The Day Lincoln Was Shot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Day Lincoln Was Shot
The Day Lincol was Shot DVD.png
DVD Cover
Directed by John Gray
Produced by Thomas John Kane
Written by John Gray
Tim Metcalfe
Starring Lance Henriksen
Rob Morrow
Music by Mark Snow
Cinematography Ronald Victor Garcia
Edited by Scott Vickrey
Distributed by TNT
Release date
12 April 1998 [1]
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Day Lincoln Was Shot is a 1998 American television film based on the book by Jim Bishop. It is a re-creation of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, co-written and directed by John Gray, and stars Lance Henriksen as Abraham Lincoln and Rob Morrow as John Wilkes Booth.[2]

The book had previously been adapted in 1956 as a live television play starring Raymond Massey as Lincoln, Lillian Gish as Mary, and Jack Lemmon as John Wilkes Booth. It was telecast on the CBS anthology series Ford Star Jubilee.


The movie shows the events leading up to and after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, as well as a look into the personal lives of both men. Lincoln is relieved that Richmond has fallen and the Civil War is over. He has contentious discussions with his Cabinet about the treatment of the defeated South. They want the Confederates punished while Lincoln argues for mercy. The President is despised by many Southerners and receives numerous death threats. Lincoln has a rather fatalistic attitude about these, however he has a disturbing dream about hearing cries in the White House and seeing a coffin in the East Room surrounded by mourners crying out that an assassin has murdered the President. Booth is the most popular actor in the country (it is pointed out that only Lincoln has his picture taken more). Coming from an acting family, he feels overshadowed by his father and brother and longs to make his mark on history. A fanatical Confederate sympathizer, Booth sees Lincoln as a tyrant and slavery as a proper way of life. He assembles a motley group of Confederates including former Soldier Lewis Paine and simple-minded David Herold. They form a plot to kidnap the President. However, the war ends and Booth is outraged when he hears Lincoln making a speech promising African-Americans citizenship and the vote. His plan to kidnap turns into a murder plot. He decides to assassinate Lincoln at Ford's Theatre and orders Paine to kill Secretary Of State William Seward and orders another accomplice to kill Vice President Andrew Johnson. Booth kills Lincoln and escapes after breaking his leg jumping to the stage. Paine attacks Seward who survives and the Vice President is unharmed. After an intense manhunt, Booth is shot and killed inside a burning barn surrounded by federal troops. He dies on the front porch saying that he died for his country. The credits reveal that Booth's confederates were put on trial and hanged. Ironically, Lincoln's successor Johnson was much harsher on the defeated South then Lincoln would have been.


Home Releases[edit]

The film was first released on VHS in 2000 from Warner Home Video. The film is now available on DVD via the burn-on-demand Warner Archive service.[3]


  1. ^
  2. ^ [1] Archived August 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ oriolesbball61. "Day Lincoln Was Shot, The | | Warner Bros". Retrieved 2015-03-12. 

External links[edit]