* AllStarCast: Though more of the HeyItsThatGuy character actor variety than the A-list star variety, although Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones and Joseph Gordon-Levitt definitely all qualify.
* DoingItForTheArt:
** Spielberg has been researching for this film for '''12 years''', down to the correct wallpaper and books in the White House of 1865 and the right ticking noise for Lincoln's watch (Recorded from the actual one!)
** Creator/DanielDayLewis [[MethodActing accepted the role on the condition that he got a year to prepare.]]
* FakeAmerican: British-Irish Creator/DanielDayLewis, Scottish Peter [=McRobbie=], and Brits Jared Harris and David Oyelowo all play Americans.
* RoleAssociation: Where do we begin?
** [[Film/GangsOfNewYork Bill The Butcher]], [[HilariousInHindsight funnily enough]], is Honest Abe himself.
** [[Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan Aunt May]] is his wife.
*** More people would probably know her as the mother of Film/ForrestGump.
**** Or TheFlyingNun.
** [[Film/TheDarkKnightRises John Blake]] is his son Robert.
** [[Film/MenInBlack Agent K]] is Thaddeus Stevens.
*** And Griffin is one of his colleagues.
** [[Series/PushingDaisies Ned]] is Fernando Wood.
** [[BostonLegal Alan Shore]], [[Film/WintersBone Teardrop]], and [[{{Literature/Holes}} Dr. Pendanski]] are a trio of lobbyists.
** [[Film/TheBourneSeries Noah Vosen]] / [[Film/GoodNightAndGoodLuck Edward R. Murrow]] / [[Film/LAConfidential Pierce Patchett]] is William Seward.
** [[Series/MadMen Lane Pryce]] is Ulysses S. Grant.
*** [[Film/SherlockHolmes Professor Moriarty]] is Ulysses S. Grant?!
** [[{{Film/Watchmen}} Rorschach]] is Alexander Stephens, the Confederate Vice President.
** [[Film/ASeriousMan Larry Gopnik]] / [[Series/BoardwalkEmpire Arnold Rothstein]] is George Yeaman.
** [[Series/TheWire The Greek]] is the Speaker of the House.
** [[{{Film/Chronicle}} Andrew Detmer]] is a soldier.
** [[Franchise/LawAndOrder Judge Bradley and Lt. Van Buren]] are George Pendleton and Lydia Smith.
** [[{{Series/TwentyFour}} President Charles Logan]] is Judge John Campbell.
** [[{{Series/Justified}} Boyd Crowder]] is wimpy congressman Wells Hutchins.
* OldShame: Has been an ''audience'' reaction during the voting scene; if they're from a state that had congressmen who did not vote yea, a groan can be heard in the theater (unless you're from Connecticut, in which case you'll be mad that the movie shows two House members voting against the amendment when in RealLife all four were in favor of it).
* PlayingAgainstType: Sally Field, who normally nowadays plays sweet, [grand-]motherly types, as controlling, bitter, mentally unstable Mary Todd Lincoln.
** While he's certainly played heroic characters before, Daniel Day-Lewis' turn here is generally subtler than some of his more recent work in ''Film/ThereWillBeBlood'' and ''Film/GangsOfNewYork''.
* RealitySubtext: Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field had only met in passing prior to this film. Mary's and Lincoln's relationship is fraught, to say the least; however, over the course of filming the two actors quickly came to adore each other.
** The great-grandfather of Michael Stanton Kennedy was a newspaperman from the town where his character, Hiram Price, lived. When filming the scene where the 13th Amendment passes, Kennedy started to cry and couldn't explain why until later, when he told Steven Spielberg "We're in this room recreating one of the most important moments in American history... and up there [in the balcony] with the press sat my great-grandfather."
* SavedFromDevelopmentHell: This movie has been in various stages of production for over 10 years.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: LiamNeeson was attached to play Lincoln through most of the film's development, but dropped out in January 2010, believing he had become too old to play the part.

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