Gore Vidal's 'Lincoln' (1988)





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Movie Info

Originally telecast in two parts on March 27 and 28 of 1988, Lincoln was adapted from the bestselling "factual fiction" by Gore Vidal. Sam Waterston stars as Abraham Lincoln, with Mary Tyler Moore frighteningly convincing as the tragic Mary Todd Lincoln. Predictably, Part One of Lincoln deals with the inauguration, the outbreak of War, and the president's tiltings with his cabinet, while Part Two includes the Emancipation Proclamation, the appointment of General Grant (James Gammon), and the assassination. The throughline of the script is the deteriorating mental condition of Mary Lincoln, not to mention her injurious impulsiveness: at one point, Honest Abe must cover up the fact that Mary has stolen a copy of his inaugural speech and sold it. Evidently, the name of Gore Vidal was not considered enough of a drawing card by the NBC publicists, who insisted upon advertising Lincoln as the second coming of Gone With the Wind, adding the teaser tagline "The Untold Story."
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Sam Waterston
as Abraham Lincoln
Mary Tyler Moore
as Mary Lincoln
John Houseman
as General Scott
Bev Appleton
as Office Seeker #2
Joshua Billings
as Assistant Manager
Roy Butler
as So. Congressman #3
J. Michael Hunter
as Office Seeker #1
Lee Lively
as General Wood
Tom Mason
as So. Congressman #1
Alan Sader
as Sickles
Rick Warner
as Staff Colonel
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Critic Reviews for Gore Vidal's 'Lincoln'

There are no critic reviews yet for Gore Vidal's 'Lincoln'. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for Gore Vidal's 'Lincoln'


The problem with this made-for-television film is that it appeals more exclusively to the diehard civil war and Lincoln buffs than it does its intended casual audience. It lacks focus and its pace is sluggish, while the aspects of the narrative it does choose to focus on are not conducive to a smooth movie-going experience. This type of intense study of the events are better suited for a Ken Burns documentary. The acting by the two leads, Mary Tyler Moore and Sam Waterston, are solid but not extraordinary. All in all, a film that tries too hard to cover too much ground and fails to truly captivate as a result.

Micah Fleck
Micah Fleck

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