Watch The Day Lincoln Was Shot
- 1 hr 34 min
In 1865, the United States of America was a nation divided by war, politics, and idealisms. The Day Lincoln Was Shot, a 1998 historical drama film directed by John Gray, tells the story behind one of the most significant moments in American history. The movie is based on Jim Bishopâs book with the same title and stars Rob Morrow as John F. Parker, Lance Henriksen as Abraham Lincoln, and Donna Murphy as Mary Todd Lincoln. The Day Lincoln Was Shot not only provides an informative and eagle-eyed representation of the final days of President Lincoln's life but also offers a rare glimpse of the politics and social environment of that time. The film takes viewers back to April 14, 1865, when President Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, and two guests were in attendance at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. To their misfortune, John Wilkes Booth (played by Wil Wheaton), a well-known actor, and southern sympathizer, planned to assassinate President Lincoln and anyone else who stood in his way. The movie begins with the assassination of Secretary of State William H. Seward (played by Richard Fancy) and his family at their home by Lewis Powell (played by Joshua Bryant). Shortly after this incident, the film shifts to Ford's Theatre, where President Lincoln watched Laura Keene's popular play, Our American Cousin. This is where Booth, who was determined to change the course of history, made his infamous move - sneaking into the president's box and shooting him in the back of the head. The Day Lincoln Was Shot dramatizes Booth's plan with remarkable accuracy, detailing how he used his familiarity with the Ford's Theatre to gain access to the presidential box. The intensity of the moment is captured in a heart-pounding sequence of events that give the viewer a sense of how shocking and chaotic the assassination was to those present at the time. The tension of these moments is heightened by the simultaneous events happening around the city, including the implementation of martial law and the manhunt for Booth. The film doesn't just focus on President Lincoln, but also the people around him, including his wife Mary who's manic and often irrational behavior alarmed those around her. Murphy's portrayal of Mary is haunting, showcasing a woman who was clearly suffering from stress, grief, and the onset of what might have been schizophrenia. Her relationship with her husband is depicted as long-lasting, loving, and unbreakable. Their bond is symbolized with a poignant scene where Mary leans on her husband's shoulder and assures him that she will make him proud. It is a memorable moment, one that is both heartbreaking and hopeful. In addition to the assassination, The Day Lincoln Was Shot also explores the aftermath of the tragedy, including Vice President Andrew Johnson's (played by Titus Welliver) difficult and controversial transition into the presidency while the nations mourned. The sensationalism of the trial and execution of Booth is also covered, and with that, the film provides a comprehensive and enlightening view of the people and events that shaped American history. Rob Morrow's portrayal of John F. Parker, the lazy and negligent guard assigned to protect Lincoln, is a standout performance. Parker guards fall asleep during the play and is absent from his post when Booth appears in the presidential box. His mistakes and negligence are not exaggerated, but extraordinary circumstances arose that no one could have anticipated. Parker is a quiet man, living with his mother, and his face when told the news is full of guilt, shame, and remorse. The Day Lincoln Was Shot makes the events of April 14, 1865, come to life in a way that is both engaging and remarkably true to historical facts. The film delivers a reverent depiction of a man and a moment that changed the course of history. Anyone who is interested in American history or Lincoln's presidency should see this movie. It is an excellent addition to the list of historical movies that are worth watching.