James Dean and Abraham Lincoln are Melted Into Thin Air
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln (Robert Pastene) considers an offer to run for President of the United States, from the fledgling Republican Party. It's not smooth sailing for Mr. Lincoln, who is an anti-slavery Unionist. After praying to the Lord, Lincoln decides he must lead the country. Alas, the new war-hating President is unable to prevent the country from taking up arms. Lincoln struggles to end the Civil War honorably. Ultimately victorious, Lincoln saves the Union, and frees the country's slaves. You should know how it ends
James Dean has a small, but pivotal role. Appearing late in the hour, Mr. Dean is "William Scott", a Union soldier court-martialed for falling asleep on guard. Lincoln is a empathetic Commander-in-Chief; he pardons Dean, and shakes his remorseful hand. Later, Lincoln's fate is artfully woven with the character played by Dean - and, this is where playwright John Drinkwater gives the story some originality, and depth.
Dean's performance is good, albeit lip-biting. Mr. Pastene makes a fine Lincoln, managing to avoid hitting any microphones with the exaggerated hats he is given to wear. And, his remarkably level-headed wife, Judith Evelyn (as Mary Lincoln), recites "Our revels now are ended " from Shakespeare's "The Tempest" very nicely. Of course, the Lincolns had to be fans of William Shakespeare.
As of this posting, IMDb doesn't list the teleplay's cast: Judith Evelyn (as Mary Lincoln), Robert Pastene (as Abraham Lincoln) Harry Townes (as Hook), Betty Low (as Mrs. Stowe), Noel Leslie (as Jennings), Frank Overton (as Samuel Stone), Jean Adair (as Susan Deddington), Charles Egelston (as William Seward), Robert McQueeney as James Macintosh), Katherine Raht (as Mrs. Otherly), Harold McGee (as Timothy Cuffney), John Buckwater (as Clerk), James Dean (as William Scott), and Anthony Grey (as Elias Price).
****** Abraham Lincoln (5/26/52) Paul Nickell ~ Robert Pastene, Judith Evelyn, James Dean
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