User:Cullen328/Sandbox/Lincoln images

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The main focus of the discussion here, in my opinion, ought to be whether there is any general principle that would prevent free images of cast members to be used to illustrate an article about an unreleased movie. I see no basis in policy, guidelines or established consensus for that opinion. Once the broad question has been discussed, I am more than happy to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these particular photos.

As to the specific photos here: We are fortunate enough to have several choices of free images available on Wikimedia Commons of Daniel Day-Lewis. Most are from 2007 or 2008, so are fairly recent if not brand new. The one now used in the article is also the one that illustrates the Daniel Day-Lewis biography. I am open to changing it to another free image of Day-Lewis, and I used another image in an earlier edit. So editors who think that an image of him should be in the article are also free to suggest a better image. As for preferring an image where he "looks like Lincoln" as opposed to "a picture where he's merely scruffy and wearing a hat", let me remind Bignole that Abraham Lincoln was very well known for looking scruffy and wearing hats. His consistently scruffy appearance drove his wife crazy, and many of his friends and associates commented on it in great detail over the course of many years.

As for Sally Field, we have only one free image on Commons to work with, although the source image (which includes three people) could be cropped a bit better and less tightly, so that the resolution would be a bit higher. It is a mediocre image at best, and was taken 21 years ago. However, it is the only free image we have of her, and now illustrates her biography Sally Field. Ironically, one slight benefit of the image is that she was much closer in age when the photo was taken to Mary Todd Lincoln at the time of the events of the film than she is now. Field was 43 when that photo was taken and Mary Todd Lincoln was 46 in the first few months of 1865. Spielberg is bold enough to cast Field as a woman 19 years younger, and Field is bold enough to take the role. So the make-up artists will strive to make Sally Field look a few years younger than she was when our photo was taken. In this context, I am willing to accept this photo as useful until we have something better.

What I hope to do, if there is a consensus to keep the images, is to crop all the photos so that the heads are roughly the same size. That will make it a bit easier for readers to ponder the actors and the historical figures that they are portraying. And let me say again that I am completely receptive to changing to better or more current images once those are available.

Rusted Auto Parts has again removed the photos from the article, with an edit summary of "again, these photos aren't exactly necessary. It's common to add photos after the film is released, but for now set pics are allowed" My request is for a better explanation of why these photos should be excluded form the article. The edit summary seems to imply that there is a policy or guideline of some official statement of consensus that photos of cast members shouldn't be included in an article until after the film is released. I have tried to review the guidelines at WP:FILM and have been unable to find any such written consensus. WP:FILMNFI says that "Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia, so free images are preferred in its articles". All of the images I have tried to add are freely licensed. It says nothing about excluding cast photos until release. WP:FILMSHOT has a similar statement, "Wikipedia is a free content encyclopedia, so whenever possible, articles under WikiProject Films should contain free content." The images I want to add comply with this, and nothing is said discouraging cast photos before release.

Saying "these photos aren't exactly necessary" isn't a good argument to keep them out, as no content we add is "necessary" on Wikipedia, and everything we do here is voluntary.

As for the statement that it is "common to add photos after the film is released", in a few minutes of searching, I found these articles about unreleased films that include cast photos:

If the statement "for now set pics are allowed" is intended to apply that cast photos are not allowed, then I ask Rusted Auto Parts to quote any such policy or guideline. Thank you.

In Team of Rivals, Goodwin describes the following episodes of the final months of Lincoln's life in detail:[1]

Daniel Day-Lewis
Abraham Lincoln
Sally Field
Mary Todd Lincoln
Top to bottom: Daniel Day-Lewis will portray Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field will portray Mary Todd Lincoln


  1. ^ a b Goodwin, Doris Kearns. [[Team of Rivals]]. Simon & Schuster. pp. 686–754. ISBN 9780743270755.  URL–wikilink conflict (help)