Bill Oberst Jr. as Abraham Lincoln Reciting the “Gettysburg Address”

I just saw the video clip below pop up in my Facebook news feed, so I thought I would give it a watch. The footage is of Bill Oberst Jr. reciting the famous “Gettysburg Address” as Abraham Lincoln. His accent and mannerisms are perfect, and his reading is flawless (the background music also adds to the flow). One would think this was taken from a historical epic, right? But what if I told you it was actually lifted from Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies? You’re probably incredulous at that prospect, but I just wanted to share this with you because I thought it was a great clip. The film may have a preposterous subplot, much like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but I guess it shows after all, that intertwined with a fantasy or horror story, there can be something good and educational located within. This is a clip I would have no problem showing to a history class, when teaching about the event and needing something to illustrate it. Perhaps I would not tell the name of the film to my students, to spare myself a classroom full of laughter and intrigue immediately before a serious subject, but I would still show it nonetheless. I was very impressed! Please enjoy:

As you know, I interviewed Bill last month, after he stumbled upon an article I had written on these so-called history “mock-ups”. Though he is a star on the horror circuit, the role that actually got him his big break was as General William T. Sherman in the History Channel documentary production Sherman’s March. May I be so bold as to suggest that maybe Bill take a short break from horror films and star in or produce a historical feature, even if it is lower budget?

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35 thoughts on “Bill Oberst Jr. as Abraham Lincoln Reciting the “Gettysburg Address”

  1. That is a great recitation of the address. I remember from your interview that Mr. Oberst wanted this part to be done right, because it might be the only time these kids watching it would hear this great speech from a truly great man. Well-done, indeed!

    1. Gettysbuff

      You just made yourself look stupid there, Steven. You whine all the time about historical innaccuracies yet you applaud this highly INNACURATE rendition of the address. SIGH. You obviously don’t know EVERYTHING and you certainly do not know the words of the Gettysburg Address. EPIC FAIL. This is a terrible example and no children should see this! Accuracy is everything, right?

      1. Gettysbuff

        Oh and i forgot, there wasn’t rapturous applause after the REAL Mr Lincoln gave his address either. Hardly anyone clapped and they didn’t know what to make of it. The speech was ridiculed in newspapers and has only been elevated to a great speech throughout the sands of time. Quite an important part of history to get wrong i would say, don’t you? Kids would get the impression that everyone LOVED the speech if they were all clapping immensely wouldn’t they? BIG SIGH AGAIN. Still, if you can f*ck up the lines of the Gettysburg Address then i suppose you’ve already made the biggest mistake one could ever make so it doesn’t really matter! LOL.

  2. Gettysbuff

    I see your point, Greg (which was exactly the same point that I MYSELF made about AL:VH which both you and Stephen Hancock snubbed). And this wouldn’t be so bad if it hadn’t missed the following lines from the immortal Address:

    “But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.”

    “…to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here…”

    “…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion…”

    Go back and listen again Greg, it’s terrible. AL:VH did a better job and if i can find a clip of THAT particular rendition i will be sure to let you know. I believe that one does a better job of making your point than this one. After all, accuracy is EVERYTHING, right? 😉 LOL

    1. Do you have nothing better to do than nitpick every damn thing me and Greg showcase on our blogs? I mean, I noticed the edits from the address? I noticed that the look of the crowd and location isn’t 100% correct? Both of us were commenting on Mr. Oberst’s performance of the address as Lincoln, which is spot-on!

      1. I’ll echo what Steve says here. Gettysbuff, I respect your opinions and your constant readership of our blogs, but I’ll be damned if every other comment you leave is not an insult. My opinion of these “mock-ups” have changed, partly due to your championing of them as still being entertaining and useful. You then go ahead and rip this article apart, and insult another poster. Someone as educated as yourself should be able to articulate a better argument than calling another poster stupid and making me feel stupid as well for posting this.

      2. Gettysbuff

        Then you should have mentioned that in your comment instead of just generally applauding it. It’s not obvious at all from your words that you noticed the GLARING ERRORS, and most readers wouldn’t notice that either. In reality i think that you didn’t notice the errors and now you’re getting all defensive, haha. You can’t have it both ways ok? If you want accuracy then you cannot applaud a rendition of the Address that misses large chunks from it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in a serious film or not, it should be given proper treatment either way. Just admit that you didn’t notice the omissions and/or that you don’t actually know all of the words of the address like i do, wouldya? Don’t be ashamed, we can’t all know everything about everything. I’m sure your knowledge of uniforms is better than mine is and i’m not ashamed to say that.

        And by the way, as you did with “Crappysburg” i think you’ll find that it is you who is the nitpicker not me. I just made a simple and fair point and you became defensive, that’s all. Don’t assume that people are going to just have some kind of 6th sense and just KNOW that you noticed the omissions even though you didnt mention them. Purleese.

      3. Gettysbuff

        Sorry if i made you feel stupid Greg, but that wasn’t my intention. I wasn’t targeting anything that you said per se, but more the fact that neither of you (especially Steven) failed to mention the errors when you “rip apart” anything else with errors. And i don’t think i should have to apologize for using the word stupid (and i’m not going to either), because he DID make himself look kinda stupid. There are much worse things that i could have said (and i wanted to), people shouldn’t be so sensitive. Sheesh. And i only use that word when i believe it is deserved, i won’t just throw it around. It’s just Cause and Effect. If i see something stupid i am going to say so and that is my right according to the laws of this country. It is not offensive unless you are overly sensitive. It is a fitting word for a given situation. But if you want me to be “articulate”, how about the word ‘hypocritical’? Or is that off limits too? Talk about censorship, Jeez!

        Again, if one is going to applaude something for other reasons, then it should be pointed out why that particular thing is being applauded and not just in a general sense. Any errors should also be pointed out. You’re a decent critic, Greg, so you should understand this. Just like a movie review the good and bad points should be explained and not just given 4/5 stars or “that was an interesting movie”. Just face it, Steven was getting defensive because he either a) didn’t notice, or b) he doesn’t know all of the Address. And there’s no shame in that. All i object to is going all out saying how wonderful this rendition was when it is full of errors. How can you attack me for that. Take the word “stupid” out of my comment and then dare and tell me i said something wrong. For god’s sake! Why can i never be right? All because i said the word stupid i get attacked when i’m the one actually making a fair point.

        You both missed the errors (or just didn’t mention them for some strange reason) and for that you should be apologizing to me and your readers. For once i am right.

      4. Gettysbuff

        By the way the above comment at 4:33 was for steven not you Greg. You managed to get in your reply at 4:31 whilst i was still typing. Just wanna make that crystal clear.

    2. A few lines being omitted from a speech for a film is not that big of a deal, as long as the essence of the speech remains intact. In this case, I believe it was. And Mr. Oberst comes off as believable in his recitation, and it is very moving.

      1. Gettysbuff

        Much better Steven, well done you! Thank you. See what you can do when you try?

        However, had the Gettysburg Address been incorporated into, let’s say, “Crappysburg”, for example, and it would have left lines out, then your response would have been wildly different from the one above – wouldn’t it? And don’t try and tell me it wouldn’t when we both know your extreme bias when it comes to that show. That’s why i find you a bit (WARNING: The next word may be potentially offensive to those of a sensitive nature so look away now if this is you) – hypocritical.

        Go and watch AL:VH when it’s out on DVD/Blu-Ray and give the same credit to the Gettysburg Address part of the film that you did with this one and then, only then i may change my opinion of you. That goes for you too, Greg (minus the opinion part if you know what i mean). But until then i will give you both a heads-up even though you won’t believe me because you don’t respect anything i have to say and never have done – it’s good.

      2. Gettysbuff

        And in case you don’t believe me, the following is an extract of a review by Gabor Boritt (along with his son, Jake) who is one of the premier historians on the Civil War & Gettysburg (keen buffs like yourselves should already know of him, but in case you don’t i will also fill you in below):

        “At least the portrayal of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is largely accurate. Even the crowded hilltop and fading fall colors on the distant trees are appropriate — something often missed by historical documentaries. The famous words he speaks are straight from Lincoln’s pen: “Four score and seven years ago … that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” And just as Lincoln said “the world will little note, nor long remember” the words he spoke, he certainly had no idea that 149 years later, giant projected digital electronic moving pictures would show him killing CG-enhanced vampires”

        “Gabor Boritt taught history at Gettysburg College for 30 years. His books include Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream and The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech Nobody Knows. Jake Boritt is a filmmaker who is currently producing The Gettysburg Story for broadcast on public television. Together they created The Gettysburg Story: Battlefield Auto Tour.”

        Full review can be found here: http://popwatch.ew.com/2012/06/26/abraham-lincoln-vampire-hunter-lincoln-versus-vampires-history-versus-hollywood/

        Gabor’s wikipedia page is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabor_Boritt

  3. Gettysbuff

    Oh so now i’m being moderated? Thanks a lot Greg. Oh the shame! Will you delete everything i say or only future comments that contain the letters S,T,U,P,I and D, in that order? I guess you’re gonna vote for Obama in November also, huh? Good god!

  4. Gettysbuff

    And in case you don’t believe me, the following is an extract of a review by Gabor Boritt (along with his son, Jake) who is one of the premier historians on the Civil War & Gettysburg (keen buffs like yourselves should already know of him, but in case you don’t i will also fill you in below):

    “At least the portrayal of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is largely accurate. Even the crowded hilltop and fading fall colors on the distant trees are appropriate — something often missed by historical documentaries. The famous words he speaks are straight from Lincoln’s pen: “Four score and seven years ago … that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” And just as Lincoln said “the world will little note, nor long remember” the words he spoke, he certainly had no idea that 149 years later, giant projected digital electronic moving pictures would show him killing CG-enhanced vampires”

    “Gabor Boritt taught history at Gettysburg College for 30 years. His books include Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream and The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech Nobody Knows. Jake Boritt is a filmmaker who is currently producing The Gettysburg Story for broadcast on public television. Together they created The Gettysburg Story: Battlefield Auto Tour.”

    Full review can be found here: http://popwatch.ew.com/2012/06/26/abraham-lincoln-vampire-hunter-lincoln-versus-vampires-history-versus-hollywood/

    Gabor’s wikipedia page is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabor_Boritt

  5. "Vampire Hunter" fan

    And in case you don’t believe me, the following is an extract of a review by Gabor Boritt (along with his son, Jake) who is one of the premier historians on the Civil War & Gettysburg (keen buffs like yourselves should already know of him, but in case you don’t i will also fill you in below):

    “At least the portrayal of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is largely accurate. Even the crowded hilltop and fading fall colors on the distant trees are appropriate — something often missed by historical documentaries. The famous words he speaks are straight from Lincoln’s pen: “Four score and seven years ago … that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” And just as Lincoln said “the world will little note, nor long remember” the words he spoke, he certainly had no idea that 149 years later, giant projected digital electronic moving pictures would show him killing CG-enhanced vampires”

    “Gabor Boritt taught history at Gettysburg College for 30 years. His books include Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream and The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech Nobody Knows. Jake Boritt is a filmmaker who is currently producing The Gettysburg Story for broadcast on public television. Together they created The Gettysburg Story: Battlefield Auto Tour.”

    Full review can be found here: http://popwatch.ew.com/2012/06/26/abraham-lincoln-vampire-hunter-lincoln-versus-vampires-history-versus-hollywood/

    Gabor’s wikipedia page is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabor_Boritt

  6. Gettysbuff

    Aww c’mon Gregory, why you delete my last comment pertaining to the movie review, there was nothing offensive about it?

  7. Greg,

    Thank you so very kindly for the inclusion of this on your blog. Getting even an edited version of the Gettysburg Address into this fantastical film was important to me. I was honored to have the opportunity to deliver it. Had this been a historical film I might have been able to do all of it, but It was mind it was the complete text, which I have known and loved since grade school.

    I also appreciate your kind words re doing more historically-themed work. I would love to. History was my first love and remains a strong passion. Perhaps some filmmaker might read your views and decide to let me step back in time before a camera again. That would be so wonderful.

    with appreciation,
    Bill

    1. Gettysbuff

      Bill, just wanted to point out what a great job that you did in portraying Mr Lincoln/delivering the Address in terms of gravitas, etc. My criticisms were not directed at you but at somebody who posted a comment on here regarding aspects of your performance that i deemed to be hypocritical. You probably do not know all the details of the many online discussions i have had with this individual over at least the last year or so about several subjects, so i apologize if it seemed i was criticizing you personally. I assure you i was not. Thanks for commenting and i too wish you all the success in the future.

      1. Gettysbuff

        Haha, very true! Although i was refering more to my comments on AL:VH and what you thought of what Gabor Boritt said. Do you believe either of us?

      2. As far as I know, I never attacked AL:VH for anything to do with accuracy, just its subplot. I never saw the film either to comment further. I met Gabor last summer, so I trust what he has to say.

  8. Yeah so the entire speech wasn’t included in this film. So what? The words that are included are accurate. Gettysbuff, you are incredibly rude and insulting to Greg and Steven (not Stephen).

      1. Gettysbuff

        Um yeah but that’s how it sounds. Not Wes as in Yes, Less, Mess, etc. 😉 Chill out dude!

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