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Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln vs. The Others

For some time now, Stephen Spielberg has been planning an epic biopic about Abraham Lincoln.  It’s based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Today, Sally Field joined the cast as the depressed Mary Todd, according to The Hollywood Reporter, a cast which already includes Liam Neeson as Lincoln. The witty Tony Kushner (Angels in America) is penning the screenplay.

I’m sure the renowned director will make a memorable film but Spielberg has some stiff competition, including:

Abraham Lincoln  — This 1930 D.W. Griifth pic starred Walter Huston and Una Merkel.  Some now regard it as the most important of the Lincoln movies.
Abe Lincoln in IllinoisThe terrific Raymond Massey starred as Lincoln and so did Ruth Gordon in this Oscar-nominated film that looked at the early years of the president.
Young Mr. LincolnMy personal favorite stars Henry Fonda in director John Ford’s fictionalized account of Lincoln as barrister in his greatest court case.

If Spielberg can somehow pay homage to the classic films of the past while, at the same time, deal with the troubled but brilliant Lincoln that Goodwin portrays, we, as filmgoers, maybe be in for the best Lincoln film yet.  Having said that, Spielberg has a touch job ahead of him.

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