with most things, evolution leads to maturation, then decay. I believe, for the time in which he lived, Lincoln was more forward thinking about equality, than most. Do his views of equality look racist from the perspective of looking back on it from 150 years in the future? Of course it does. Was he then, but definition, racist? Yes. Couple that with everything else he accomplished in his lifetime, including, as ham-handed as it was, the Emancipation Proclamation, and preserving the Union of this great country, and at his essence, you can reasonably conclude he was a great, complex, and flawed human being. Well, welcome to the human race.
Nov 16 - 09:22 AM
Thanks Mark, I appeciate your comments. Yes indeed, great, complex, and flawed. Keeping in mind we're talking about what Spielberg has created gives only a veneer of these characteristics in LINCOLN. As the storyteller,there is hardly anythings in his film that separates us from the lore. You see, this was never about humanitarian liberation of African Americans. Slavery was on the rise, spreading northward and to the new territories. It was about the nearly 20 million white workers in the north who would not stand for having a slave work for free for the same job they were getting paid for. Lincoln was not the hero Spielberg presents to us, he was a living breathing man of his times who had deep conflicts about race when he became President.
I have created a posting on Facebook which is going viral with over 300 sharings nationwide, especially among African Americans, with many thought-provoking commentaries.
Looking at the statistics of today's African Americans, it's clear we're in the midst of a genocide based on the reality that racism is still active and thriving. We, Blacks and Whites alike, need to relinquish the lore; we desperately need better stories of our past, stories that show how people transformed, of how they made decisions based on new insights and circumstances. If this happened with Lincoln, why deny such powerful information? We urgently need to influence hearts and minds to a higher level of humanity and civic stewardship. That is why I've created this post, and why so many are responding to these concerns. Let's keep exploring together. Onward and upward, ~ e
Nov 29 - 04:37 PM
Your comments make you come off as a pseudo-intellectual.
Nov 16 - 06:46 PM
Marcus Garvey and colonization?
Nov 16 - 07:29 PM
I think you're being generous with the "intellectual" part.
Nov 16 - 07:36 PM