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Stealing Lincoln's Body (2009)

Various , History  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Stealing Lincoln's Body + The Hunt for John Wilkes Booth (History Channel) + The Conspirator (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: History
  • 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: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: May 26, 2009
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O5LVV2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,847 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

One of the strangest, most intriguing, and yet almost unknown episodes in American history unfolded in 1876, eleven years after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A band of Chicago counterfeiters hatched a plot to steal the President's body from its tomb outside Springfield, Illinois, and hold it for a ransom of $200,000. A paid informant told the newly formed Secret Service. When both the police and the criminals showed up at the cemetery on the appointed night, the scheme was foiled.

This feature-length special from History explores the peculiar confluence of historical trends and cultural movements that prompted the crime: the birth of counterfeiting, the growth of embalming, and the influence of secret societies in American life, among others. But above all, the story shows how important this beloved President remained to a public so unprepared for his violent death in 1865.

Startling and informative, this is one of those tales you have to see to believe.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stealing Lincoln's Body March 24, 2009
Very informative documentary. Most people have no idea what our 16th president's body went through until it's final resting place some 30 years AFTER his assasination. Did you know that the original "Lincoln's Tomb" had to be rebuilt due to faulty construction, or that the president's body was buried in the basement of the tomb (not in the vault above) for over a decade for fear of another attempt at stealing it! This film goes into great detail about how the body was preserved, the journey across Amercia and the plot to steal it.Digital reconstruction of the body in the casket and of Lincoln himself. A must for history buffs, Lincoln historians and those just curious. Well worth it!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Unique October 15, 2009
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This is the most unique Lincoln program I have ever seen. Using modern "Motion Capture" animation technology, (think Tom Hanks in Polar Express) Lincoln literally comes to life like never before. (excepting the various Lincoln shows at Disneyland and Walt Disney World) They used real images of Lincoln in a computer and had an actor in a "motion capture suit." The result is the most interesting, unique and maybe even startling video I have even seen.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Have" for Any Lincoln Buff!! May 5, 2009
I loved this gem of history past but what is really facinating is the technology used that made Mr. Lincoln "come to life". We see him walking down the White house staircase, walk down the street tipping his hat to people as they walk by and, along with his wife Mary, sitting in the box at Ford's Theatre at the moment of his assassination by a pistol shot to the back of his head at the hand of actor John Wilkes Booth. It is just like seeing actual clips of Lincoln bringing him to life (and death) again. This is a "Must Have" for the collection of any admirer of our sixteenth president who died just five days after saving the union of the United States after four years of a bloody Civil War. *****
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Documentaries November 13, 2011
As a lifelong fan of Abraham Lincoln, I had to get the book as soon as it came out. The narrative is richly detailed and informative and fascinating - there's so much, in fact, that the documentary couldn't encompass it all.

Something not much remarked on by other reviewers here (at least that I could find) is how funny many parts of this documentary are. I think Lincoln himself would have laughed out loud at the humor. The humor is aptly placed - it centers largely on the mind-bogglingly inept criminals at the heart of this story. Example: one of the criminals specialized in counterfeiting...nickles? Think Keystone Cops, and you'll have an idea.

Of course, book and documentary alike are tender and touching when it comes to Lincoln and the people who loved him. The narrative is respectful of the history, and as noted by others here, the technology used to bring the story to life is interesting (but never overwhelms its purpose).

This is one of our favorite documentaries on television, and every time it comes on, whatever the hour, we stop to watch it again...we're watching it right now, in fact, while I write this review.

For anyone who thinks history is boring, this is the documentary that could change their mind. We viewers are lucky that such care, attention, and intelligence was devoted to putting this film together.

Book and documentary alike are HIGHLY recommended! They complement each other perfectly - and the author is not only an excellent writer, he also one of the many delightful, deft and knowledgeable historians who appear in the documentary!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating December 19, 2009
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This documentary about a foiled attempt to steal Lincoln's body is a little-known blurp in our history. The 1870s were a turbulent time in this country, as Reconstruction wrapped up yet hatred remained between North and South.

Any fan of Lincoln would love this documentary because of the topic. This documentary isn't so much about Lincoln's life retold yet again, but rather about his death and (afterlife) shown from a new perspective. Who would think to imagine what it must have been like to transport his decaying body via railroad through the Midwest, as it slowly starts smelling the boxcar? Or the process of embalming his body, a new science at the time? This documentary is the last possible documentary one could have made without being redundant.

I plopped this DVD in "just to check it out" and was glued to the screen from the start. The graphics in this documentary, especially seeing Lincoln so life-like was like watching him get killed up-close all over again. The assassination scene is quite gruesome as his body slumps to the lower left and toward Mary. This is an eerie yet fascinating simulation of what Lincoln was like in his final days on earth, and the near absurd plot to steal his body. I am still amazed anyone would think of robbing a grave for someone's bones.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great documentary June 27, 2010
Verified Purchase
What has been said about this documentary does not need to be repeated. It is a four star film about Lincoln and the plot to steal his remains.

I want to reassure the hearing impaired that this is closed captioned. Although there is not a section in the main menu for closed captions, rest assured that as long as your TV has the ability to view films with closed captions, it will work for you.

Snap up a copy of this award winning documentary as fast as you can. You will not be disappointed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars very good! looked for a long time and finally found
very good! looked for a long time and finally found it
Published 2 months ago by mike aaron
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed watching this documentary
I enjoyed watching this documentary. I was shocked to know that anyone would have tried to steal President Lincoln's body. Read more
Published 2 months ago by S. Hickman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This was a very good documentary. It has photographs, explanations and re-enactments to tell the history.
Published 2 months ago by Deirdre Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars The History Channel - Stealing Lincoln's Body
Excellent biography and photography. Very interesting how the plan was hatched and failed at the cemetary. Read more
Published 4 months ago by jeannie
5.0 out of 5 stars Obscure history
This is probably a bit of history unknown to most Americans and well explained here. There was a movie made in the early 30's dealing with the subject and I remember reading of... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ron De Luco
4.0 out of 5 stars Stealing Lincoln''s Body book and dvd
We have visited the Lincoln Exhibit in Springfield Illinois several times during our travels.
Our favorite B&B, Flagg Farmsted had the book in our bedroom. Read more
Published 6 months ago by George J Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and Different!!
Outstanding look into history from a very different prospective! Informational and educational as well as entertaining! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Colonel John C. Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Arrived in excellent condition. Interesting information on Lincoln that I never knew was out there. For historians I would advise to purchase this movie.
Published 10 months ago by Avis Collins Goines
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll enjoy it whether you're a histroy buff or not.
Granddaughter needed this to supplement a report on Lincoln for a class project. I was surprised when she and several fellow students sat and watched the entire documentary.
Published 12 months ago by Darryl W. Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Stealing Lincoln's Body
I was memorized by the subject matter. As a native Illinoisan I thought I knew everything about Lincoln. Read more
Published 15 months ago by postal
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