Lincoln learned from experience and grew while in office. Born and raised in a white supremacist society, he believed as late as the fall of 1862 that whites and blacks could not live together as equals and that, if freed en masse, blacks would have to depart the United States. But by the end of his life he came to understand the wartime struggles of slaves and free blacks as morally equivalent to those of the American Revolution, and to imagine a place for African-Americans as equal citizens of the republic. He did not confuse clarity of purpose with rigidity of outlook.Also at the link, UW film prof Jeff Smith talks about movies about Presidents. What other films about Presidents should there be?
The big surprise is that there has been no biopic about George Washington. If Lincoln does well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jon Meacham’s book, “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” get optioned. Jackson’s persona lends itself to screen treatment. And I have no doubt that Barack Obama will someday be profiled — he has made history, after all.What's the best portrayal of a President in the movies? Smith says Henry Fonda in "Young Mr. Lincoln," but, as Smith notes, that film doesn't depict Lincoln as President.
The old film, directed by John Ford, has a murder trial at its center: Lincoln’s first real case as a lawyer in Springfield, Ill.So you can put that film on your list of best depictions of lawyers. Smith notes that like "Young Mr. Lincoln," the new Lincoln movie concentrates on a brief slice of Lincoln's life. But the slice in Spielberg's movie is a grand achievement: the 13th Amendment. The choice of a grand or a little-know incident is going to make a big difference in the type of movie it is, and also Spielberg isn't John Ford. Nevertheless, both Henry Fonda and Daniel Day-Lewis are dreamy.