American Experience (1988– )
8 user 2 critic

Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided Part 1 - Ambition 


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Episode credited cast:
Abraham Lincoln (voice)
Mary Lincoln (voice)
David McCullough ...
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jean Harvey Baker ...
David Herbert Donald ...
Herself (interviewee)
Union Infantryman (as Kevin Hershberger)
David E. Long ...
Donald Miller ...
Mary Genevieve Murphy ...
Mark E. Neely Jr. ...
Union Infantryman (as Timothy Smith)
Charles B. Strozier ...
Linda Levitt Turner ...


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Official Sites:



Release Date:

19 February 2001 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A Remarkable Film
7 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This documentary is truly an informative and insightful narrative of how a nation and a leading family became in different ways divided over the burning issues resulting in a great civil war.

The opening of the film was very intriguing! We were looking at a window in a lighted room on a dark rainy night as Narrator David McCollough revealed to the viewers how a woman living upstairs was constantly taunted by passing neighborhood children as the "crazy lady." Actually, this was an ingenious lever to open with, drawing you into details on the personal and official lives of a historic American family--Abraham and Mary Lincoln.

This effective and unforgettable film presentation was a truly satisfying experience. I felt the voices selected for Abraham and Mary were supportive, but not particularly remarkable. It surprised me there existed so much historical detail on their personal lives. You almost felt like a fly on the wall. The historians, David Herbert Donald in particular, were especially engrossing.

Close to the film's end you are brought back to the same upstairs window in her Springfield, Illinois home as you listened to a very disturbing synopsis of Mary Lincoln's final days. Though the memories of her have been dwarfed by that of her legendary husband, this film succeeds in letting you not forget they existed together in shaping the landscape of American history.

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