Kenyon in the Movies: Edwin M. Stanton

I heard the ice cream machine is broken, Mr. Lincoln. Isn’t there anything we can do?

Kenyon’s illustrious acting department has birthed such legends as Academy Award-winning actor Paul Newman and Emmy Award-winning actress Allison Janney. However, in this season’s Oscar race, it is not an acting department that’s generating buzz, but one of our political alumni. That’s right folks, in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, our very own Edwin M. Stanton gets his moment in the spotlight! Read on for more information about old Edwin and his portrayal in the movie.

  • Alumni Name: Edwin M. Stanton
  • You May Know Him As: Lincoln’s Secretary of War–the guy whose possible removal sparked the Johnson impeachment trial

Won the ‘Best Beard’ superlative in the Civil War yearbook.

  • You May Know Him As: D-Day in National Lampoon’s Animal House
  • Breakout Moment: We all know that Tommy Lee Jones has gotten great reviews for his portrayal of Radical Republican leader Thaddeus Stevens, but it seems that the Academy has forgotten the real shining supporting actor of the film. For example, as tensions run high, Stanton is in a telegraph room, sending directions to the army on what they should be doing. Good old Honest Abe comes down to see what’s going on in the field, and settles in for a nice story. Stanton, however, having sat through one too many off-topic lectures by Professor Scott (because Professor Scott has been here since the 1830s, right…?) yells, “You’re going to tell one of your stories! I can’t stand to hear another one of your stories!” and walks away, flustered, like any mature, Kenyon-educated person would.

Sadly, Stanton shows no vampire-killing ability, unlike the President.

  • Where you can see it: Lincoln, having racked up more Academy Award nominations than any other movie this year, can still be seen in most theaters. The Premiere Movie Theater in Mt. Vernon has three showings today. Lincoln will be released on DVD and Bluray on March 23, 2013. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll be camped out at Walmart to make sure that you get your copy before they sell out.

4 responses

  1. Great movie. Went with friends thinking this was either going to be an action vampire-killing story or action battlefield killing one. Alas, it was a thought provoking political thriller that held me spellbound with the machinations of Lincoln and others. Certainly glad that the Republicans held sway and were able to overcome the Democratic objections. Amazing how things would be so different today if then things had not gone as they did. Talk about a man for his time. Lincoln was it and Daniel Day Lewis should get the nod for the Academy Award. It was like Lincoln was actually on the screen. Great movie! Spielberg deserves kudos for making it.

  2. “Ice Cream”? Is that the best kenyon can do concerning maybe it’s most influential grad? There is a book written by Kenyon grad Peter Dickson titled “Lincoln and His Kenyon Men”. It gets no respect.It should. Who knew of Kenyon’s importance to US history until that book came out? Why do so few, even at Kenyon, STILL not know it? Too much ice cream & not enough books in that “new” bookstore?
    Of course,see the movie….then read the book.

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