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©'Lincoln' / DreamWorks Pictures
© 'Lincoln' / DreamWorks Pictures
Conn. congressman sees factual flaw in 'Lincoln'

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — As Rep. Joe Courtney watched the Oscar-nominated "Lincoln" over the weekend, something didn't seem right to him.

He said Tuesday he was shocked that the film, about President Abraham Lincoln's political struggle to abolish slavery, includes a scene in which two Connecticut congressmen vote against the 13th amendment to the Constitution, outlawing slavery.

"'Wow. Connecticut voted against abolishing slavery?'" Courtney recalled hearing audience members ask. "I obviously had the same reaction. It was really bugging me."

He said a cursory Internet search confirmed his suspicions that the movie, directed by Steven Spielberg, was historically inaccurate. He asked the Congressional Research Service to investigate, and it reported that all four Connecticut congressmen backed the amendment in a January 1865 vote.

A spokesman for Dreamworks Pictures, which produced "Lincoln," did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Tuesday.

Courtney praised the film's acting and cinematography but said artistic license does not permit it to inaccurately put Connecticut on the wrong side of history, particularly on an issue as powerful as slavery. In a letter to Spielberg, the four-term Democratic congressman includes a tally of the 1865 vote by the state's congressional delegation and a passionate defense of the state's role in emancipating millions of blacks.

"How could congressmen from Connecticut — a state that supported President Lincoln and lost thousands of her sons fighting against slavery on the Union side of the Civil War — have been on the wrong side of history?" he said in his letter.

Courtney, who majored in history at Tufts University, asked that the movie, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln, be corrected before its release on DVD.

"Lincoln," which leads the Oscars with 12 nominations, also stars Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln and Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens. It has earned more than $170 million at the box office.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
132Comments
Feb 5, 2013 7:23PM
Feb 5, 2013 8:01PM
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My guess is that much of the movie will be inaccurate. For instance that the war was fought over the slavery issue. .
Feb 5, 2013 7:28PM
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 should get her facts straight, Bill O'Reilly did not write the book that the movie is based on.
Feb 5, 2013 7:58PM
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Our family also suffered an intentional inaccuracy made by a movie to put more plot in a "factually accurate" documentary type movie.  I think Hollywood likes to claim things as being accurrate, but they would rather rewrite history to cause controversy and sell tickets.  They aren't as pure as they would like you to believe.
Feb 5, 2013 7:15PM
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Its a movie... I dont remember the last movie i saw over history that was accurate. Let alone one with lincoln.. and then even vampires.... Its spielberg, cmon people
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