Movies: Lincoln

Ok before I launch just go out and see the latest movie “Lincoln”

Outstanding performances by Daniel Day Lewis as President Lincoln, Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln and even Tommy Lee Jones as Rep. Thaddeus Stevens.

Movie spoiler – it picks up in 1865, the forth year of the U.S. Civil War. By this point in time the north is taking the lead and a peace is eminent and reconstruction can begin.

It focuses on the life, as gleaned through historical record, of the decision to push the 13th Amendment and to negotiate a peace with the Confederacy.

The political push-pull is extremely interesting. Not only that back in the mid 19th century the Republicans were actually the progressive party. Imagine that. Now of course it’s the complete opposite.

The focus on one Representative, Thaddeus Stevens a supporter of ending slavery for the past 30 years of his career in the House, we find out WHY he supported it near the very end of the movie.

One other thing, the political environment back then was almost a contact sport. I love it!

We thought we’d catch the 7:05PM show on Friday evening. By the time we arrived it had been sold out. There was a 9:45PM and 10:15PM showing but even the 9:45PM was sold out. So we got in on the 10:15PM showing. It’s a fairly long movie, some 150 minutes (2 and a half hours) but well worth watching.

And it I’ve heard folks say the timing of this was delayed to counter the fact that the Republicans were actually the good guys back in the mid to later 19th century. But I think it’s perfect timing what with the threats to secede by the likes of Texas and a handful of other states. Even here in RI we got 4,550 signatures to secede and I bet I know where they all came from, the towns of East Greenwich and part of North Kingstown. They think their shit doesn’t stink.

6 thoughts on “Movies: Lincoln

  1. I’m glad more people will get to learn about Thaddeus Stevens. He was covered quite a bit in my elementary school history classes. Actually the whole issue of slavery was very thoroughly covered. I’ve since learned that this topic was not very well explored in most schools.

    Stevens was presented with some ambivalence. With Lincoln dead his approach to punish the south was adopted. Lincoln would have taken a different approach, but Stevens, moderated, would probably have been a firm supporter of Lincoln’s efforts. As a Catholic married to a black woman, Stevens was open as much to a process of reconciliation (with justice for blacks) as of punishment.

    When in Cincinnati I made it a point to walk across the Ohio River brdige (the Jordan of Negro spirituals, the Ohio being the border between slave and free), thinking of our country’s tragic history of slavery and racism. The bridge across the Ohio should be a place of pilgrimage.

    1. Oh go and watch it! You’ll love the portrayal of black people in this movie. It’s very touching. And the scene with Rep. Thaddeus Stevens – it’s awesome when he brings the bill home to share with his love, his black maid as they share a bed.

  2. I heard someone complain there wasn’t enough action. I told him they tried, but there is only so much action to be had when it takes a minute to reload your musket after every shot.

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