Saturday, June 27, 2015

Historically accurate? Lincoln

In the 2012 movie, Lincoln, there are many scenes where sound helps emphasize the meaning and nature of the scene. There is the dialogue which is very important in a historical drama such as this. Much of the dialogue is without music or other sound effects heard as part of the scene because of the importance of this film.

One scene that really stands out and brings dialogue together with music is where the Speaker of the House reads the results of the vote on the 13th Amendment. First all you hear is his voice through the beginning of the scene. All eyes are on him in the house chamber as he speaks. The scene cuts to President Lincoln pacing about in his study in the White House. Then the sound of bells chiming are heard, right after that the sounds loud cheering are heard and the scene changes to the inside of the house chamber where most of the delegates are cheering. Then all of a sudden they start singing the song, "Battle Cry of Freedom".

Thaddeus Stevens asks for the original copy of the bill, folds it with a creased and walks out of the capitol building. Outside the song "Battle Cry of Freedom" and cheering is still heard, even as Thaddeus walks home. As he opens his door and enters the song and cheering are still heard in the back ground.

The impact of this song had on the scene and the movie are very important as the song is about freedom and is used in the scene of the movie where all slaves were officially declared free by the law makers of the United States. There is no doubt as to the genre of this film. It is certainly a historical drama. The effect of the cheering and the song "Battle Cry of Freedom may be that it makes someone feel swelled up with pride and give them a sense of patriotic euphoria. It was a happy event in united States history. Had the song not been used and no other patriotic song put in its place the scene may have been largely forgotten and the emphasis of the meaning behind the song along with where and how it is used in the film would have been lost and not as strong.

This film is historically accurate through most of the movie. There are a few discrepancies and embellishments included for more dramatic effect. But overall this was an actual event that occurred in United States history.

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc

Previous articles in series:
Historically accurate? Gladiator.
Historically accurate? To Kill a Mockingbird