President’s Day Movies

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Celebrate President’s Day with some some of the classic movies about Abraham Lincoln’s life. Reportedly, he has been portrayed more on screen than any other real-life character. I was honored to be invited to participate in the 272-word project from the Abraham Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois. Each of us was asked to contribute an essay that was, like the Gettysburg Address, just 272 words.

Here’s mine:

The Steven Spielberg epic, Lincoln, based on Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin, with Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis.

Young Mr. Lincoln Directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda, this is an appealing look at Lincoln’s early law practice and his tragic romance with Ann Rutledge. Particularly exciting and moving are the scenes in the courtroom as Lincoln defends two brothers charged with murder. Both have refused to talk about what happened, each thinking he is protecting the other, and Lincoln has to find a way to prove their innocence.

Abe Lincoln in Illinois Raymond Massey in his signature role plays Lincoln from his days as a rail-splitter to his law practice and his debates with Stephen Douglas. Ruth Gordon plays his wife, Mary.

Gore Vidal’s Lincoln Sam Waterston and Mary Tyler Moore star in this miniseries that focuses on Lincoln’s political strategies and personal struggles.

Sandburg’s Lincoln Hal Holbrook plays Lincoln in this miniseries based on the biography by poet Carl Sandberg.

It’s not that I’m forgetting the other President we pay tribute to this week; it’s just that George Washington has never had a movie worthy of his contributions to our country. Lincoln has had films from directors like John Ford and Steven Spielberg. Washington has television. There’s a 1984 miniseries:

And a History Channel miniseries:

Scorsese? Sorkin? Spielberg? There’s a great opportunity here.

Originally published at https://moviemom.com.

Movie critic, corporate critic and shareholder advocate, critic/editor at @ebertvoices @moviemom, and #corpgov #movies and editor at @miniverpress

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