7.6/10
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Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

Approved | | Biography, Drama | 9 June 1939 (USA)
A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case.

Director:

Writer:

(original screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

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

Henry Fonda originally turned down the role of Lincoln, saying he didn't think he could play such a great man. He changed his mind after John Ford asked him to do a screen test in full makeup. After viewing himself as Lincoln in the test footage, Fonda liked what he saw, and accepted the part. He later told an interviewer, "I felt as if I were portraying Christ himself on film." See more »

Goofs

At Ann's grave, Abe's knee touches the ground twice. 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

Referenced in The American West of John Ford (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Cry of Freedom
(1862) (uncredited)
Written by George Frederick Root
Played during the opening credits and sung by an unidentified chorus
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.


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