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Abraham Lincoln (1930)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 856 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 18 critic

An episodic biography of the 16th President of the United States.

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(adapted for the screen by), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: Abraham Lincoln (1930)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William L. Thorne ...
Tom Lincoln (as W.L. Thorne)
...
Helen Freeman ...
Otto Hoffman ...
...
Edgar Dearing ...
Armstrong (as Edgar Deering)
Una Merkel ...
Russell Simpson ...
Charles Crockett ...
Sheriff
Kay Hammond ...
Helen Ware ...
E. Alyn Warren ...
Jason Robards Sr. ...
Herndon (as Jason Robards)
Gordon Thorpe ...
Ian Keith ...
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Storyline

Brief vignettes about Lincoln's early life include his birth, early jobs, (unsubstantiated) affair with Ann Rutledge, courtship of Mary Todd, and the Lincoln-Douglas debates; his presidency and the Civil War are followed in somewhat more detail, though without actual battle scenes; film concludes with the assassination. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The wonder film of the century, about the most romantic figure who ever lived!


Certificate:

TV-G
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 November 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

D.W. Griffith's 'Abraham Lincoln'  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(MovieTone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was D.W. Griffith's first sound film. See more »

Goofs

Subtitles correctly describe the bombardment of Fort Sumter by the Confederates as starting the Civil War, but the film depiction shows the reverse. It has the fort firing on the Confederates. See more »

Quotes

Mary Todd Lincoln: Abraham Lincoln! Will you never learn to keep your feet in shoes?
See more »

Connections

Featured in A Century of Cinema (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

When Johnny Comes Marching Home
(1863) (uncredited)
Music by Louis Lambert
(Psuedonymn for Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore)
In the score near the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"The Most Romantic Figure Who Ever Lived????"
12 February 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Before writing this review I saw that publicity driven line about this film. Abraham Lincoln is a lot of things, but NOBODY ever accused him of being a great romantic. All I can say there is, Huh?

Abraham Lincoln is one of two sound films made by movie pioneer, David W. Griffith. It's also something of an atonement for Griffith who was accused fostering racism with his masterpiece silent work, The Birth of a Nation.

Maybe if Abraham Lincoln had been a better film it would have succeeded in being an atonement. It certainly had one of the best interpreters of Lincoln ever in Walter Huston. The film also in many ways looks like a newsreel of the Civil War era. Our image of that era and you can see it in Ken Burns documentary comes from Matthew Brady's still photographs. In crafting this and The Birth of a Nation, Griffith was heavily influenced by Brady's still photographs.

Lincoln's prarie years were better told in Abe Lincoln in Illinois and Young Mr. Lincoln. Griffith should have stuck to the war years and made it in fact the Lincoln family story. One thing that would have done is eliminated Una Merkel as Ann Rutledge. Una Merkel had many a good role as a wisecracking dame in modern films. But in Abraham Lincoln she's just awful as Lincoln's lost love Ann Rutledge. It's a miracle she had a career after this film and a good one.


14 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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