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What the Reviewers Won’t Mention About Spelberg’s “Lincoln”

Written by Gary North on November 19, 2012

I like movies about historical events. My favorite is Gettysburg.

I like Daniel Day Lewis. I think he is our greatest screen actor.

I like Sally Fields, too. She is versatile. She can do comedy and drama.

And who can hate Tommy Lee Jones? For the record, Jones steals the movie. My guess is that he will get an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. To beat him, some actor had better be very good and in a greater role. This will not be easy. It is a great role.

Lincoln held my interest for 2.5 hours. Yet the script is kind of like an extended term paper. It is mostly dialogue.

The movie got in some good licks on the venality of Congress. In the theater where I was, the first laugh by the audience was in response to a line on the utter corruption of Congress. The public understands. This was heartening.

The movie’s opening is silly. It shows two black enlisted men and two white soldiers talking to Lincoln. Three of them recite parts of the Gettysburg Address. This was in early 1865. Yet that 1863 speech was DOA, and he knew it five minutes after he delivered it. It was resurrected after the War had been long over. It is short. It therefore fits into textbooks. I had to memorize it in the fifth grade in an Ohio school. For my version of it — not politically correct — click the play button.

The reviewers have said that Lewis’ voice is like a whining voice. There is a lot of Web chatter about his voice.

As I listened to it, I had a vague recollection that I had heard this voice before. This happened twice, in two separate dialogues. Then it hit me. I knew where I had heard it.

Lewis was doing a plausible imitation of Walter Brennan.

Here is Lewis’ explanation: “Well, you look for the clues, as within any aspect of the work, you search for the clues, and there were plenty of them, but for me, if I’m very lucky, at a given moment, I begin to hear a voice, not in the supernatural sense, but in my inner ear, and then the work begins to try to reproduce that sound.”

His inner ear told him to sound like Grandpa McCoy.

So, if you go to see it, wait for the scenes in which the Great Emancipator sounds like this:

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10 thoughts on “What the Reviewers Won’t Mention About Spelberg’s “Lincoln”

  1. Rabelrouser says:

    For more about the time of Lincoln go to NebraskaRepublic .org and press "watch video" Very informative!!

  2. I doubt the reviewers will mention that Lincoln only freed some of the slaves. Slaves in the Union were kept in bondage.

  3. 2WarAbnVet says:

    Actually it only freed the slaves in those parts of the Southern states that were under Union control. Many more had to die to free the rest.

  4. The real hoot is to hear more secession talk coming from states outside the Deep South, now that this "more perfect" Union has re-enslaved everyone: man, woman, black, white, young, old, ri–, well, the poor anyway.

  5. Lock a dog and/or your mate for a couple of hours in the trunk of your car. When you come back and open the trunk see which one is happy to see you.

  6. Texas Chris says:

    NONE had to die. Slavery ended peacefully in every other Western country due to the industrial revolution.

    The Civil War wasn't fought to end slavery. It was an invasion to prevent secession, to cement the empire, and to curtail freedom.

  7. Texas Chris says:

    Don't think for a second the rich aren't just as much slaves as the rest of us.

  8. 2WarAbnVet says:

    Not to mention, the dust-up was not a civil war but a revolution. A civil war occurs when separate factions are fighting for control of a single government. The War Between the States was conducted due to the Southern states desire to depart from the Union. It can be equated to the American colonists desire to depart from British domination.

  9. Thomas Weddle says:

    Robert, I’m willing to consider your test results! Which one was happy to see you, the wife or your dog?

  10. It was also fought over slavery, but not in the way people want to believe. The war ended slavery in the South, transferred thousands of them up North to work in factories and sweat shops at less pay and none of the legal protection they had in the South beforee the war. Researching the laws concerning slaves was a huge eye opener. I like most people, had thought slave owners were like demi gods, just doing whatever they wanted to a people without legal recourse. Not true. In most states, there were hundreds of laws and statutes concerning slaves that, much like our laws today, made no sense within the framework of slavery itself yet there they were. Slavery was ownership with strings. Living proof that government could ignore the elephant on the couch, then try to make things better with little fixes that made things worse. Like ignoring the fact of whether or not it was ethical for one person to own another and leaving a whole group of people vulnerable to having their babies sold away from them, while at the same time making it mandatory that anything a slave built or grew or fashioned in his off time had to be purchased by the slave owner and at the stated price. Or that a slave who was hired out or had a business set up in town, could not be forced to return to the plantation as long as he paid a fee to the owner. The North was not dead to the fact that here was a huge population which could be manipulated, it still is not dead to that, but the cost of buying them and taking them North was too high. It was cheaper for the Fed to spread that cost to every family in the country, stir up a war, "free" the slaves on the grounds that slavery made family life uncertain and curtailed freedom, then after the war entice thousands of black men north to work in factories. Which also fractured the black family, leaving a whole generation of women raising their kids without any men in their lives. So typical of the workings of government then and now, to create an image that they are doing one thing when actually they are doing the opposite.