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.
- Actors: Sam Waterston, Mary Tyler Moore, Richard Mulligan, Deborah Adair, Tom Brennan (II)
- Directors: Lamont Johnson
- Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, 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
- Rating: Some language and adult situations
- Studio: Platinum Disc
- DVD Release Date: July 6, 2004
- Run Time: 188 minutes