I’m sure you can find dozens of reviews of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” an accomplished, brilliant film written by Tony Kushner. This post won’t be one of them. I will agree with this bit of Jackie K. Cooper’s review of the film:
Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is one of the best acted, best written, best directed movies of the year. With a script by Tony Kushner, which is based in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, this film puts history in the right perspective and shows a view of the man and his politics that we have not seen before. Still this is not an action film but rather a dialogue-driven one and therefore it will not be a film for the masses. Audiences must be attentive to every word of the script and in every nuance of the telling. This is something younger audiences as a whole will not be willing to do.
I can’t imagine the texting 24/7 generation being able to sit still and just listen to the politically intricate and sophisticated dialogue.
But there is quite a bit of fun to be had for those of us in the audience who are Law & Order franchise junkies. Lincoln was a treasure trove of casting from the “Dick Wolf Acting Academy”/Dick Wolf NY Actor Employment Agency. Wolf is the producer and creative force behind the franchise. For the uninitiated, the world of L&O includes the long-running original “mothership police/law procedural series, as well as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, Conviction, Law & Order: LA (there are also international spinoffs, including L&O: U.K.).
I came home and checked the IMDB, here are just SOME of the actors who’ve dropped by the L&O universe over the years that you can spot in the flick. None of the actors appeared in all flavors of L&O, but several have at least a hat trick; it looks like Peter McRobbie (George H. Pendleton in Lincoln) wins for appearances in different franchises:
1. Epic Lincoln cameo by S. Epatha Merkerson (Mothership L&O, “Mushrooms”, 1991; then as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren, 1993-2010). With 391 eps under her belt, she’s at the top of the heap for appearances, period.
2. Joseph Cross (L&O, “Obsession”, 2005; SVU, “Home”, 2004, memorable turn as Adam Nesbit)
3. Bruce McGill (SVU, “Anchor”, 2009)
4. Jared Harris (SVU, “Svengali”, 2007)
5. Peter McRobbie (L&O: 1991-1998 various roles, then Judge Walter Bradley 2001-2009; SVU: recurring from 2003-present as Judge Bradley;as Bradley again on Conviction, 2006; L&O: CI, “The Faithful”, 2001)
6. Adam Driver (Law & Order, “Brilliant Disguise”, 2010); SVU, “Theatre Tricks”, 2012)
7. Gloria Reuben (SVU, 2002, then 3x as Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Danielson, 2007-2011)
8. Boris McGiver (L&O, 4x, 1992-2009; CI: 2005, 2009)
9. David Costabile (L&O, “Immortal”, 2010; SVU, “Bully”, 2011)
10. Stephen Spinella (L&O, “High & Low”, 2000, “Alternate”, 2007)
11. David Warshofsky (L&O 3x, 2001,2004, 2007; CI, “Siren Call”, 2006; SVU: “Father’s Shadow”, 2012)
12. Dane DeHaan (SVU, “Lunacy”, 2008)
13. Bill Camp (L&O 3x, 1999, 2004; CI: 2005)
14. Elizabeth Marvel (L&O 2x, Attorney Grubman, 2008, 2009)
15. Byron Jennings (SVU, “Noncompliance”, 2000)
16. Richard Topol (L&O, 3x, 1997, 2001, 2003; SVU, 2x, 2001, 2002; CI: 2002)
17. Lee Pace (SVU, “Guilt”, 2002)
And I’m sure that’s not an exhaustive list; the cast of Lincoln is huge. But it was a hoot putting the useless L&O trivia in my noggin to use.