Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  19 April 1940 (USA)
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Reviews: 31 user | 15 critic

Humble Abraham Lincoln gains the respect of his Illinois neighbors, growing in stature and respect until he is elected President in 1860 and departs for Washington.



(by), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Howard ...
Minor Watson ...
Alan Baxter ...
Harvey Stephens ...
Howard Da Silva ...
Jack Armstrong (as Howard da Silva)
Dorothy Tree ...
Maurice Murphy ...
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Harlan Briggs ...
Herbert Rudley ...


Biopic of Abe Lincoln, 16th President of he United States, from his early days in backwoods Kentucky to his election as President. After a time running livestock to New Orleans, he settles in New Salem where he meets and falls in love with Ann Rutledge who is already engaged to someone. Abe makes a home for himself in New Salem, eventually running a store and becoming the postmaster. He's popular with the locals and is eventually elected to the State legislature but afterward established himself in the practice of law. He eventually meets Mary Todd who would become his wife and and is sent to Washington as a Congressman before he is elected president. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

19 April 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Abraham Lincoln  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director John Cromwell's son, actor James Cromwell, has played two real life Presidents (George Bush in W. (2008) and Lyndon Johnson in 'RFK (2002)(TV)'). See more »


When Lincoln breaks his engagement to Mary Todd in 1837, he looks at a flag with 22 stars, The only time the American flag had 22 stars was in 1819. The number of states increased to 23 with the admission of Maine one year later in 1820. In 1837 there were 26 states in the Union. See more »


Mr. Crimmin: Gentlemen, I may not know as much as you about economics and theology, but I do know politics and what is the essential quality that we demand in our candidate. It is simply this: that he be able to get himself elected.
Politician: Well, there's something in what you say.
Politician: And do you think he can do it?
Mr. Crimmin: I tell you, gentlemen, in that uncouth rail splitter you may observe one of the slickest, smoothest politicians that ever hoodwinked a yokel mob.
See more »


The Battle Hymn of the Republic
(uncredited) (1861)
Music by William Steffe (circa 1856)
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe
Played and Sung by the crowd at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

How Lincoln really sounded...
22 February 2007 | by (Birmingham, Al.) – See all my reviews

If you've ever wanted to hear what Abe Lincoln sounded like, this is the film you'll want to see. Lincoln is portrayed by the late Canadian actor Raymond Massey - who, amongst many other roles, is also remembered from HG Welles' Things to Come, the screenplay of which was written by HG Welles himself. Early in Massey's career, Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln, heard him perform and was struck by the similarity between Massey's speaking voice and that of his father. Since there are no recordings of Lincoln from that era shortly before Edison invented the Gramophone, we have to rely on descriptions of his voice. Some from that time state Lincoln's voice was high-pitched, and that Massey did not do the voice properly - however, I tend to give more credence to a living witness, Lincoln's own eldest son who, though he died 14 years prior to this film, still had the opportunity to see Massey on stage and hear his voice. Massey got it right, and this is one wonderful film

  • too bad I haven't found it on DVD - the next time it airs on TMC I'll

have to record a DVD of it for myself.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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