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Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  9 June 1939 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,675 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 51 critic

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

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(original screenplay)
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Title: Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

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

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Ford and producer Darryl F. Zanuck fought an extended battle over control of the film. Ford even had unused takes of the film destroyed so the studio could not insert them into the movie. One scene that Ford insisted on cutting was a scene where Lincoln met his future assassin, a very young John Wilkes Booth. 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 Directed by John Ford (1971) 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 Henry Fonda is young Mr. Lincoln
9 December 2000 | by (Toledo, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Henry Fonda brilliantly captures what we have long believed Abraham Lincoln was like. It is a fooler. Through Fonda's performance we are led to believe (on the surface) that Abraham Lincoln was a country bumpkin. But, through his confrontation with the lynch mob and especially during the court proceedings, you can see that beneath the exterior posturings is a brilliant man who has a very good command of what is going on around him and how to influence the people around him.

In this movie Henry Fonda shows that he has a very good grasp of how to present humor. It is an aspect of him that has been lost over the years. When he is telling stories and jokes he has the timing down perfect. There is a sequence in the trial that had me laughing quite hard. He shows this gift again in The Lady Eve in 1940.

The ending by John Ford is absolutely brilliant with Henry Fonda going to the top of a hill and in the distance a tremendous storm symbolic of the Civil War. He goes forward into history. The movie is fiction but the insight into Lincoln is tremendous. Definitely worth seeing again.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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