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"Lincoln" legal mistake - Lindsey - 02-05-2013 10:52 PM

Found this article on MSN and opened it hoping maybe it would have something to do with the military commission, although remembering that the movie didn't cover the trial.

I still have yet to see the movie but have heard nothing but good things so I was surprised by this...

RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - RJNorton - 02-06-2013 06:17 AM

Very interesting, Lindsey. Thank you for sharing this. There are several other things including the quote, "I leave it to you to determine how it shall be done; but remember that I am president of the United States, clothed with immense power, and I expect you to procure those votes” that may not be accurate. I researched that quote, and it comes from the reminisces of one single person 20+ years after the fact.

RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - LincolnMan - 02-06-2013 09:51 AM

Wow! If true, that is quite a "boo-boo." I wonder if a correction were to be made-how would they go about doing that?
Roger: when I heard that quote by Lincoln in the movie, I thought that it didn't sound like a "real" quote. Sure sounded good in the movie though!

RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - RJNorton - 02-06-2013 10:33 AM

Bill, I sure agree with you. That scene was powerful, but that quote made it even more so.

RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - HerbS - 02-06-2013 10:43 AM

Lindsey,Great research.Conn had a lot of pressure from the Amistad[slave ship] to abolish slavery as soon as it could.In my state-New York-slavery was abolished in 1827.But,many of the ex-slaves were listed as "farm Hands" on the census roles.

RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Linda Anderson - 02-06-2013 03:47 PM

The headline in AOL today is "Big Flaw Found in Spielberg's 'Lincoln.'"

I wonder if this is going to hurt "Lincoln's" chances of winning the Oscar.

RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - HerbS - 02-06-2013 05:19 PM

Yes,I think this might make people think twice about their choices! This is very similar to the Notre Dame football player probably having his stock go down for the NFL draft because of his hoax.

RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Liz Rosenthal - 02-06-2013 06:03 PM

(02-06-2013 03:47 PM)Linda Anderson Wrote:  The headline in AOL today is "Big Flaw Found in Spielberg's 'Lincoln.'"

I wonder if this is going to hurt "Lincoln's" chances of winning the Oscar.

That? I don't think so. What's going to hurt the movie's chance of winning for Best Picture is the Argo juggernaut. It's cleaning up in all the pre-Oscar awards - run by the various guilds and critics' circles. Lincoln is pretty much getting nothing, except that Daniel Day Lewis has won for Best Actor 99.9% of the time that that category has been up in this awards season. There seems to be this meme going around in Hollywood that Ben Affleck is "David" and Spielberg is "Goliath." Except that Affleck is doing all the winning, which makes this seem like a role reversal!

The Lincoln movie's best chance for honors would be in the director (since Affleck wasn't nominated for that) and adapted screenplay categories.... Except that if Argo wins Best Picture, then it's probably going to win Best Adapted Screenplay. After all is said and done, Daniel Day-Lewis may be the only one from the film to walk away with an Oscar in two and a half weeks!

RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Rob Wick - 02-06-2013 07:51 PM

I think part of the reason that Argo is doing as well as it is has much to do with its subject matter, i.e. a fake Hollywood movie. It stands to reason that people in Hollywood would want something like this to be honored. As much as I'd like to see Lincoln win, I doubt it will. Not winning the Oscar won't dampen the enthusiasm I felt for the film, and I can't imagine it would stop someone from seeing it.

Que sera sera.


RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Thomas Thorne - 02-07-2013 12:03 AM

The House voted to ratify the 13th Amendment by 119 to 56. 8 Democrats and 0 Republicans abstained. I suspect some of the 8 abstaining Democrats would have voted yes if their votes were decisive in obtaining the needed 2/3 majority.

What was so odd about the roll call in "Lincoln" was a very clear majority of the names called-and there were many-voted no.

I must confess shock that "Argo" is doing so well in movie awards given its failure to have a Best Director Oscar nomination. If it wins Best Picture it would only be the second picture to do so in 80 years without a Best Director nomination.

I think it is a mite silly to think that Lincoln's historical inaccuracies are hurting it in the award derby. I trust I am not giving anything away-I hope everyone sees "Argo"-by saying that "Argo" is less historically accurate than "Lincoln." Film makers create dramas which of necessity must also compress time and space. Films like "Argo" with their Hitchcockian combination of suspense and comedy do badly at Oscar time against solemn dramas such as "Lincoln."

Maybe this year is the exception to the rule.

RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Linda Anderson - 02-07-2013 10:35 AM

"Argo" is more fun, more "Hollywood" than "Lincoln." "Argo" may be less historically accurate than "Lincoln" but I think the viewer may understand that and not care because the story that "Argo" does tell is so well done.

On the other hand, "Lincoln" takes itself so seriously that one would expect basic historical facts to be correct. I think it is the perception that "Lincoln" got a basic historical fact wrong that matters to the Academy voters more than whether it is historically accurate or not. It seems strange to me that no one else picked up and pointed out that error since the film was released last November. The last day for the Academy voters to submit their ballots this year is Tuesday, Feb, 19.

Producers spend millions to promote their films since winning an Oscar can bring in a lot more money at the box office, not to mention future projects for the producers, directors, actors and actresses, etc.

Google "oscar whispering campaign."

RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Liz Rosenthal - 02-07-2013 01:24 PM

I posted a response to Linda's comment about two hours ago. It's disappeared! Is there any way it can be retrieved?

RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - RJNorton - 02-07-2013 03:26 PM

Liz, this happened to another person on the forum several weeks ago, and what happened was they had minimized the browser window, and their post was in the browser icon in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. The person was able to retrieve the words of the post by reopening the minimized window. If you are sure this didn't happen, and the post was made, then it's probably lost. I just checked the log for the forum, and it was not deleted. I am sorry this happened, and I am not sure why it happened, either. You could try a keyword search in Google if you recall pretty much what you wrote; sometimes that search engine indexes posts within minutes of when they are posted. Google's cached version of that web page might exist; that's a long shot, but worth a try. I have no clue what happened.

RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Liz Rosenthal - 02-07-2013 05:27 PM

That's okay. Maybe later I'll try to reconstruct what I said.

RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Liz Rosenthal - 02-07-2013 10:37 PM

This isn't a reconstruction of my earlier post, but something even better: Tony Kushner's statement concerning that CT Congressman's complaint about the Lincoln movie's alleged factual inaccuracies. I figured you'd all be interested to read this, so here it is (I've copied it from a New York Times blog that reproduced it in full):

Rep. Courtney is correct that the four members of the Connecticut delegation voted for the amendment. We changed two of the delegation’s votes, and we made up new names for the men casting those votes, so as not to ascribe any actions to actual persons who didn’t perform them. In the movie, the voting is also organized by state, which is not the practice in the House. These alterations were made to clarify to the audience the historical reality that the 13th Amendment passed by a very narrow margin that wasn’t determined until the end of the vote. The closeness of that vote and the means by which it came about was the story we wanted to tell. In making changes to the voting sequence, we adhered to time-honored and completely legitimate standards for the creation of historical drama, which is what Lincoln is. I hope nobody is shocked to learn that I also made up dialogue and imagined encounters and invented characters.

I’m proud that Lincoln’s fidelity to and illumination of history has been commended by many Lincoln scholars. But I respectfully disagree with the congressman’s contention that accuracy in every detail is “paramount” in a work of historical drama. Accuracy is paramount in every detail of a work of history. Here’s my rule: Ask yourself, “Did this thing happen?” If the answer is yes, then it’s historical. Then ask, “Did this thing happen precisely this way?” If the answer is yes, then it’s history; if the answer is no, not precisely this way, then it’s historical drama. The 13th Amendment passed by a two-vote margin in the House in January 1865 because President Lincoln decided to push it through, using persuasion and patronage to switch the votes of lame-duck Democrats, all the while fending off a serious offer to negotiate peace from the South. None of the key moments of that story — the overarching story our film tells — are altered. Beyond that, if the distinction between history and historical fiction doesn’t matter, I don’t understand why anyone bothers with historical fiction at all.

I’m sad to learn that Representative Courtney feels Connecticut has been defamed. It hasn’t been. The people of Connecticut made the same terrible sacrifices as every other state in the Union, but the state’s political landscape was a complicated affair. The congressman is incorrect in saying that the state was “solidly” pro-Lincoln. Lincoln received 51.4 percent of the Connecticut vote in the 1864 election, the same kind of narrow support he received in New York and New Jersey. As Connecticut Civil War historian Matthew Warshauer has pointed out, “The broader context of Connecticut’s history doesn’t reflect what Courtney had said in his letter. The point is we weren’t unified against slavery.” We didn’t dig into this tangled regional history in Lincoln because a feature-length dramatic film obviously cannot accommodate the story of every state, and more to the point, because that’s not what the movie was about.

I’m sorry if anyone in Connecticut felt insulted by these 15 seconds of the movie, although issuing a Congressional press release startlingly headlined “Before The Oscars …” seems a rather flamboyant way to make that known. I’m deeply heartened that the vast majority of moviegoers seem to have understood that this is a dramatic film and not an attack on their home state.