Lincoln (2012)

PG-13 | 149 mins | Biography | 9 November 2012

THIS TITLE IS OUTSIDE THE AFI CATALOG OF FEATURE FILMS (1893-1993)
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Director:

Steven Spielberg

Writer:

Tony Kushner

Cinematographer:

Janusz Kaminski

Editor:

Michael Kahn

Production Designer:

Rick Carter

Production Companies:

DreamWorks Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Participant Media
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HISTORY

The film begins with a title card containing the following written statement: "January, 1865. Two months have passed since Abraham Lincoln's re-election. The American Civil War is now in its fourth year."
       In the end credits, producers thank the following individuals and organizations: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; Allen County Public Library, Lincoln Financial Collection; The Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of General Services, Virginia House of Delegates, Senate of Virginia, Virginia Division of Capitol Police, Department of Corrections; Cook Collection, Valentine Richmond History Center; Duke University Libraries; Indiana Historical Society; Kentucky Historical Society; Knox College, Lincoln Studies Center; Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Reading Room and Rare Book and Special Collections Division; Library of Virginia; Museum of the Confederacy; National Archives and Records Administration; The City and People of Petersburg, Virginia; Powhatan Correctional Center and the City and People of Powhatan, Virginia; The City of Richmond, Virginia; Stanford University Archives; University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Center; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Virginia Film Office; Virginia Governor's Mansion; Virginia Historical Society; Virginia State Capitol; White House Historical Association (White House Collection); Terry Alford, Northern Virginia Community College; Michael F. Bishop, Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission; David W. Blight, Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University; Gabor S. Boritt, Emeritus, Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies and Director of The Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, Chariman of the Board of the Lincoln Prize; Michael Burlingame, American Civil War Historian and Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln ... More Less

The film begins with a title card containing the following written statement: "January, 1865. Two months have passed since Abraham Lincoln's re-election. The American Civil War is now in its fourth year."
       In the end credits, producers thank the following individuals and organizations: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; Allen County Public Library, Lincoln Financial Collection; The Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of General Services, Virginia House of Delegates, Senate of Virginia, Virginia Division of Capitol Police, Department of Corrections; Cook Collection, Valentine Richmond History Center; Duke University Libraries; Indiana Historical Society; Kentucky Historical Society; Knox College, Lincoln Studies Center; Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Reading Room and Rare Book and Special Collections Division; Library of Virginia; Museum of the Confederacy; National Archives and Records Administration; The City and People of Petersburg, Virginia; Powhatan Correctional Center and the City and People of Powhatan, Virginia; The City of Richmond, Virginia; Stanford University Archives; University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Center; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Virginia Film Office; Virginia Governor's Mansion; Virginia Historical Society; Virginia State Capitol; White House Historical Association (White House Collection); Terry Alford, Northern Virginia Community College; Michael F. Bishop, Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission; David W. Blight, Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University; Gabor S. Boritt, Emeritus, Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies and Director of The Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, Chariman of the Board of the Lincoln Prize; Michael Burlingame, American Civil War Historian and Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois; Lawrence Cacciatore, Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Board of Trustees at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art; Dr. George Campbell, President of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art; Catherine Clinton, Queen's University Belfast and Advisory Committee Member for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission; Andy Edmunds, Virginia Film Office; Rae Emerson, Deputy Superintendent for the Ford's Theatre National Historic Site; Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater, New York; Lisa Kathleen Graddy, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History; Michael Gorman, Historian for the Richmond National Battlefield; David Hagan, Science Museum of Virginia; Debra Hashim, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History; Harold Holzer, Content Consultant, Abraham Lincoln Historian, and Chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation; Ken Kato, House of Representatives Historian; Michelle Krowl, Civil War and Reconstruction Specialist, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress; Rita McClenny, Virginia Film Office; The Honorable Governor Robert McDonnell and First Lady Maureen McDonnell; James M. McPherson, Content Consultant, American Civil War Historian, and George Henry Davis 1886 Professor Emeritus of American History at Princeton University; Kate Mollan, Center for Legislative Archives, National Archives and Records Administration; Victoria Racimo, Theater Consultant; The Honorable Randy Roach, Mayor of Lake Charles, Louisiana; Thomas Schwartz, Illinois State Historian; David A. Ward, American Civil War Historian; Douglas L. Wilson, George A. Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and Co-Director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College.
       In a 6 Dec 2001 DV news item, it was announced that John Logan had been hired as the screenwriter of an Abraham Lincoln biopic to be directed by Steven Spielberg. Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin was also named as an advisor on the film; her then yet-to-be-published biography about the president was still being written. On 12 Mar 2001, a DV news item announced that DreamWorks had officially optioned Goodwin's book, which was to be released in either late 2002 or early 2003. Tony Kushner later replaced Logan as screenwriter, and in a 2 Nov 2012 Wall Street Journal interview, Kushner mentioned that, in addition to Goodwin's book, he was influenced by books such as James McPherson's The Battle Cry of Freedom (New York, 1988), William Miller's Lincoln's Virtues (New York, 2002), and Elizabeth Keckley's Behind the Scenes (New York, 1868).
       A 21 Aug 2005 Parade Magazine item mentioned that Liam Neeson had been signed to star as "Abraham Lincoln" and that shooting was to begin after Spielberg finished production on Munich (2005, see entry). Later, a 12 May 2008 LAT article remarked that Spielberg told the German magazine Focus that he wanted to begin principal photography in early 2009, the year of the president's 200th anniversary; however, a 28 May 2010 USA Weekend item noted that Lincoln was stuck in development, but that Liam Neeson was still the front runner in playing the title role. Finally, a 20 Nov 2010 LAT article reported upon the casting of Daniel Day-Lewis and noted that Liam Neeson had become too old for the part at age fifty-eight. Lincoln was assassinated at age fifty-six and Day-Lewis was only fifty-three at the time of the article.
       While discussing Participant Media's role as a co-financer of the film, a 13 Oct 2011 HR article also mentioned that the film's production start would be 17 Oct 2011. 20th Century Fox later came on board as another co-financier, as reported in a 25 Jan 2012 DV article.
       A 16 Nov 2012 DV article reported that the production chose to film in Virginia to take advantage of the state's tax credit incentives, and earned the full annual allotment of $2.5 million. In addition, the film received a $1 million grant from the Governor's Motion Picture Opportunity Fund and the state allowed Spielberg to film at authentic locations for free. Some of those locations included the city of Petersberg's Old Towne area and the Capitol Square in Richmond where the exterior of the Capitol building was transformed into the White House and the inside of the House of Delegates chamber doubled as the U.S. House of Representatives. Other scenes were shot on the bottom floor of the Governor's mansion and in the town of State Farm at the River Queen steamboat. River Queen and White House interiors were built in a warehouse in Mechanicsville.
       It was announced that Lincoln would make its world premiere on 8 Nov at the AFI Fest in a 21 Sep 2012 HR article. However, Spielberg hosted a special unannounced screening of the nearly complete film at the New York Film Festival on 8 Oct, as reported in the 9 Oct 2012 LAT.
       After the film's national release on 9 Nov, the 12 Nov 2012 DV reported that Lincoln took in $900,000 in box-office receipts in its opening weekend. Critical reception was positive with most reviewers complementing Kushner's screenplay, which a 9 Nov 2012 Wall Street Journal review called "electrifying."
       Lincoln was named one of AFI's Movies of the Year. Daniel Day-Lewis won a Golden Globe for "Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama"; in addition, the film received the following Golden Globe nominations: Best Motion Picture - Drama; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Sally Field); Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Tommy Lee Jones); Best Director - Motion Picture; Best Screenplay - Motion Picture; and Best Original Score - Motion Picture. On 10 Jan 2013, the film received the following Academy Award nominations: Best Picture; Actor in a Leading Role (Daniel Day-Lewis); Actor in a Supporting Role (Tommy Lee Jones); Actress in a Supporting Role (Sally Field); Cinematography; Costume Design; Directing; Film Editing; Music (Original Score); Production Design; Sound Mixing; and Writing (Adapted Screenplay). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 Dec 2001.
---
Daily Variety
12 Mar 2001
p. 1, 22.
Daily Variety
25 Jan 2012.
---
Daily Variety
2 Nov 2012
p. 1, 48.
Daily Variety
12 Nov 2012
p. 3, 31.
Daily Variety
16 Nov 2012.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Oct 2011.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 2012.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Nov 2012
p. 114.
Los Angeles Times
12 May 2008
Section E, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
20 Nov 2010
Section D, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
9 Oct 2012
Section D, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
9 Nov 2012
Section D, p. 1.
New York Times
9 Nov 2012
p. 1.
Parade Magazine
21 Aug 2005.
---
USA Weekend
28 May 2010.
---
Wall Street Journal
2 Nov 2012.
---
Wall Street Journal
9 Nov 2012
Section D, p. 5.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
House of Representatives - Women shouters:
Wounded soldiers:
House of Representatives - Rebel shooters:
House of Representatives:
Raymond Johnson
[and]
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Steven Spielberg Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Co-prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
A cam op
B cam op
1st asst A cam
1st asst B cam
2d asst A cam
2d asst B cam
Loader
Still photog
DOP asst
Video playback op
Asst video playback op
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Rigging chief lighting tech
Rigging asst chief lighting tech
Rigging elec foreman
Rigging elec foreman
Fixtures foreman
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Key rigging grip
Rigging best boy
Camera cranes and dollies
Lighting equip supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir
Graphic des
Asst graphic des
Illustrator
Illustrator
Illustrator
Illustrator
Art dept coord
Art dept res
Art dept res
Art dept res
Art dept asst
FILM EDITORS
Assoc ed
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Ed prod asst
Ed prod asst
Ed prod asst
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Asst set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
2d asst prop master
Set des
Set des
Leadperson
Set dressing asst
Set dec buyer
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Const coord
Const buyer
Gen foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const gang boss
Scenic charge
Scenic foreman
Scenic foreman
Scenic gangboss
Standby painter
Greens foreman
Greens gangboss
Standby greens
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Key cost
Asst cost des
Asst cost des
Asst cost des
Set cost
Men's tailor
Women's tailer
Tailor
Tailor
Tailor
Seamstress
Seamstress
Seamstress
Seamstress
Cost propmaker
Key ager/Dyer breakdown artist
Ager/Breakdown artist
Ager/Dyer
Ager/Dyer
Warehouse cost
Cost coord, U.K.
MUSIC
Mus dir, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Concertmaster, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
President, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Vice president for operations, The Chicago Symphon
Dir of orch personnel, The Chicago Symphony Orches
Prod mgr, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Dir, Member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Mgr, Member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Mus exec
Mus coord
Mus scoring mixer
Addl rec ed
Tech eng
Mus contractor
Mus preparation
Mus rec at
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Utility sd tech
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd des
Supv sd ed
Post prod sd services
Addl re-rec mixer, Skywalker Sound
Addl re-rec mixer, Skywalker Sound
Dial/ADR supv, Skywalker Sound
Dial/ADR ed, Skywalker Sound
Sd eff ed, Skywalker Sound
Foley supv, Skywalker Sound
Foley ed, Skywalker Sound
Sd ed, Skywalker Sound
Asst supv sd ed, Skywalker Sound
Asst dial ed, Skywalker Sound
Sd des asst, Skywalker Sound
Foley artist, Skywalker Sound
Foley artist, Skywalker Sound
Foley artist, Skywalker Sound
Foley artist, Skywalker Sound
Foley mixer, Skywalker Sound
Foley mixer, Skywalker Sound
Foley rec, Skywalker Sound
Foley rec, Skywalker Sound
Foley rec, Skywalker Sound
Asst re-rec mixer, Skywalker Sound
Digital audio transfer, Skywalker Sound
Digital audio transfer, Skywalker Sound
Video services, Skywalker Sound
Video services, Skywalker Sound
Eng services, Skywalker Sound
Digital ed services, Skywalker Sound
Digital ed services, Skywalker Sound
Digital ed services, Skywalker Sound
Client services, Skywalker Sound
Client services, Skywalker Sound
Post prod sd accountant, Skywalker Sound
Post prod facilities provided by
Rec, 20th Century Fox Studios
Re-rec eng, 20th Century Fox Studios
ADR voice casting, 20th Century Fox Studios
ADR services provided by
Mixer, Warner Bros. Post Production Services
Rec, Warner Bros. Post Production Services
ADR services provided by
Mixer, Sound One
Rec, Sound One
ADR services provided by
Mixer, 20th Century Fox Studios
Rec, 20th Century Fox Studios
Eng, 20th Century Fox Studios
ADR services provided by
Mixer/Rec, The Audio Suite
ADR services provided by
Mixer/Rec, Keith Harter Music
ADR services provided by
Mixer/Rec, Deluxe Post Production Toronto
Mixer/Rec, Deluxe Post Production Toronto
ADR services provided by
Mixer/Rec, Crawford Media Services
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Pyro/Shop foreman
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Visual eff
VFX supv, Framestore Limited
Compositing supv, Framestore Limited
CG supv, Framestore Limited
VFX prod, Framestore Limited
Senior compositor, Framestore Limited
Senior compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Compositor, Framestore Limited
Modeller, Framestore Limited
Modeller, Framestore Limited
Texture artist, Framestore Limited
Digital matte painter, Framestore Limited
Lighting TD, Framestore Limited
Lighting TD, Framestore Limited
Lighting TD, Framestore Limited
Lighting TD, Framestore Limited
FX TD, Framestore Limited
FX TD, Framestore Limited
FX TD, Framestore Limited
Motion tracker, Framestore Limited
Motion tracker, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Paint & roto, Framestore Limited
Pipeline TD, Framestore Limited
VFX coord, Framestore Limited
Avid ed, Framestore Limited
VFX data wrangler, Framestore Limited
Visual eff supv, The Garage VFX
Main and end titles
MAKEUP
Makeup des
Key makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist to Ms. Field
Facial hair artist
Key crowd makeup artist
Crowd makeup artist
Crowd makeup artist
Crowd makeup artist
Crowd makeup artist
Crowd makeup artist
Crowd makeup artist
Crowd makeup artist
Lab tech
Makeup and hair asst
Hair dept head
Key hair stylist
Hair stylist
Hair stylist
Hair stylist
Wigmaker
Key crowd hair stylist
Crowd hair stylist
Crowd hair stylist
Crowd hair stylist
Crowd hair stylist
Crowd hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod exec
Prod supv
Prod supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Travel coord
Spec projects
Prod secy
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Loc scout
Prod controller
Prod accountant
1st asst accountant
Key 2d asst accountant
Key 2d asst accountant
2d asst accountant
2d asst accountant
Payroll accountant
2d payroll accountant
Payroll clerk
Accounting asst
Post prod accountant
Casting exec
Casting assoc
Casting assoc
Casting asst
Casting asst
Virginia casting
Virginia casting
Maryland casting
Maryland casting asst
Extras casting
Extras casting asst
Extras casting asst
Studio teacher
Unit pub
Key set medic
Const medic
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt, L.A.
DOT admin
Transportation office asst
Craft service
Craft service asst
Animal wrangler
Gangboss wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Asst to Mr. Spielberg
Asst to Mr. Spielberg
Prod asst to Mr. Spielberg
Prod assoc to Ms. Kennedy
Assoc to Ms. Kennedy
Writer's asst to Mr. Kushner
Asst to Mr. Kushner
Asst to Mr. Day-Lewis
Post prod exec
Post prod supv
Post eff guy
IT specialist
Prod resources
Prod clearances
Prod clearances, Cleared by Ashley, Inc.
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Digital intermediate
Supv digital col
2d col
Digital intermediate prod
Digital intermediate ed
Project mgr
Digital restoration
Digital restoration
Digital restoration
Data tech
Data tech
Data tech
Data tech
Data tech
Imaging tech
Imaging tech
Imaging tech
Imaging tech
Imaging tech
Imaging tech
Imaging tech
Imaging tech
Imaging tech
Lab col timer
HD dailies col
Print dailies timer
Dailies prod
Senior dailies prod
Deluxe col timer
Deluxe account mgr
Deluxe account mgr's asst
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based in part on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin (New York, 2005).
MUSIC
"Quintet No. 1 in B-Flat Major, K. 174, III. Menuetto Ma Allegretto," written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
"Quintet No. 1 in B-Flat Major, K. 174, I. Allegro Moderto," written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
"Three Forks of Hell," performed and arranged by Jim Taylor, courtesy of Gourd Music
+
MUSIC
"Quintet No. 1 in B-Flat Major, K. 174, III. Menuetto Ma Allegretto," written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
"Quintet No. 1 in B-Flat Major, K. 174, I. Allegro Moderto," written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
"Three Forks of Hell," performed and arranged by Jim Taylor, courtesy of Gourd Music
"Last of Sizemore," performed and arranged by Jim Taylor, courtesy of Gourd Music
"O Nuit D'Amour! From Faust," written by Charles Gounod
"Overture to Egmont Op. 84," written by Ludwig van Beethoven
"They Swung John Brown to a Sour Apple Tree," performed and arranged by Jim Taylor, courtesy of Gourd Music.
+
SONGS
"We Are Coming, Father Abraham," traditional
"Battle Cry of Freedom," traditional.
DETAILS
Release Date:
9 November 2012
Premiere Information:
World premiere at AFI Fest: 8 November 2012
Los Angeles and New York openings: 9 November 2012
Production Date:
began 17 October 2011 in Virginia
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby® Digital in selected theatres; SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound®; Datasat Digital Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Filmed with Panavision® cameras and lenses; Prints by Deluxe®
Duration(in mins):
149
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
47942
SYNOPSIS

Following a fierce battle of the Civil War, Corporal Ira Clark, an African-American soldier, complains to Abraham Lincoln about the unfair way black members of the military have been treated compared to their white counterparts. As Clark also shares his dreams of black men being allowed to vote, two white soldiers come up to the President and recite his Gettysburg address. Back at the White House, Lincoln shares the details of a troubling dream he had about a ship with his wife Mary. Immediately, she rationalizes the meaning of the dream: her husband is worried about passing the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, before the end of the war which has been fought for the past four years. The next day, Secretary of State William Seward advises the President to win the war first, then pass the Amendment, since there may currently not be enough votes in the House of Representatives to get it through. Lincoln then visits with a former cabinet member, Montgomery Blair, and his father, the influential Preston Blair, to help convince conservative congressmen to vote for the Amendment. However, the Blairs insist that Lincoln would be better served if they first attempted to negotiate a peace settlement with Confederate President Jefferson Davis. At a meeting between Lincoln and his cabinet members, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton outlines his plans for a major naval assault on the city of Wilmington, Delaware, which is the Confederacy's last open seaport. Despite the major military advantage of attacking Wilmington, some cabinet members fret that the Union will lose the war if the President continues to focus on passing the 13th Amendment. Lincoln explains his own worry that if the war ... +


Following a fierce battle of the Civil War, Corporal Ira Clark, an African-American soldier, complains to Abraham Lincoln about the unfair way black members of the military have been treated compared to their white counterparts. As Clark also shares his dreams of black men being allowed to vote, two white soldiers come up to the President and recite his Gettysburg address. Back at the White House, Lincoln shares the details of a troubling dream he had about a ship with his wife Mary. Immediately, she rationalizes the meaning of the dream: her husband is worried about passing the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, before the end of the war which has been fought for the past four years. The next day, Secretary of State William Seward advises the President to win the war first, then pass the Amendment, since there may currently not be enough votes in the House of Representatives to get it through. Lincoln then visits with a former cabinet member, Montgomery Blair, and his father, the influential Preston Blair, to help convince conservative congressmen to vote for the Amendment. However, the Blairs insist that Lincoln would be better served if they first attempted to negotiate a peace settlement with Confederate President Jefferson Davis. At a meeting between Lincoln and his cabinet members, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton outlines his plans for a major naval assault on the city of Wilmington, Delaware, which is the Confederacy's last open seaport. Despite the major military advantage of attacking Wilmington, some cabinet members fret that the Union will lose the war if the President continues to focus on passing the 13th Amendment. Lincoln explains his own worry that if the war ends and the Union is victorious, the South will still claim slaves as "property" and refuse to grant them their freedom. Therefore, slaves must be legally declared free men first. To accomplish that goal, Seward and Lincoln attempt to convince Congressman James Ashley to bring the Amendment to the floor for an immediate vote. Ashley hesitates and finds a fierce resistance in fellow congressman Thaddeus Stevens, who adamantly refuses to trust the President's rush in passing the Amendment. Regardless, during a raging debate on the floor of Congress, Stevens is the lone politician who will state that slavery is an insult to natural law. Preston Blair then returns from Virginia with news that Davis is sending three delegates, including Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, to Washington. Lincoln agrees to meet with the trio at Preston's urging. As Lincoln gets word that several more Republican congressmen have agreed to vote for the Amendment, Seward becomes irate that the President would set up this secret meeting with men from the Confederacy, which could derail the progress they've made in securing votes in the House. Seward insists the doomed peace talks will turn all congressmen against the Amendment while Lincoln is adamant he needs to explore all avenues to end the war. Following a White House reception, Lincoln pleads with Stevens for cooperation over the vote, but the congressman still refuses to believe that white citizens are ready to accept blacks as their equals. Then, Lincoln gets word that the bombing of Wilmington has commenced. When the city's port falls quickly, the conservative Republican congressmen step up their efforts to block bringing the 13th Amendment to a vote on the House floor, even convincing weak members such as Clay Hawkins to switch his promise of a "Yes" vote to "No." Meanwhile, Union General Ulysses S. Grant meets with Confederate V. P. Stephens and becomes convinced that the Confederacy is ready to immediately surrender. Lincoln sends word to Grant to keep Stephens and the other Confederate delegates from proceeding to Washington. On the floor of the House, although Thaddeus Stevens publicly insists he supports the 13th Amendment only for legal reasons, not to bring about racial equality, privately he confesses that he's ready to argue any point in order to get the Amendment to pass. While visiting a military hospital with his father, Lincoln's son Robert, who was studying to become a lawyer, says he's going to enlist in the Union Army over his parents' objections. Back at the White House, Mary frets that Robert will get killed and that it will be her husband's fault for not stopping him. She also expresses concern that Lincoln is allowing Robert to enlist just to keep up appearances that he's interested in having the war continue. Lincoln makes a personal visit to Congressman George Yeaman to convince him to vote "Yes" for the Amendment in two days' time. Then the President makes an impassioned plea to Seward, Preston Blair and two sympathetic congressmen, that they absolutely need to secure the other final "Yes" votes. On the day of the historic vote, several black men are let into the House's balcony to watch the proceedings. Congressman George Pendleton is first to take to the podium and announces he knows that Confederate delegates are in Washington to broker a peace settlement. Upon hearing the news, a large contingent of congressmen suggests a postponement of the vote. However, Lincoln sends word to the House that no such delegates are in the capitol, so it is decided that a vote will be held. As the votes come in, the House appears bitterly divided until Yeaman and Hawkins vote "Aye." Once voting concludes, House Speaker Schuylar Colfax reads the results: eight congressmen abstaining, fifty-six votes against and one hundred nineteen votes for. At the White House, Lincoln hears triumphant bells being rung from the Capitol building. In the House, the winning congressmen celebrate on the floor by singing a rousing song. Thaddeus Stevens carries the official copy of the just-passed bill to show to his African-American housekeeper, who is also his secret lover. She reads the bill to Stevens as they lie in bed. With victory in passing the 13th Amendment, Lincoln travels to meet with Alexander Stephens, who insists that the South will only re-join the Union in order to block ratification of the 13th Amendment. Lincoln guarantees he has the votes and power to ratify the Amendment despite what Stephens says. Traveling back to Washington on horseback, Lincoln surveys the battlefields, which are littered with corpses. He also visits with General Grant to tell him that revenge shall not be taken against the Southern soldiers and officers after peace is officially declared. After the war, Lincoln and Mary make plans for their future, such as taking a trip to the Holy Land. Later, while watching a play, Lincoln's young son Tad hears an announcement that his father has been shot at Ford's Theater. Soon after, the President passes away at home in a bed surrounded by his wife and cabinet members. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.