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>
Because Walter Huston was much shorter than the real Abraham Lincoln, he wore six-inch elevator shoes through most of the film. This is particularly noticeable in the long shots. See more »
General Lee repeatedly addresses an officer as Colonel, or Colonel Marshall, but the officer wears the insignia of a Captain on his collar. 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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It seems incredible the leaps and bounds that were made in less than ten years of cinema back some 90 years ago. D W Griffith's portrait of the great, noble pioneer in U.S politics has all the standard techniques and flourishes that now seem to have become the norm.
Walter Houston looks to be perfectly cast as 'Abe' - towering and dominant without being domineering and having that air of quiet authority. That he was humanitarian and resisted conflict whenever able to. It was nice also to have wife Mary's domestic quibbles thrown in, making this an interesting character study rather than a stiff history lesson.
As for history, no, I didn't learn a great deal, but didn't expect to. I wanted more to see how one of the great pioneering film directors portrayed another Great Man. The wonderfully produced epitaph in the final seconds showed testament to the power of them both.
Yes, the film's sound is hissy and pretty scratchy (I viewed it on-line at Internet Archive) but compared to most movies, certainly of that era and posted on that site, I found it surprisingly enjoyable and effortless.
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