IMDb > Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)
Abe Lincoln in Illinois
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Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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7.5/10   1,125 votes »
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Release Date:
19 April 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more »
User Reviews:
The Man Who Would Be President See more (29 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Raymond Massey ... Abe Lincoln

Gene Lockhart ... Stephen Douglas

Ruth Gordon ... Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Howard ... Ann Rutledge
Minor Watson ... Joshua Speed
Alan Baxter ... Billy Herndon
Harvey Stephens ... Ninian Edwards
Howard Da Silva ... Jack Armstrong (as Howard da Silva)
Dorothy Tree ... Elizabeth Edwards

Aldrich Bowker ... Judge Bowling Green
Maurice Murphy ... John McNeil
Louis Jean Heydt ... Mentor Graham
Clem Bevans ... Ben Mattling
Harlan Briggs ... Denton Offut
Herbert Rudley ... Seth Gale
Andy Clyde ... Stage Driver
Roger Imhof ... Mr. Crimmin
Edmund Elton ... Mr. Rutledge
Leona Roberts ... Mrs. Rutledge
Florence Roberts ... Mrs. Bowling Green

George Rosener ... Dr. Chandler
Trevor Bardette ... John Hanks
Syd Saylor ... John Johnston
Elisabeth Risdon ... Sarah Lincoln

Charles Middleton ... Tom Lincoln
Alec Craig ... Trum Cogdall
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Erville Alderson ... Stonewall Jackson (uncredited)
Ted Billings ... Onlooker at Debate (uncredited)
Henry Blair ... Tad Lincoln (uncredited)
Ed Brady ... Raft Steerer (uncredited)
Sonny Bupp ... Willie Lincoln (uncredited)
George Chandler ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Tom Chatterton ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Dan Clark ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Wallis Clark ... Politician (uncredited)
Jane Corcoran ... Woman on Street (uncredited)
John Cromwell ... John Brown (uncredited)
Cecil Cunningham ... Undetermined Supporting Role (uncredited)
Esther Dale ... Lincoln's Cook (uncredited)
Dick Elliott ... Politician (uncredited)
Robert Elliott ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Fern Emmett ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Paul Everton ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Edward Fielding ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Byron Foulger ... Politician (uncredited)
Peggy Ann Garner ... Little Girl (uncredited)
Gus Glassmire ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Adda Gleason ... Maid (uncredited)
Jesse Graves ... Onlooker at Debate (uncredited)
George Guhl ... Greeley's Secretary (uncredited)
Paul Guilfoyle ... Minor Role (uncredited)
C. Hayes ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Fay Helm ... Mrs. Seth Gale (uncredited)
Dell Henderson ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Harry Humphries ... Daniel Webster (uncredited)

George Irving ... Colonel Robert E. Lee (uncredited)
Selmer Jackson ... Aide to Stephen Douglas (uncredited)
Milton Kibbee ... Abe's Friend (uncredited)
Victor Kilian ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Robert Middlemass ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Edwin Mills ... Robert Lincoln (uncredited)
Emory Parnell ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Kathleen Proctor ... Woman on Street (uncredited)
Lorin Raker ... Minor Role (uncredited)
William Royle ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Florence Rutledge ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Kathryn Sheldon ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Napoleon Simpson ... Gobey (uncredited)
John St. Polis ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Landers Stevens ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Guy Usher ... Douglas's Crony (uncredited)
Edward Van Sloan ... Dr. Barrett (uncredited)
Bryant Washburn ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Dorothea Wolbert ... Woman in Store (uncredited)

Ian Wolfe ... Horace Greeley (uncredited)
William Worthington ... Minor Role (uncredited)
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Directed by
John Cromwell 
 
Writing credits
Robert E. Sherwood (by)

Robert E. Sherwood (screen play)

Grover Jones (adaptation)

Produced by
Max Gordon .... producer
 
Original Music by
Roy Webb (musical score)
 
Cinematography by
James Wong Howe (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
George Hively (edited by)
 
Casting by
Charles Richards (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Van Nest Polglase 
 
Set Decoration by
Casey Roberts (set decorations)
 
Makeup Department
James R. Barker .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Don L. Cash .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Fred Frederick .... wig designer (uncredited)
Doris Harris .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Norbert A. Myles .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Hazel Rogers .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Maurice Seiderman .... makeup artist: raymond massey (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Harold Lewis .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dewey Starkey .... assistant director
William Dorfman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Harry Mancke .... assistant director (uncredited)
Grayson Rogers .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Carroll Clark .... associate art director
William Hartman .... props (uncredited)
Charles Matthews .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Hugh McDowell Jr. .... recordist
Dan Kellerber .... sound stage manager (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... special effects
Horace L. Hulburd .... special effects (uncredited)
W. Kimpton .... special effects (uncredited)
D. Kohler .... special effects (uncredited)
Kenny Koontz .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Emmett Bergholz .... assistant camera (uncredited)
H.J. Brandon .... grip (uncredited)
Stan Chandler .... grip (uncredited)
James Daly .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Eugene Fribourge .... grip (uncredited)
Earl Gilpin .... grip (uncredited)
Ledge Haddow .... assistant camera (uncredited)
William Handy .... grip (uncredited)
Emil Harris .... grip (uncredited)
Alexander Kahle .... still photographer (uncredited)
Jack McCrackin .... grip (uncredited)
William Monroe .... electrician (uncredited)
Eddie Pyle .... second camera operator (uncredited)
William Record .... grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Walter Plunkett .... wardrobe
Frank Carr .... second wardrobe man (uncredited)
Tommy Clark .... first wardrobe man (uncredited)
Bert Hall .... wardrobe: Raymond Massey (uncredited)
Ann Landers .... wardrobe: ladies (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Douglas Travers .... montage
 
Other crew
David Robel .... dance director
Stafford Campbell .... stand-in: Raymond Massey (uncredited)
Adele Cannon .... script clerk (uncredited)
Lillian K. Deighton .... technical director (uncredited)
Corynn Kiehl .... script clerk (uncredited)
Charles Leonard .... publicist (uncredited)
Louis Shapiro .... location manager (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
110 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Charles Middleton, who plays Lincoln's father, Tom, in ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS, played Abe Lincoln in THE PHANTOM PRESIDENT.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: The Lincolns arrive at the Springfield Depot while a band is playing "The Battle Cry of Freedom". The song was written in 1862, a year after Lincoln was inaugurated as president.See more »
Quotes:
Abraham Lincoln:[discussing why he can't face Mary Todd before his marriage to her] I'd have to tell her that I have hatred for her infernal ambition. That I don't want to be ridden and driven onward and upward through life with her whip bashing me and her spurs digging in me. If her poor little soul craves importance in life let her marry Stephen Douglas. He's ambitious too. I want only to be left alone.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Henry Fonda: The Man and His Movies (1982) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Battle Hymn of the RepublicSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
29 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
The Man Who Would Be President, 12 October 2004
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida

ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS (RKO Radio, 1940), directed by John Cromwell, is not so much a biography of Abraham Lincoln, but the life Lincoln lived from his early years to a position that would lead him to politics, and against all odds, his winning the election for the United States presidency in 1860. Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning 1938 play by Robert E. Sherwood, the screen adaptation, tracing Lincoln's thirty years starting in 1831 to his train ride leading to Washington, D.C., in 1861, stars Raymond Massey in a role he originated on stage, being the best performance of a great American ever enacted by an actor who wasn't. Massey, a Canadian by birth, is not only the perfect candidate for the title role, but an ideal choice. Massey's believability in his role earned him an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor. Although he didn't win the election for that year, it is Massey who very well holds this movie together.

A follow-up of sorts to John Ford's most recent YOUNG MR. LINCOLN (20th Century-Fox, 1939), starring Henry Fonda, focusing on Lincoln's early years as a young lawyer in Springfield, Ill., and a retelling in parts to D.W. Griffith's ABRAHAM LINCOLN (United Artists, 1930), starring Walter Huston, ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS starts off on a rainy afternoon in 1831 with an introduction to the character of Abraham Lincoln (Raymond Massey), age 22, sitting on the floor in a log cabin reading a book by Shakespeare, accompanied by his father (Charles B. Middleton) and a stepmother (Elisabeth Risdon). With the Lincoln family background briefly depicted, the next scene follows Abe, who had left home to accept a $30 a month job as part of the crew rowing a flatboat hauling hogs down the Sangamon River to New Orleans. Along the way he encounters a very beautiful girl named Ann Rutledge (Mary Howard), with whom he decides to settle down in her native town of New Salem where he becomes in charge of a general store, a position offered him by his employer, Denton Offut (Harlan Briggs). When he finds Jack Armstrong (Howard Da Silva), the greatest fighter who cannot be beat, a little drunk and annoying Ann, who, along with his other friends, having invaded her tavern, Abe, a stranger in town, comes to the young lady's defense and publicly wrestles Jack to the end, defeating his advisory and winning the admiration from all, especially the respect and loyal-ship of Jack Armstrong. The year 1832 profiles Lincoln acting as leader in command of his soldiers, with Armstrong being among them, during the Blackhawk War period; 1835 now finds Lincoln in a new position as postmaster general. He is visited by Joshua Speed (Minor Watson) and Ninian Edwards (Harvey Stephens) who introduce Abe to politics by choosing him to serve in the legislature, which he would serve four terms. As for Ann, having been engaged to John McNeil (Maurice Murphy), now living in New York for two years, finds that after receiving a letter from him that he has no intentions of returning to her. To stop gossip from circulating around Ann's good name, Abe admits his love for her from the moment he first saw her, and asks her to become his steady. The relationship between them is cut short when she is stricken with an illness and dies. Lincoln quits the legislation to work in the law office with John Stuart in Springfield, forming a partnership of Stuart & Lincoln, Counselors-at-Law. Slowly improving his social position, Lincoln is introduced to Mary Todd (Ruth Gordon) at a function given by her sister and Ninian's wife, Elizabeth Edwards (Dorothy Tree). Elizabeth wants Mary to marry an aristocrat, someone like Stephen A. Douglas (Gene Lockhart), but her interest rests on Mr. Lincoln, whom she eventually marries on November 4, 1842. The marriage produces four sons (the movie indicates three, eliminating one who died in his fourth year), and shows Mary's fight in having her hayseed husband fulfill his destiny, to become president of the United States.

Ruth Gordon (1896-1985), a prominent stage actress and playwright, in her movie debut, gives a remarkable performance in one of the best carnations of Mary Todd Lincoln ever portrayed on screen. Gene Lockhart (1892-1957), a veteran character actor in many feature film roles, goes unnoticed as a very satisfying Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861). Lockhart's best moment finds his Stephen Douglas sincerely congratulating his opponent Abraham Lincoln in winning the U.S. election, something that should become a prime example with modern-day candidates.

As mentioned before, ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS is very much a retread to D.W. Griffith's 1930 presentation of ABRAHAM LINCOLN, with differences being the elimination of Lincoln's birth, his trying years in the White House during the Civil War and assassination in April 1865. In many ways, ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS is an excellent movie with excellent portrayals. Being a screen adaptation to a stage play, John Cromwell's direction, makes no indication as such. Minus Technicolor, it's full of outdoor scenery and historical detail ranging from costumes to reproductions of small towns. Highlights include the well staged Lincoln-Douglas debate, and one where Lincoln finally losing his temper towards his wife, Mary, after embarrassing him in front of his committee, by ordering her, twice, "You're not/never to do that again!"

ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS, formerly shown on commercial television annually either on or around Lincoln's birthday, February 12, later presented on video cassette finally on cable television's American Movie Classics prior to 2000, and Turner Classic Movies. Quite enjoyable as a motion picture, and quite informative on a historical point of view, this production, at 110 minutes, succeeds on both counts. "Glory, Glory Hallelujah, his truth is marching on." (****)

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