Script To Screen: “Lincoln”

A memorable scene from the 2012 movie Lincoln, written by Tony Kushner.

Plot Summary: As the Civil War continues to rage, America’s president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

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INT. ODD FELLOWS’ HALL, WASHINGTON - NIGHT

Here is the movie version of the scene:

This is a dialogue-driven scene and at the hands of such a talent as Kushner, probably a good idea to stick to the text which is what the actors Sally Field and Daniel Day-Lewis do.

One of the single best things you can do to learn the craft of screenwriting is to read the script while watching the movie. After all a screenplay is a blueprint to make a movie and it’s that magic of what happens between printed page and final print that can inform how you approach writing scenes. That is the purpose of Script to Screen, a weekly series on GITS where we analyze a memorable movie scene and the script pages that inspired it.

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