Lincoln Discussion Symposium
Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - Printable Version

+- Lincoln Discussion Symposium (
+-- Forum: Lincoln Discussion Symposium (/forum-1.html)
+--- Forum: Abraham Lincoln - The White House Years (/forum-3.html)
+--- Thread: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews (/thread-503.html)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - LincolnMan - 11-27-2012 01:45 PM

I agree with your script rewrite totally.

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - Mark MacKenzie - 11-27-2012 03:09 PM

Perhaps, but the incredible 2nd inaugural address poses the most monumental question about who is responsible for this great atrocity, man's guilt before God, God himself, the north, the south? Its like asking, how in the world do we make sense of this? And that doesn't even include the assassination.

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - LincolnMan - 11-27-2012 05:30 PM

I think Lincoln concludes via his Second Inaugural that the war from was the price that had to be paid for the sin of slavery-that it was from God. After he was assassinated, clergymen carried that theme to include that Lincoln's death was also part of the price.

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - Craig Hipkins - 11-27-2012 11:27 PM

(11-26-2012 08:39 AM)LincolnMan Wrote:  Craig: I hadn't thought of it but agree-ending the movie where Lincoln was walking down the hallway would've been a very dramatic ending-knowing that he was going to be murdered. The scene would be suggestive that he was walking into eternity...

I agree! Everyone knows what happened at Ford's theatre. This hallway scene suggested that he had played his part in history, and he was now about to walk off the stage of life into something much greater. He had fullfilled his destiny.


RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - LincolnMan - 11-28-2012 05:24 PM

Craig: Exactly.

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - Mark MacKenzie - 11-29-2012 12:13 PM

I went again last night.

I'm surprised at the poor turnout. First time on Monday afternoon at the 4:30 show, only 20 or 25 people, Last night at the 7:30 show, only a few more than that.

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - wsanto - 11-29-2012 01:32 PM

(11-29-2012 12:13 PM)Mark MacKenzie Wrote:  I went again last night.

I'm surprised at the poor turnout. First time on Monday afternoon at the 4:30 show, only 20 or 25 people, Last night at the 7:30 show, only a few more than that.

It is still doing pretty well at the box office. Number three behind Twilight and Skyfall. Did better last week than the opening of Life of Pi.

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - Laurie Verge - 11-29-2012 01:52 PM

We're starting to benefit from the movie here at Surratt House. Lots of visitors last weekend had seen it - and others who were on their way to see it. That's the part I like best!

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - wsanto - 11-29-2012 02:21 PM

These are always interesting. Movie goofs (from have already been pick-up by the keen eyes of some of the previous posters.


Mary Lincoln worries at one point that her son might be killed by a sniper. The term sniper did not come into use in the US until well after the Civil War. The equivalent term for that period would have been sharp shooter.

During a scene after one if the House sessions the camera pans to the Washington statue within the Virginia Presidents room of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, VA. In order to show the statue from the front the shot had to include the bust to its right of President Woodrow Wilson, 28th President who wasn't born until 1856.

Near the beginning of the film, Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) leaves his office. He opens a door and it closes back via an automatic door closer. These weren't invented until the 1880s.

In one scene, William Bilbo mentions to Mr. Lincoln that his (Lincoln's) face is on the 50-cent piece. This is technically incorrect. Lincoln appeared on the .50 fractional currency piece (fractional currency was paper currency that was issued instead of silver coins during the silver war). However, Lincoln did not appear on his .50 fractional currency until at least the fourth series which started in 1869.

There were several references by characters in regards to the White House. Actually, at that time, it was still referred to as the Executive Mansion, or The Mansion. The term "White House" did not come about until Theodore Roosevelt was President.

When Lincoln is talking to two "Colored" soldiers at the start of the film about their recent battle, one of them self-identifies as a member of the 5th Mass. [Colored] Cavalry. However, the 5th Mass. was not fully mustered until May, 1865 -- a month after Lincoln was assassinated.

Character error

At the beginning of the film a young soldier tells Lincoln that he was there to hear him deliver the Gettysburg Address two years earlier. This opening scene is set in December 1864 or early January 1865; Lincoln delivered his speech on November 19, 1863 - 13 months earlier. The soldier should have said one year ago.


When Grant and Lincoln are talking at the house on the day Lincoln visited Petersburg on the final day of battle, they both stand up and Lincoln extends his hand to shake Grant's hand and Grant takes it but as the camera switches to a different angle of the two men, Lincoln is extending his hand and Grant takes it again.

Preston Blair (Hal Holbrook) takes Tad Lincoln by both hands. In the shots from one angle Blair has his hands under Tad's. In the shots from another angle, Tad's hands are under Blair's.

Seward's cigar length changes too rapidly while he, Lincoln, and Mr. and Mrs. Jolly discuss the vote. At the end of their brief conversation, the cigar is much shorter than it should be after only a few puffs.

When Robert waits outside the military hospital, in the shot looking from inside the hospital outside to the carriage, the American flag over the door is billowing in a breeze. When the shot switches to the outside looking in, the flag is completely still.

Factual errors

During the surrender at Appomattox, Gen. Grant, is dressed as one would expect, clean and well-kept. However, according to historian Shelby Foote, during the Ken Burns' Civil War documentary, he states that Gen. Grant was very muddy, and was wearing the overcoat of a private, not his own.

Lincoln's secretary John Nicolay was Bavarian by birth and spoke with a heavy German accent.

In the scenes where Congress is debating and then ultimately voting on the 13th Amendment all desk in the chamber appear to be occupied, but if the Southern States had not ceded from the Union there apparently would not have been enough desks for their 18 representatives. Accordingly, there should have been 18 vacant desks during those scenes.

The two-seat horse buggy ridden by Lincoln had two men in the front, but are in the wrong places. The shotgun rider should be on the right, and the coachman (the one with the whip) should be on the left (this was required to protect pedestrians from the whip of the coachman).

As portrayed in the film, Robert E. Lee rides up on his horse to meet with U.S. Grant at Appomatox, but only salutes Grant, and doesn't even dismount. Actually, the two men met in the house where they both convened, and Grant graciously accepted Lee's surrender, and agreed to give 50,000 rations to Lee for his men, who were starving.

When the roll call of the members of congress began, by state, in alphabetical order, the speaker began with Connecticut. He should have began with California, which was admitted to the union in 1850 and had 3 representatives in the 38th congress (March 1863 to March 1865).

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

One Senator says that the 13th amendment will be the first time slavery is mention in the Constitution. Slavery is often believed to be mentioned explicitly but it was not. In fact, the absence of the direct mention of slavery formed the basis of an argument made by abolitionists including Lysander Spooner that slavery was unconstitutional even before the 13th amendment.

The piece being played by the pit orchestra before the announcement of Lincoln's assassination is Beethoven's "Egmont" Overture. This is not intended to take place at Ford's Theatre, but at a concert being attended by Tad Lincoln elsewhere. It is merely a "red herring," as the viewer assumes the assassination sequence to be shown.

Revealing mistakes

Early on, Lincoln meets with Seward and others in a White House office (or drawing room); bright daylight streams through a window in the background. The camera briefly pans past a clock that reads 5 pm -- very close to sunset in mid-November.

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - Linda Anderson - 11-29-2012 02:57 PM

That's quite a list! Fortunately, I didn't notice any of them. I did notice, however, that Lincoln called Seward "William." Seward's name was William Henry Seward but he was called "Henry" from childhood. In real life, Lincoln called him "Governor" since Seward was once the governor of New York. Maybe the filmmakers knew that but did not want to confuse people and so decided to just have Lincoln call him William.

"There were several references by characters in regards to the White House. Actually, at that time, it was still referred to as the Executive Mansion, or The Mansion. The term "White House" did not come about until Theodore Roosevelt was President."

Fanny Seward calls the President's House the "White House" in her diary entry of September 1, 1861.

"When Father came he said the President would
accompany us—we joined him at the White House—"

Also, Ward Hill Lamon reported that Lincoln told him about a terrible dream Lincoln had just before his assassination. Lincoln heard weeping and when he went downstairs he saw..." a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. 'Who is dead in the White House?' I demanded of one of the soldiers, 'The President,' was his answer; 'he was killed by an assassin.'"

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - Laurie Verge - 11-29-2012 03:25 PM

That posting of goofs and Linda's comments following it have been educational to me. I must add that Linda was the one who set me straight on Seward being called Henry. I kept reading that in some book, and she clarified it for me several months ago.

I also thank her for pointing to Fanny's entry abou the "White House." I was taught or read somewhere back in the Dark Ages that it began being called that in some circles after it was repaired following the War of 1812's burning of Washington. In order to cover scorch marks, they painted it white. However, I also remember being told that it was always white.

I turned to my Washington, D.C. history expert, Joan Chaconas, and she says that she has seen copies of many letters and diaries written prior to the Civil War that mention the "White House" as well as "The Executive Mansion." Just some more edumacation...

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - Hess1865 - 11-29-2012 10:37 PM

I loved the movie, and plan on seeing it again on the big screen.
But my real hope is that they issue a three, maybe four hour directors cut on DVD.
I'd rather see that then the 'making of' and 'special effects' featurette extras they pile on some DVDs.

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - ReignetteC - 11-30-2012 01:55 AM


On April 14, 1865, Tad Lincoln attended the theater, too. Young Tad went to Grover's National Theatre to see Aladdin or The Wonderful Lamp. The manager did indeed announce that "the president has been shot." (The scene at the end of the movie refers to Tad's attendance at Grover's.) The distraught child returned to the Executive Mansion, never to see his beloved papa again.


(11-20-2012 10:58 AM)Linda Anderson Wrote:  SPOILER ALERT

I was disappointed that Spielberg did not show the assassination scene because it is part of the story. I don't think it matters that it's been done before; it's what happened. When they showed the theater at the end, I thought, wait a minute, they have swords, that's not Our American Cousin. Then they panned to the box and I thought, wait a minute, that's on the wrong side of the theater. It felt like we were being deliberately mislead.

We watched Lincoln the man throughout the movie. We saw horrible battlefield scenes and it would have been moving and appropriate to see Lincoln killed just as the soldiers were. Maybe seeing Lincoln and Mary from behind, hearing her say as she rests her hand on his arm, "What will Miss Harris think of my hanging on to you so?" and hearing his reply that "She won't think anything about it." Then a hand with the gun, the shot, Mary's scream.

My husband thought that the last scene should have been Lincoln walking away down the long hall.

Did anyone mention that Seward had been targeted that night as well? I may have missed it.

As I said on the other thread, the movie was wonderful. Did anyone else feel disappointed in the ending?

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - RJNorton - 11-30-2012 06:07 AM

I found the scene with Tad interesting as I have read many versions of how things played out at Grover's.

Over the years I have read all these versions in a variety of different books:

Who accompanied him?

1. His tutor.

2. Alphonso Donn or Dunn (one of the group of Metropolitan Washington police officers assigned to the White House).

How did Tad find out his dad had been shot?

1. Someone rushed up the aisle, whispered what happened into the tutor's (or Donn's) ear, and Tad was rushed out of the theater before a general announcement was made to the audience.

2. A man rushed into the theater and yelled the tragic news to the entire audience with Tad still present.

3. An actor or manager went on stage and announced to the crowd that Lincoln had been shot with Tad still present.

4. A combination of 2 and 3.

RE: Lincoln Movie - Your Reviews - Mark MacKenzie - 11-30-2012 09:40 AM

They may have portrayed Tad as too clever. I didn't hear a lisp, either. But talk about pathos.

I thought R.E. Lee was too heavy and not a horseman. His two comrades were not horseman, either. They held their reins poorly. I thought Lewis rode well as Lincoln.
Trivial criticisms. By the way, I think Lincoln rode in a McClellan saddle.

Now this may get me banned from the forum.... Lincoln played a very passive role in the assassination. In fact, I think he had very little to do with it. I'm glad they handled it the way they did. Not to say the assassination doesn't deserve a movie of its own just not titled Lincoln.