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Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  9 June 1939 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,253 users  
Reviews: 62 user | 47 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)
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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

When Abe crosses over fence to stand next to Ann there isn't as nearly the height difference between them as when they walk together along the fence. See more »

Quotes

Abe Lincoln: [to John Felder] I may not know much of law Mr. Felder, but I know what's right and what's wrong. And I know what you're asking is wrong.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Stars of the Silver Screen: Henry Fonda (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(uncredited)
Traditional 18th century tune
Played on drum and fife at the Independence Day parade
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Appealing and accurate in its own way
6 April 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Amazingly, I have just seen this film for the first time. I was not expecting such a wonderful portrayal by Mr. Fonda and the accuracy (within Hollywood limits of the time) by Mr. Ford. I am no Lincoln historian, but I have read enough about him that I recognize the truth in the spirit of this film. A number of details could certainly be noted as historically inaccurate; on the other hand, the image of Mr. Lincoln as a lawyer who cares for people, truth, and mercy is quite accurate. One reviewer writes that Mr. Lincoln is made to appear as a country bumpkin, using humor when he is unable to use anything useful. To the contrary, Mr. Lincoln was realistic about his country origins; he used humor to convince, drive home an important point, and win people to his view; he was self-effacing. The manner in which Mr. Fonda portrays him in this film does homage to the man. The film may conflate history for entertainment purposes (it is, after all, a Hollywood production), but it is not as unhistorical as many believe. While sentimental (as to be expected of a 1939 film about an American icon), Young Mr. Lincoln is an admirable presentation of the spirit of the man.


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