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Tennessee Johnson (1942)

Passed | | Biography, Drama | December 1942 (USA)
A chronicle of the life of Andrew Johnson from his first arrival in Tennessee to his time as President of the United States.

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(screen play by), (screen play by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Eliza McCardle Johnson
...
Mrs. Maude Fisher
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Blackstone McDaniel
...
Coke
...
Mordecai Milligan
Alec Craig ...
Sam Andrews
...
Senator Jim Waters
Carl Benton Reid ...
Congressman Hargrove
...
Lincoln's Emissary
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Sheriff Cass (as Noah Beery Sr.)
...
Major Crooks
...
Chief Justice Chase
...
Mr. Secretary
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Storyline

A chronicle of the life of Andrew Johnson from his first arrival in Tennessee to his time as President of the United States.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Campeão da Liberdade  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early production charts and a newspaper item included Lewis Stone and Grant Mitchell in the cast, but they were not in the film. Porter Hall (The Weasel) and Sheldon Leonard (Atzerodt) were in the Call Bureau Cast Service list for those roles, but they were cut for the released print. Similarly, Lew Short, Ralph McCullough, Al Ferguson, Ben Hall, Roger Gray and Murdock MacQuarrie, all listed as "Men at Railroad Station" must have been cut, since there were no railroad station scenes. Also Joseph E. Bernard (Engineer) and Jack Daley, Stanley Price, Philo McCullough, Frank O'Connor and Bob Ryan (I) listed as "Men at Another Railroad Station" must have been cut for the same reason. Also Allen Pomeroy and Duke York (Assassins) and Harry Worth (John Wilkes Booth) were never seen. Finally, Richard Nichols (Tad Lincoln) never shows up either. See more »

Goofs

A key scene in the film depicts Johnson entering the Senate while it is debating his impeachment and removal from office, and making a major speech there in his defense. In reality, the actual President Johnson, despite his desire to confront his enemies in the Senate, never once entered or addressed that body during his impeachment trial. See more »

Quotes

Jefferson Davis: I must pronounce our solemn farewell. Under these circumstances, of course, my functions - and those of my colleagues - terminate here. We but tread in the path of our fathers when we proclaim our independence - and take the hazard, putting our trust in God, and in our own firm hearts - and strong arms - we will vindicate the right as best we may.
[looking slowly around the room]
Jefferson Davis: I see now around me some with whom I have served long; there have been points of collision. For whatever offense I ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The opening outline includes a disclaimer about historical facts being changed for entertainment purposes. See more »

Soundtracks

Red River Valley
Traditional
Music by James Kerrigen
In the score introducing 1860
Played by a marching band when Lincoln wins the 1864 election
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User Reviews

Typical MGM historical melodrama.....well-acted, yet inaccurate
3 October 2004 | by (North Carolina) – See all my reviews

Unfortunately, I almost didn't make it through the first thirty minutes set in Tennessee, complete with a Marjorie Main variation of her "Ma Kettle" schtick. The town of Greeneville actually has some beautiful colonial architecture, is NOT near Nashville, and was not a backwoods mud pit in the mid-1800s - it is the second oldest town in the state, and was the capital of the former State of Franklin. (Johnson's home and tailor shop are standing today, as museums, and part of the National Park Service. A web site provides a history, and photos.) 30s/40s Hollywood would always "whitewash" history, except apparently, when it came to small towns in the South....then they'd falsely exaggerate the yahoo image for "atmosphere."

The final impeachment proceeding scenario is indeed rousing, but loses it's punch when one knows it is a fabrication. I usually prefer my history lessons to come from books or documentaries, although the latter can obviously be as biased as a narrative film.

"Senator" Johnson's final scene in the film occurred a mere six months before his death in East Tennessee. (Interestingly, the guest home in Carter County where he took ill, later became part of a roadside tourist trap in the 50s, but has recently been sold for relocation, and one hopes, restoration.)

Regardless, Heflin is great, as is the always reliable Barrymore. Worth a viewing, IF you learn the actual facts beforehand.


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