Lincoln : What the F@*&! Is Up With This S#@?!
Did director Steven Spielberg befoul Abraham Lincoln with profanity that doesn't fit the 16th president or his era? Movieguide, which reviews films from a Christian perspective, says there are about 40 obscenities in the PG-13 Lincoln, including 10 uses of "goddamn." Similarly, the Dove Foundation laments that "the language they feature in the film ... does not line up with the morals and language of the time period." But Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of source material Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, begs to differ. "I saw pretty much every draft of the script and never had a problem with the language," she tells THR. In fact, she recalls advising screenwriter Tony Kushner to include Lincoln telling a favorite story that includes the word "shit." Still, while Lincoln was known to relate off-color anecdotes, it's unlikely he cussed as much as in the film, says James McPherson, a Lincoln biographer and consultant, who adds that the portrayal of profanity used around Lincoln -- such as when lobbyist W.N. Bilbo (James Spader) says "f--" when meeting him -- also is unrealistic. "The profanity actually bothered me, especially Lincoln's use of it," he says. "It struck me as completely unlikely, a modern injection into Lincoln's rhetoric." McPherson says he e-mailed his objections to Kushner after reading an early draft. "But I see that that language made it in the movie anyhow."
Subscribe now to read the full article
- Read The Hollywood Reporter on any mobile device
- Email complete articles to clients or colleagues
- Interactive Radio: listen to the topics or headlines that interest you
- RSS Feed: read in a timely manner with easy to find content
- Read Offline: locate issues and articles easily at any time, no internet connection needed
Already a Subscriber? Log In
- MOST SHARED
- MOST POPULAR