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Saving Lincoln

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: B00D4CH1QM
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Format: DVD
This is yet another "historical" look at the life of Lincoln (Tom Amandes) as seen through the eyes of Ward Hill Lamon (Lea Coco), his friend and bodyguard. The film starts with their meeting and ends shortly after Lincoln's death.

The acting was first and foremost horrible. The reading of the Gettysburg Address was akin to Rosanne Barr performing the National Anthem. The dialogue was unrealistic, at times modern, and mostly fictional. The theological discussion Lincoln has with a former slave had me scratch my head. His kneeling afterwards and belief that he had a divine purpose was Lamon's answer to Herdon's biography which claimed Lincoln was an atheist. I wouldn't put either view into a film.

The background was taken from 3D viewmaster pictures and even crowds were still photos with "actors" in front of them. It gave the film a cheap surreal look. Historically I was scratching my head too. Upon their meeting they wanted Hill to perform a song from West Virginia which wasn't a state at that time. The famous picture of Washington which we all looked at in school with its bottom partially burned off from the War of 1812 was fully intact in this film. Edward D. Baker died in Oct. of 1861 but is presented at a time of the announcements of battles well into 1862.

There is a constant self glorification of Ward Hill Lamon whose speech was grandiose and yes he was also an Amazing Kreskin at predicting the death of the President. Not an impressive film.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9f0506a8) out of 5 stars 97 reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f4c1594) out of 5 stars Excellent film about Lincoln and his Illinois friends June 10 2013
By William E. Byrnes - Published on
Format: DVD
While the 2012 film Lincoln was very good, and it was a pleasure sitting in a theater and hearing people laugh at Lincoln's jokes, even if they were one hundred and fifty years old, this film seems to capture something more like the connection Lincoln had to his adopted home in Illinois. I had read Lamon's book Remembrances of Abraham Lincoln, through the Illinois Digital Archive, and it was a fascinating account. As does the film, it begins in the 8th judicial circuit in the 1840s, and follows Lincoln through his career in Congress, the two races for the US Senate in 1856 and 1858, the Presidency and right up to that last encounter. The plaintive statement "and that was the last time I saw my friend", is as heartrending in the film as it was in print.

For me, historical figures are more interesting for their humanity, than the monumental achievements of their careers. Ever since I was a child, I felt more of a connection to Lincoln from a line like "I cannot spare this man, he fights!" than from "four score and seven years ago". This film, like Lamon's book, sees the Lincolns as a family, faced with a terrible tragedy, reflecting the tragedy that befell all families in the years from 1861-1865. They face the end of the nation, with the collapse of the Union, but with the help of Hill's "West Virginia Claw Hammer" they enjoy a spirited rendition of the trials of "old Dan Tucker". In the verse that Mary sings alone, she seems almost a young girl in love again. That's a rare view of the First Lady, that so many film makers have preferred to see as either a spendthrift or a madwoman. I've always thought it was unfair to view her so harshly, since by the time Robert had her committed to the sanitarium in my home town, Batavia, the lady had buried all but one of her children, her parents and her husband.

Lincoln has been treated more as a human than Mary, by historians, the commutation of death sentences, that beautiful letter to Mrs. Bixby, the mother who "laid such a costly sacrifice upon the altar of freedom", and the admonition to the former slave who knelt at his feet when he and Tad visited Richmond. That human touch rings true here, throughout the film. Lincoln isn't always the humorist, laughing to keep from weeping, but he also shows his temper to General McClellan. Its an altogether human picture of our 16th President and his family.

All in all, I can highly recommend this presentation of Lincoln, as a needed addition to a view of our 16th President. He wasn't made of marble after all.
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f1f7f18) out of 5 stars Perfect for the History Teacher June 6 2013
By Wambutu - Published on
Format: DVD
I am writing this review from the perspective of the history teacher. This may incline you to think that I am going to need a very detailed movie that gets every fact perfect. For my personal preference that happens to be true. I loved Spielberg's 'Lincoln' for that reason. But I also happen to have the equivalent of a masters degree in Civil War studies. As a teacher what I need is a movie to be accessible as well as accurate.
'Saving Lincoln' is an amazingly accessible film. There are scenes where the pain that Lincoln bore pours off the screen. It makes Lincoln human in a way that my students and I would assume others can understand. I asked my students which of the movies I showed this year they liked the best and it was hands down 'Saving Lincoln'. So if you want a movie that shows Lincoln and you don't need a degree in American History to enjoy, you'll like this one.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f3dcfcc) out of 5 stars A visual treat that's emotionally satisfying June 6 2013
By pasttime - Published on
Format: DVD
This film is a fresh perspective into the life of Abraham Lincoln. The relationship between Lincoln and his loyal bodyguard is full of surprises and strong emotions.
The use of still photographs is an inspired way to tell this epic story and make it look like a film of huge proportions. Hats off to the filmmakers for their creativity and story-telling skills.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film and recommend it to all.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f076048) out of 5 stars a remarkable achievement June 6 2013
By joshola - Published on
Format: DVD
"Saving Lincoln" is unlike any film you've seen before. The director has created a unique format, combining actual historical images with the dramatic narrative of the story. If you enjoy American History, or if you want to appreciate and understand the life of one of America's greatest heroes, then this film is for you.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa06b9d14) out of 5 stars A Positive Review from a Non-Fan of the 16th President May 8 2014
By Jonathan McCleese - Published on
Format: DVD
Just finished watching the film Saving Lincoln and some of it's special features. As one who is not a big fan of our country's 16th President, I have to say that this film humanizes him more than any other portrayal that I've ever seen, and makes it easier for me to view him simply as a man, rather than just as a tyrant. Though it likely won't change my opinion of "Honest Abe" entirely, it might make me reflect more kindly upon him after I've had further time to reflect on the viewpoint of history that this film presents.

The reason that it so marvelously portrays Lincoln as an actual flesh & blood man, rather than a god-like hero or a demon of Biblical proportions, is because it tells the Abe Lincoln story from the perspective of Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln's self-appointed bodyguard & close personal friend. The film portrays the friendship between Lincoln & Lamon almost like the friendship shared by David & Jonathan that can be found in the pages of Scripture.

Another aspect of this film that makes it so very good is the way that it was filmed. As the movie's Wikipedia entry tells, "[it] was shot on a green screen stage, with a technique known as "CineCollage" used to create interior and exterior locations. Actors, extras, furniture, and props were filmed and combined with period photographs via the CineCollage process, which relied on off-the-shelf visual effects tools." By using this technique, you get to see the actors working in front of the digitally manipulated imagery from the 1860s, thus giving as near a real look at what it might have been like as may ever be possible.

My only critique of the film would be that, in my opinion, all aspects of the film should have been shot in black & white. Only then do I think the film could have seemed more authentic.

For those of you that have not seen this film yet, especially for those of you that are interested in Lincoln, the War Between the States, and films about those subjects, I'd encourage you to get your hands on a copy. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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