Karl, a German diplomat in Paris, discovers that his fiancee, Diane, has been cheating on him. He tells her that he would rather marry a "girl of the streets" than her. Outraged, Diane ... See full summary »
Geoffrey, a young and impoverished writer, is desperately in love with Mavis, who lives at his boardinghouse and is also pursuing a writing career. Unable to marry her because of his ... See full summary »
Judge Foster throws his daughter out because she married a circus man. She leaves her baby girl with Prof. McGargle before she dies. Years later Sally is a dancer with whom Peyton, a son of... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
Reviews and other references credit Fred Warren with the role of Gen. Ulysses Grant and E. Alyn Warren playing Stephen A. Douglas, but the print shown on Turner Classic Movies credits E. Alyn Warren for both roles. That print, however, is not original. It is an Art Cinema Associates Inc. re-release, with the title card changed accordingly. Fact of the matter is that E. Alyn Warren, who often worked under the name of Fred Warren, plays both roles--Stephen A. Douglas credited as E. Alyn Warren and Ulysses S. Grant credited as Fred Warren. See more »
Due to the Blue Laws prevalent at the time, no newspaper in America could publish on Sunday in 1809 (Abraham Lincoln was born on Sunday February 12, 1809). See more »
[an aide suggests that General Lee surrender]
Gen. Robert E. Lee:
Surrender? My poor army! Why I'd rather die a thousand deaths than to do that to them.
There, there, General. You must lie down and rest.
Gen. Robert E. Lee:
Rest... that's a beautiful word.
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Battle Hymn of the Republic
(ca 1856) (uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1862)
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
Sung by an offscreen chorus during a civil war scene See more »
"A nightmare of the mind and nerves" indeed, for Griffith and us!
No doubt about it, D.W. Griffith was one of the great directors of the early silent era. "Birth of a Nation," "Intolerance," "Orphans of the Storm," even a lesser-known film like "The Musketeers of Pig Alley" are all now regarded as classics. Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, Griffith couldn't maintain his success record, and, by the time he made his first all-talking film, "Abraham Lincoln," he was in the midst of a major slump that he just couldn't pull out of. The film is static, stilted, and moves at a snail's pace. Walter Huston, Ian Keith, Henry B. Walthall, and most of the rest of the cast all had distinguished careers in sound films, but here they are merely wasted, unable to cope with the tedious dialogue and Griffith's uncharacteristicly stiff direction. Worst-served of all, though, is Una Merkel, here in one of her first films. I can't believe that Anne Rutlidge could have been such a sugary simp as we're led to believe by her performance here, and her death scene is only exceeded for bathos by Ali McGraw in the last scene of "Love Story." In sum, a major disappointment, a good cast wasted, and a sad farewell form one of American film's true pioneers. Griffith described making this film as "a nightmare of the mind and nerves," and, unfortunately, that's just what it is, for him and us.
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