Tear Jerker / Lincoln
"I suppose it's time to go, though I'd much rather stay."
- Everything about the ending of the movie.
- "I suppose it's time to go... though I'd much rather stay." Lincoln actually said this in real life. The scriptwriters did not make that line up.
- The scene of Lincoln walking quietly down the hallway of the White House, heading to Ford's Theater and his fate. There's been criticism that the movie should have ended on that scene, heartbreaking as it is.
- However, seeing Daniel Day-Lewis cap off his astounding and deserved Academy Award winning performance with Lincoln's second Inaugural Address was a bit of a heartwarming Tear Jerker itself.
- Tad Lincoln hearing the news that his father has been shot.
- That poor Congressman who couldn't make up his mind at the vote. After switching several times he abstains.
- More rending is the Congressman whose brother died in the war, and because of it now hates Blacks. During the call for the vote, he's seen praying and then announces that in the memory of his fallen brother he votes No against the amendment.
- Stevens being forced on the Congressional floor to say that he views all men as equal only in the eyes of the law. Viewed as a traitor by both sides, he only barely manages to save himself.
- Robert watching a pile of amputated limbs being dumped into a pit of many others outside an army hospital.
- Then his subsequent argument with his father.
Robert: I have to do this! And I will do it and I don't need your permission to enlist.
Lincoln: That same speech has been made by how many sons to how many fathers since the war began? "I don't need your damn permission, you miserable old goat, I'm gonna enlist anyhow!" And what wouldn't those numberless fathers have given to be able to say to their sons: "I'm commander-in-chief, so in point of fact, without my permission, you ain't enlisting in nothing, nowhere, young man."
- And after Robert storms off, Lincoln whispers, "We can't lose you..."
- The scenes of the battlefield at Petersburg just before the surrender are bone-chilling, with the corpses from both sides numerous, horrific, and sad.
- The scene just before those seem to give a Hope Spot, with Lincoln urging the Confederate representatives to accept peace right there and then. And for a moment, it looks as though they would. Then cue Richmond burning.