MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,620 this week

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  9 June 1939 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,429 users  
Reviews: 62 user | 48 critic

A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case.

Director:

Writer:

(original screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

On TV

Airs Fri. Dec. 26, 12:45 PM on TCM

Related News

Viennale 2014. Cinema's Torch
| MUBI
Our Daily Bread #5
| MUBI

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 12 Jun 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 18 Mar 2013
 
a list of 34 titles
created 17 Jun 2013
 
a list of 34 titles
created 01 Sep 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Young Mr. Lincoln.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutinary War begins.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver
Tobacco Road (1941)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Shiftless Jeeter Lester and his family of hillbilly stereotypes live in a rural backwater where their ancestors were once wealthy planters. Their slapstick existence is threatened by a ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: Charley Grapewin, Gene Tierney, Marjorie Rambeau
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was imprisoned after innocently treating President Lincoln's assassin in 1865.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Warner Baxter, Gloria Stuart, Claude Gillingwater
Comedy | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: Charles Winninger, Arleen Whelan, John Russell
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Aboard the freighter Glencairn, the lives of the crew are lived out in fear, loneliness, suspicion and cameraderie. The men smuggle drink and women aboard, fight with each other, spy on ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter
The Informer (1935)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1920, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster
Stagecoach (1939)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Louisiana con man enters his steamboat into a winner-take-all race with a rival while trying to find a witness to free his nephew, about to be hung for murder.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Anne Shirley, Irvin S. Cobb
Judge Priest (1934)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Judge Priest, a proud Confederate veteran, uses common sense and considerable humanity to dispense justice in a small town in the Post-Bellum Kentucky.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Tom Brown, Anita Louise
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A Western retelling the tale of the Shoot-out at the OK Corral.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature
The Fugitive (1947)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Anti--Catholic and anti-cleric policies in the Mexican state of Tabasco lead the revolutionary government to persecute the state's last remaining priest.

Directors: John Ford, Emilio Fernández
Stars: Henry Fonda, Dolores del Rio, Pedro Armendáriz
Doctor Bull (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Doc Bull, a no-nonsense country doctor who has served his community for decades, fights small-town prejudice and provincialism in several crises.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Marian Nixon, Vera Allen
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Abigail Clay
Marjorie Weaver ...
Arleen Whelan ...
Sarah Clay
Eddie Collins ...
Efe Turner
Pauline Moore ...
Richard Cromwell ...
Matt Clay
...
Prosecutor John Felder
Judith Dickens ...
Carrie Sue (credit only)
Eddie Quillan ...
Adam Clay
Spencer Charters ...
Judge Herbert A. Bell
...
John Palmer Cass
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tiny Jones ...
Townswoman (scenes deleted) (as Elizabeth Jones)
Eddy Waller ...
Father (scenes deleted)
Clarence Wilson ...
Dr. Mason (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

Ten years in the life of Abraham Lincoln, before he became known to his nation and the world. He moves from a Kentucky cabin to Springfield, Illinois, to begin his law practice. He defends two men accused of murder in a political brawl, suffers the death of his girlfriend Ann, courts his future wife Mary Todd, and agrees to go into politics. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of Abraham Lincoln that has NEVER been told!

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 June 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El joven Lincoln  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The brief "My politics are short and sweet" speech Lincoln makes when he announces his candidacy for the Illinois state legislature was taken from the speech Lincoln actually gave when he did that. When he says he's for "a system of internal improvements," he means what would now be called "investing in infrastructure." See more »

Goofs

Lincoln is shown playing "Dixie" on a Jew's harp. That portion of the film is ostensibly set in the year 1837, but most reliable sources indicate that "Dixie" wasn't written, publicly performed nor published before 1859. During the Civil War, Lincoln was known to be partial to the tune (it was almost as popular in the North in the 1860s as in the South), but it's unlikely he would have heard it in the 1830s. See more »

Quotes

Abe Lincoln: [questioning Cass about Scrub's death] What were you and Scrub arguing about?
John Palmer Cass: I'd rather not say.
Abe Lincoln: Oh, you'd rather not say. Well, Jack, I'd rather you did say.
John Palmer Cass: All right. We was arguin' about politics.
Abe Lincoln: Well, that's something new to argue about.
John Palmer Cass: I've learned some since, but I told Scrub I thought you had at least as much political sense in you as Stephen Douglas. Scrub got as mad as a wet hen and said you didn't!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Henry Fonda: The Man and His Movies (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Turkey in the Straw
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played on a Jew's-harp by Henry Fonda
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Young Lincoln Gets the 'Ford' Treatment!
2 July 2006 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

1939 is universally accepted as the greatest year in Hollywood history, with more classic films released than in any other, and John Ford directed three of the best, "Stagecoach", "Drums Along the Mohawk", and this beautiful homage to frontier days and a young backwoods lawyer destined to eventually save the Union, "Young Mr. Lincoln".

With the world plunging into a war that America dreaded, but knew it would be drawn into, Abraham Lincoln was much on people's minds, in 1939, as someone who had faced the same dilemma in his own life, and had triumphed. On Broadway, Robert E. Sherwood's award-winning "Abe Lincoln in Illinois", with Raymond Massey's physically dead-on portrayal, was playing to packed houses (it would be filmed in 1940). Carl Sandburg's continuation of his epic biography, "Abraham Lincoln: The War Years", was published, and quickly became a best seller. President Roosevelt frequently referred to Lincoln in speeches, and the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, D.C., became the most popular landmark in town (a fact that Frank Capra made good use of, in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington").

All this was not lost on Darryl F. Zanuck, at 20th Century Fox; as soon as he read Lamar Trotti's screenplay of Lincoln's early days as a lawyer, he designated it a 'prestige' production, and assigned John Ford to direct, and Henry Fonda, to star.

Fonda did NOT want to play Lincoln; he felt he couldn't do justice to the 'Great Emancipator', and feared a bad performance would damage his career. Even a filmed make-up test, in which he was stunned by how much he would resemble Lincoln, wouldn't change his mind. According to Fonda, John Ford, whom he'd never worked with, cussed him out royally, at their first meeting, and explained he wasn't portraying the Lincoln of Legend, but a young "jackanape" country lawyer facing his first murder trial. Humbled, Fonda took the role. (John Ford offered a different scenario of the events, but the outcome was the same!) Obviously, they found a chemistry together that worked, as nearly all of their pairings would produce 'classics'.

Unlike the introverted, melancholia-racked Lincoln of "Abe Lincoln in Illinois", Ford's vision was that of a shy but likable young attorney, who made friends easily, and misses the mother he lost, too young (resulting in a bond with a pioneer mother that becomes a vital part of the story). Injustice riles him, and he speaks 'common sense' to quell violence, interlaced with doses of humor. Both productions play on Lincoln's (undocumented) relationship with Ann Rutledge; in Ford's version, the pair are truly in love, and committed to each other. After her death, Lincoln would frequently visit her grave, to share his life with her 'spirit' (a theme Ford would continue in "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon").

A murder trial is the centerpiece of the film, and shows the prodigious talents of the star and director. Fonda deftly portrays Lincoln's inexperience, yet earnest belief in justice tempered with mercy, and Ford emphasizes the gulf between the big-city 'intellectuals' (represented by pompous D.A. Donald Meek, and his slick 'advisor', Stephen Douglas, played by a young Milburn Stone), and the informal, rule-bending country sense of Lincoln. With Ford 'regular' Ward Bond as a key witness, the trial is both unconventional, and riveting.

With the film closing as Lincoln strides away into the stormy distance, and his destiny (dissolving into a view of the statue at the Lincoln Memorial), audiences could take comfort in the film's message that if a cause is just, good would ultimately triumph.

"Young Mr. Lincoln" is a truly remarkable film, from an amazing year!


30 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
To Kill a Mockingbird scene? MacsLaw-2
quote question jsr1984
Mystery Parade? Nextdoor664
Doris Bowden? deuchler
ballroom scene alexandryves
Discuss Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?