This dramatization begins with Lincoln's first inaugural address. We see his relationship with his wife and their young son Tad, Lincoln receiving news of the firing on Fort Sumter, disagreements within his cabinet, their dark anticipation of Lee's victory at Gettysburg, Lincoln's characteristic quiet at the news of victory there, the President's pardoning of a Wisconsin boy who's fallen asleep at his post, Tad's illness, and the Gettysburg address. Written by
Brief outline of the Lincoln years is full of clichéd material...
First of all, FRANK McGLYNN is not the best choice to play the lanky president who gave the Gettysburg Address after the Civil War changed American politics forever.
He's excessively hammy, especially when speech-making, and bears only a slight resemblance to Honest Abe.
NANA BRYANT as Mrs. Lincoln is much too sensible and natural looking for the role. However, DICKIE MOORE is effective as Tad, the ill-fated youngest son who is gravely ill when Lincoln leaves his Washington, D.C. residence to deliver the Gettysburg Address, against his wife's wishes.
All of the usual facts are stated briefly so that it's really a very compressed look at American history, but probably suitable for young viewers who are just learning about the period.
Words like "strong union," "keep the flag flying," "freedom to slaves," "footsteps in the snow at Valley Forge," etc., give the documentary some talking points that are only able to hint at the overall facts.
Might have been more commanding with a better actor as Lincoln, it seems rather ordinary in its treatment of subject matter.
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