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The Day Lincoln Was Shot [VHS]
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Customer Reviews:

  • Historical interpretaion at its worst
    This film may possibly be the worst about this topic ever made. The performances are terrible. Particularly Lance Henrikson as Lincoln. He appears to be doing an impersonation of Gregory Peck playing Lincoln and a very bad one at that. The portrayal of Booth seems to come about from the makers of this film watching too many 90s serial killer shockers. I particaularly like the scene where Morrow is wearing granny sunglasses that make him look like a reject from Strawberry Alarm Clock. His portrayal of Booth as the crazed maniac is laughable. The sets however are very credible and appealing. Overall a terrible film. Avoid it unless you are in the mood for a good laugh....more info
  • Great movie!
    One Saturday evening I was channel surfing and found "The Day Lincoln Was Shot" on TNT. I was fascinated to hear John Wilkes Booth speak. He inspired me ever since my teacher read "A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln" in preschool....more info
  • "Brilliant, stirring.....a masterpice to behold.
    This motion picture swiftly transports you back in time. Lance Henriksen's "Lincoln" is the most convincing character he's ever played. Rob Morrow proves that he is one of the most under-rated actors of our time. His portrayal of Booth is awe inspiring. The journey he takes into his own imagination to "become" Booth leaves you breathless.Morrow's performance is what every actor dreams of accomplishing. Unbridled perfection....more info
  • SPECTACULAR HISTORICAL TV MOVIE!
    Another incredibly acted, beautifully shot and overlooked tv movie that is a perfect candidate for dvd. The raw realism of assassin Booth and the near poetic verbal gems of Lincoln are captivating to see and hear. Lance Hendrickson is a great Lincoln. Empathy and passion are constantly drawn out from the charactors on a theatrical level that is not the norm for tv fare. The movie has an ominous aura thats unlike any film I've ever seen on Lincoln. Its unfortunate that as of this date the film cant benefit from the enhancement of dvd. It left a lasting impression on this reviewer. Only the VHS is available now, but make it a definite watch, particulary if your a Lincoln history buff.

    ...more info
  • This Movie Brings you back to 1865
    I thought the special effects were excellent. It made you feel like you were walking besides Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes-Booth in 1865. Highly recommended for Civil War Buffs and the those with a general interest alike. When's this one Coming out
    on DVD?...more info
  • This Story is Both Gripping and Emotional
    I read the book by Jim Bishop that this movie was based on and thought "this would be an awesome movie." I am generally extremely anti-made-for-tv -movie, but found this movie to be just as emotionally gripping as the book. While the movie falls a bit short in the details area, it packs a lot of emotional wallop in it's portrayal of the events that night. You WILL be moved to tears by the splendid soundtrack and tragic portrayal of one of the most infamous nights in World History....more info
  • Fair
    This wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. The biggest disappointment for me were the main players. Few of them really looked like the historical persona. Lincoln's portrayal was a letdown from the start. Although he looked fairly close, his voice was all wrong. Lincoln had a squeaky voice with a real Kentucky twang. (This comes from observations by Lincoln's law partner, Herndon as well as Nicolaye & Haye, Lincoln's secretaries and biographers) Hal Holbrook actually came closest to the right pitch and tone. Even more annoying was the portrayal of Sec. of War Edward Stanton. Here, he comes across like a frustrated grandfather. The real Stanton was NOT a Lincoln fan, he once refered to Lincoln as the "original baboon" and constantly challenged the 16th president on issue after issue. Lincoln would let Stanton have his temper tantrums, but managed to "put his foot down" at the right time. Stanton himself was far from well liked by other members of the cabinet and was actually feared and loathed by many. First Lady Mary Todd was far too slender and attractive in this depiction. If you've ever seen photos of the real Mary, she looked dowdy if not downright frumpy. Her rages were legendary in Washington. She once chased a deliveryman down the street with a broomstick. Secretary Seward called her a "she-wolf" and others dubbed her a bit**. A surprise for me was the portrayal of Dr. Charles A. Leale, the 27 year old Army surgeon who took charge of Lincoln after the shooting. The actor bore more than striking resemblance. It was almost spooky to watch. Jim Bishop's book was followed closely which was one of the more appealing parts of this film. Even snippets of dialog from the book crept in with regularity....more info
  • A refreshing Film
    Take a chance on this well made film that is simply enjoyable to watch. Rob Morrow in particular is amazing and you can't afford to miss watching this film. All TV films should be as good. Also take the time to see Rough Riders, Truman, and Conspiracy....more info
  • This is a must for all lovers of history!
    This is a very thought provoking account of one of our nations worst tragedies. The acting is superb and I would recommend it to anyone who would like to know more about Lincoln or Booth....more info
  • If you want to know more about Lincoln's death, get this!
    This movie showed what might have actually happened the day Lincoln was shot. I love President Lincoln and this movie helped me understand his death more than I ever have before!...more info
  • A++++++
    A Must See! You can't afford to miss this...more info
  • Want to See History Come Alive? See this Film
    "The Day Lincoln was Shot" is a 1998 TV film. You wouldn't expect much in light of this, but you'd be wrong.

    All I expect in a historical film like this is reasonable historical accuracy and the ability to take me back in time to envision what it was really like (to some reasonable degree, that is). "The Day Lincoln was Shot" delivers in spades.

    Rob Morrow is outstanding as actor/murderer John Wilkes Booth. I've read loads of history but Booth never came alive to me until I saw this movie the other day. Booth was a passionate, charismatic, creative type, which obviously explains his occupation. This and his love for the Confederacy proved to be an explosive combination. The film shows Booth practicing his murder in front of a mirror, trying to get the Latin for "Death to tyrants" just right. You just know this nut really did this to psyche himself up for the murder.

    FYI: After assassinating Lincoln, Booth caught the spur of his boot on the flag drape as he jumped down from Lincoln's box at Ford's Theater and consequently broke the leg he awkwardly landed on.

    Lance Henriksen is fine as Lincon and Donna Murphy is great as his wife Mary. Some say Donna is too good-looking to play Mrs. Lincoln, but Mary Todd wasn't all that bad-looking if you check out pictures of her; and she certainly wasn't fat. Besides Donna's beauty is played way down here. Anyway, the film well display's Mary Todd's catty, jealous, tempermental nature. Despite this reality, ol' Abe and Mary LOVED each other and the picture properly shows it.

    Ever wonder what family time was like in the White House back then? What were the Lincoln's like at dinner time? Did Abe play with his youngest son? Etc. This picture shows you these things. Interestingly, Will Wheaton, the notorious Wusley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation, plays Lincoln's oldest living son Robert Todd. He does a fine job too. I didn't even recognise him (thank God).

    I especially enjoyed the scene wherein Abe & Mary go for a ride in the country on a carriage surrounded by numerous security guards on horseback. My wife & I often go on rides in the country and it was just interesting to observe Abe & Mary doing the same thing. Why wouldn't they? This is a great scene.

    The locations are completely convincing and the film is lensed with such expertise that the viewer is successfully ushered back to the time of the story. The cinematography has that dark, realistic look of modern films like, say, "Last of the Mohicans" as opposed to the overly-lighted, artificial look of older films. The score is great as well.

    One powerful scene shows Lincoln talking with his militarists and advisors after the surrender of Lee's army. The latter insist upon the immediate imprisonment and execution of Jefferson Davis, Lee and other significant leaders of the rebellion. Lincoln hears them out but ultimately responds (I'm paraphrasing): "No. Haven't we seen enough bloodshed, enough death? I am adamant about this!" This is line with Lincoln's second inaugural address wherein he stated:

    "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan -- to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."

    This shows Lincoln's character and partially explains why he is one of my personal heroes. He wanted the hostilities and death to end in America; he wanted forgiveness, reconciliation, goodwill and healing to prevail.

    Booth felt that, by killing Lincoln, he'd be helping the cause of the South. He wrongly expected his mad scheme to throw the Union into chaos and embolden the Southerners to continue fighting, regardless of the fact that they had already surrendered. Ironically his murderous scheme was the worst possible thing he could have done for his Southern comrades. Lincoln would have ensured mercy and leniency during Reconstruction, at least to some reasonable extent, but Booth's actions needlessly brought on many hard years to come for the South, much harder than they would have been otherwise anyway.

    Unfortunately "The Day Lincoln was Shot" is currently only available on VHS. The good thing is that it's presently offered at Amazon for a very cheap price. If you're into well-made historical films I'd scarf it up.

    For comparisons, "The Day Lincoln was Shot" blows away boring, bloated historical films like the overrated "Gettysburg." It's on a par with "Pharoah's Army" albeit not quite as good as "Glory."

    For a good well-rounded cinematic look at the Civil War period I recommend these films: "Glory," "Pharoah's Army," "The Horse Soldiers," "The Blue and the Gray," "Cold Mountain" and, of course, "The Day Lincoln was Shot." "Andersonville" is worth seeing too as long as you keep in mind that it's a prison picture (dealing with the most infamous prison camp of the Civil War). I haven't seen "Ride with the Devil" yet, which involves Missouri Southern bushwackers (guerrilla fighters) and the bloody feud amongst neighbors in that bloody border state, but I'm looking forward to it. ...more info
  • A brilliant slice of history brought to life.
    With Lincoln being a personal hero of mine, this film was one of the better films I've seen about his assassination as well as his life. I read the book upon which this film is based and it follows it pretty good. Ford's Theatre is strikingly brought back to life for the film's fatal climax. It is vivid in detail and an excellent look at one of the most stirring points of America's history. A must for those who are deeply admirable of Lincoln....more info