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Abraham Lincoln (1930)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 865 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 19 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

D.W. Griffith had previously filmed Abraham Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theater in The Birth of a Nation (1915). See more »

Goofs

In Ford's theater, Booth entered through a door behind Mary Todd, to the president's right. In reality, he entered through a door to the back left of Lincoln, and fired just below Lincoln's left ear. The movie also shows him jumping from the box through the far left opening (facing the front); once again, he actually jumped through the right opening, directly in front of the president, nicking the corner of Washington's picture with the spur on his ankle, causing him to stumble when he fell, breaking his ankle. See more »

Quotes

[an aide suggests that General Lee surrender]
Gen. Robert E. Lee: [Grasping sword] Surrender? My poor army! Why I'd rather die a thousand deaths than to do that to them.
Aide: There, there, General. You must lie down and rest.
Gen. Robert E. Lee: [Introspectively] Rest... that's a beautiful word.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

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 »

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User Reviews

 
D.W. Griffith's last hurrah: a tribute to Abraham Lincoln
9 October 1998 | by (Culpeper, VA) – See all my reviews

This film was to be D.W. Griffith's big comeback production, and it did very well for "the old master." In fact, it was chosen as number two of the Ten Best Pictures of 1930 by The Film Daily, just below "All Quiet On The Western Front!" Sadly, due to the horrible condition of the available prints of this film, no really fair analysis can be made today. As with so many early talkies, Abraham Lincoln is now a sickly shadow of what it was in 1930. To begin with, it's original running time is listed at approximately 96 minutes. The version presented on Laserdisc runs 83 minutes.The film shows signs of wear and duping. The soundtrack is horribly distorted and, in several scenes, seems to be missing totally, replaced by terrible music from a stock library. Even so, if one can look past these things and take the acting style in the context of its time, one can see that Griffith had not lost his flair and would have probably continued directing had the fates (and probably Hollywood) not conspired against him. There are wonderful cinematic moments, reminiscent of some of his earlier triumphs. This is a film that cries out for restoration but, alas, there is most likely little or nothing left to restore. UPDATE: In 2008, KINO International released a DVD version of Abraham Lincoln that is far more complete than the old Laserdisc I reviewed from in 1998. While some soundtrack from the Prologue is still missing, KINO has made up for it by adding subtitles for the missing dialogue. Also, the picture quality is far superior to anything else available. It is evident that much effort went into making this forgotten film much more watchable and available!


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