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Gore Vidal's Lincoln


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Gore Vidal's Lincoln + Sandburg's Lincoln + Lincoln - Trial By Fire - Documentary Collection + feature film
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sam Waterston, Mary Tyler Moore, Richard Mulligan, Deborah Adair, Tom Brennan
  • Directors: Lamont Johnson
  • Writers: Ernest Kinoy, Gore Vidal
  • Producers: Bill Finnegan, David Roessell, Patricia Finnegan, Rick Rosenberg, Robert W. Christiansen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Platinum Disc
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 188 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00028G75C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,084 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gore Vidal's Lincoln" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Sam Waterston, Mary Tyler Moore. Honest Abe trudges on through the politics and tragedy of the Civil War while also grappling with personal loss and pain, only to have his life cut short by a crazed assassin's bullet. 1988/color/3 hrs., 8 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

It was a very touching movie, and, enjoyable.
M. Pavelkis
Sam Waterston is excellent - he seems to capture all of the mannerisms and emotions of Lincoln as even the most vivid of historical texts describe.
gburgalum01
This presentation of the story of Lincoln's personal life, marriage, and presidency seems to be about as close to reality as possible.
Bold Consumer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 113 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Rasband VINE VOICE on June 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Sam Waterston is a very different Lincoln than the stately, orthodox one of Raymond Massey or even Henry Fonda. This Lincoln is clever, scheming, cynically funny and nakedly ambitious--one who might have a thing or two in common with some well known politicians of the 20th century. You could even call Waterston the first urban Lincoln, under the rail-splitting pretentions. But Waterston never loses sight of Lincoln's tortured, proud but guilt-ridden greatness, and that is the secret of his fine portrayal.
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105 of 112 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 3, 2005
Format: DVD
But, more historically correct. Lincoln was a politician. He never set out to free the slaves. He actually offered leading free Blacks the opportunity to take the slaves to a new American colony in South America because he never thought ex-slaves would have a chance. There was corruption in his Administration. First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln probably sold the text of the "State of the Union" address to the New York Times. She also kept 'ghost' employees on the White House payroll to pay for her extravagances in remodeling.

Still, Lincoln was a good man and a good leader, grieved at the state of America. Sam Waterson depicts a man heavily laden with the burdens of a country, constituency, and family that could be enough to break a lesser person's resolve.

Mary Tyler Moore's performance as Mary Todd Lincoln was also good. No one will ever know whether it was mental illness, addiction to morphine, or some other cause that drove her to 'headaches' and spendthrift behavior. Tyler Moore's presentation was of Todd-Lincoln was troubled---and human.

My big complaint about this DVD was the film quality. This looked like a low budget film that was not digitially remastered for DVD. Pity, because this is an excellent depiction of the times and one of our American heroes.
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The TV movie, perhaps predictably, doesn't have all the sardonic bite of Vidal's original novel. But it goes a long way toward breaking out of the Raymond Massey talking-waxwork mold and giving us a Lincoln believable as politician and man, as well as a strong portrait of the intensely political milieu in which he operated. Waterston is excellent-- completely unbound by past portrayals of Lincoln, and even fairly good at making us believe that he's anywhere near Lincoln's height-- and though I think there's a little too much of Mary Todd's personal life and not enough of the Civil War in this miniseries, there's no quibbling with Moore's splendid performance, which beautifully captures the pathos of this sad, unliked woman.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By collecting DVDs on January 29, 2005
Format: DVD
I am so thankful I ignored the negative reviews!!

I loved this mini-series on tv and recorded it on vhs at ep!!! What was I thinking? How to save tape??

I was thrilled to find out it was finally on dvd. But when I read how badly the lighting, sound, etc. was, I was doing some rethinking.

Then I thought again. If I enjoyed watching my horrible copy on vhs over and over again, the dvd couldn't possible be any worse. So I did order.

And I'm glad I did. The dvd far exceeds my badly taped vhs version. The movie is enjoyable, factual, and unforgettable. Lincoln fans MUST get this dvd!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Milam on August 3, 2007
Format: DVD
I have read Gore Vidal's book many years ago and I obtained a copy of the movie by recording the TV series. But because VHS tape is not very permanent...I decided to order the dvd. The movie follows pretty close to the book. Sam Waterston is an excellent Lincoln. I have seen my fair share of Lincolns over the years with the only other one I like and that Henry Fonda in his portrayal of "Young Mr. Lincoln". The movie moves along with great characters portraying such people as Seward, Chase, Gen. Winfield Scott (John Houseman was an excellent choice). And of course Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Lincoln. All in all, I have certain videos or movies that I can watch over and over again once a month or so. I heard a interview of Sam Waterston regarding his portrayal of Lincoln and that he had to work at that "Western" accent as well as the high-pitched voice that describes Lincoln's speaking. I recommend it to anyone.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By James Hiller VINE VOICE on February 24, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Much of Abraham Lincoln's life has been accounted for and reaccounted for a thousand times over. The facts play around in our minds, much without emotional anchors to hold them down. Prolific and outspoken writer Gore vidal penned a "fictional" account of Lincoln in his marvelous book, which a few years later, adapted into a made-for-TV movie. The result, then as now, is an intriguing insights into the personality of the Lincoln family.

The movie starts with Lincoln slinking into Washington DC, for fear of a secessionist uprising in Balitmore, under disguise, for which he was much aligned. Constrasted with Mary's arrival, with hoopla and a thousand suitcases, shows the underlying dichotomy in the famous first couple. Jumping from historical event to historical event, the drama digs a bit deeper into the effects of the events on the family. By the time you've finished the movie, you felt like you've not only have a deeper understanding of the Civil War, but of the Lincolns as well.

Sam Waterson nails, absolutely nails, Lincoln. We see all sides of him. It must have been a daunting role to play. We have solely deified Lincoln, almost erasing his humanity. Waterson brings it back in full force, with all the humor and sadness needed. At first, hearing that Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Todd Lincoln seems like a joke. Who would ever thought that Mary Richards could play someone Hay and Nicolette called "Hell Cat?". But she does. Her decent into madness at the death of Willie is heartbreaking. Richard Mulligan's performance as Sweard is canny, and the ever stalwart Ruby Dee plays Mary Lincoln's dressmaker Mrs. Keckley with all of the sassiness and care required.

I rated this movie four stars, not for content or for acting, but for the DVD transfer.
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