PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, History
As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
In February 2013, numerous reports stated that this movie led to the final, official 50-state ratification of the 13th Amendment, nearly 150 years after it was approved by three-fourths of the states. In November 2012, Dr. Ranjan Batra, a (non-historian) academician at the University of Mississippi, saw Lincoln (2012), then did an Internet search to find out more about the Amendment. He and his colleague Ken Sullivan discovered that although Mississippi voted to ratify the amendment in 1995, a clerical oversight caused that vote to remain officially unacknowledged, since the Mississippi Secretary of State had never sent the vote's result to the U. S. Office of the Federal Register. After Sullivan also saw the movie, both men urged the office of the Mississippi Secretary of State to file that paperwork, which they did on January 30, 2013; on February 7, 2013, the director of the Federal Register confirmed its receipt along with the fact that Mississippi had finally ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Private Harold Green:
Some of us was in the Second Kansas Colored. We fought the Rebs at Jenkins' Ferry last April just after they killed every Negro soldier they captured at Poison Springs. So at Jenkins' Ferry, we decided warn't takin' no Reb prisoners. And we didn't ...
When President Lincoln is expressing his frustrations over the pending vote of the 13th amendment, he slams his hand on the table. The gesture would surely raise a visible reaction by those present. Secretary of War Stanton is appropriately startled. However, sitting behind the president is his personal secretary John Nicolay whose expression and clenched arms never changes throughout the lengthy shot. This indicates that Daniel Day-Lewis performed the scene in front of a green screen. The inanimate Nicolay was part of the C.G.I. scenery inserted by the technical editor. As the angle of the camera reverses in the subsequent scene, Seward remains the only "live" character in the shot with Lincoln. Congressman James Ashley, Preston and Montgomery Blair are motionless, inanimate parts of the background.
No opening credits except for the main title.
For international releases, an additional prologue about the Civil War was added prior to the start of the film. It mostly shows archive photos with the prologue text included in it. This was decided by the studio's marketing department in its research which realized that while many non-American audiences know of the titular character, most of them are not familiar with the war itself.
$944,308 11 November 2012