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Heartwarming / Lincoln

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  • The opening scenes where after being mildly accosted by two black union soldiers for unequal pay, Lincoln is interrupted by two white men who nervously say they were there at Gettysburg when he made his address. When he asked if they remember what he said, they start reciting the Gettysburg Address but fumble on the last part. The black soldier who had been most critical of Lincoln recites the end as he walks off.
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  • Lincoln raises the flag after his second inauguration, and the crowd bursts into singing "We Are Coming Father Abraham".
  • Thaddeus Stevens, sharp-tongued and rather Jerkass abolitionist, rushes home with the official bill of the 13th Amendment he championed so much. He shows it to his mixed-race housekeeper Lydia Hamilton Smith, whom he considers his common-law wife. They share a tender moment as they go to bed: Thaddeus with his wig and frown off for the only time in the movie, Lydia reading each section with happy tears. Awww, the things one does for love...
    Rep. Stevens: A gift for you... [said as if he had picked up some fruit on the way home]
    • Before that, Representative Stevens taking the bill, his voice trembling for the first time in the entire film as he says that he'll return it in the morning, "creased, but unharmed." It really drives home just how much this entire fight meant for him.
  • The whole moment where the amendment is passed definitely counts, what with the cheering and the singing, Rep. Ashley crying, and Rep. Yeaman looking up around the chamber, smiling.
  • Lincoln holding his son at the window, late in the movie. First, a churchbell, then another, then suddenly dozens, joined by numerous cannon shots...and they know the Amendment has passed.
  • Lincoln finding Tad asleep on the floor, and curling up with him.
    • Verges into Tearjerker when Tad whispers that he misses his brother Willie, who had died a year before the time the movie takes place.
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  • At the end of the film, hearing Lincoln deliver his second inaugural address really helps take the sting out of his death in the previous scenes.
  • Lincoln is seen late at night filling out pardons for young soldiers who panicked and fled in battle. Very much Truth in Television: Generals got angry with him in Real Life because he wasn't leaving them many examples to other soldiers to keep discipline.
  • When the voting for the Amendment gets close to the wire, Lincoln directly approaches two wavering Democrats and - rather than bribe them as the lobbyists had tried - tries to appeal to the better angels of their nature, arguing over the simple wrongness of slavery.
    • Lincoln talks to the second Democratic congressman who still has a mourning wreath and black armband in honor of the Democrat's brother killed in battle. The congressman hates the war, and in his own logic hates the Blacks as the reason why he won't vote for the Amendment. When the vote is called, the congressman is praying fervently... and then states in memory of his brother he votes No... Lincoln still offers genuinely sincere condolences to the congressman before departing.
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  • After the Confederate surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, as General Robert E. Lee prepares to leave on his horse, General Grant and all his his officers including Robert Lincoln take their hat off in salute. Truth in Television as Robert E. Lee was highly respected even by opponents, and is still shown great respect today by historians.
  • Congressman Yeaman. When he is initially called to vote, he so meekly states his vote that the roll caller couldn't hear him. Suddenly, when asked to clarify, he grows a spine, and owns his vote. He yells his aye vote as long as his lungs would allow, as the other proponents echo him and pat him on the shoulder vigorously while the opponents start yelling "Traitor!" in response. At the end when the passing vote is confirmed, he joins in the revelry, singing "Battle Cry of Freedom" with his fellow aye-voters.
  • The "Battle Cry of Freedom" revelry spills out into the streets as ol' Tad gimps back home after the vote is done.